From one of our preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling, and culture. The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. In The Strange Order of Things, Damasio gives us a new way of comprehending the world and our place in it. www.antoniodamasio.com
The Order of Time
Author: Carlo Rovelli
The perfect graduation gift "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
The Clothes They Stood Up In is Alan Bennett's first story. Like Charles Dickens' novels which were first published in magazines, it originally appeared in the London Review of Books - which the author says 'seems to me (and not just because I occasionally contribute to it) the liveliest, most serious and also the most radical literary periodical we have'.
A Short History of Decay
Author: E. M. Cioran
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
E. M. Cioran confronts the place of today's world in the context of human history—focusing on such major issues of the twentieth century as human progress, fanaticism, and science—in this nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable. Illuminating and brutally honest, A Short History of Decay dissects Man's decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces.
Look out for Carlo Rovelli's next book, Reality Is Not What It Seems. Instant New York Times Bestseller “One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.”—The Wall Street Journal “Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.”—The New York Times Book Review This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
Six Easy Pieces
Author: Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands
Publisher: Basic Books
The six easiest chapters from Feynman's landmark work, Lectures on Physics-- specifically designed for the general, non-scientist reader.
Goodbye to Berlin
Author: Christopher Isherwood
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Isherwood's classic story of Berlin in the 1930s - and the inspiration for Cabaret - now in a stand-alone edition. First published in 1934, Goodbye to Berlin has been popularized on stage and screen by Julie Harris in I Am a Camera and Liza Minelli in Cabaret. Isherwood magnificently captures 1931 Berlin: charming, with its avenues and cafés; marvelously grotesque, with its nightlife and dreamers; dangerous, with its vice and intrigue; powerful and seedy, with its mobs and millionaires — this was the period when Hitler was beginning his move to power. Goodbye to Berlin is inhabited by a wealth of characters: the unforgettable and “divinely decadent”Sally Bowles; plump Frau¨lein Schroeder, who considers reducing her Bu¨steto relieve her heart palpitations; Peter and Otto, a gay couple struggling to come to terms with their relationship; and the distinguished and doomed Jewish family, the Landauers.
Author: Irène Némirovsky, Sandra Smith
Publisher: Random House
"Two lost classics from the Ukranian-born, French-educated writer gathered together in one volume. Le Bal depicts the life of the Kampfs who, having recently gone up in the world thanks to luck with the stockmarket decide to throw a ball in order to launch themselves into society. Their daughter Antoinette, who has just turned fourteen, dreams of attending. But Madame Kampf is resolved not to present her daughter, already so grown up, to her admirers. Instead, Antoinette is forced to sleep in the laundry, as her bedroom is used as coatroom. In an unpremeditated fury of revolt and despair, Antoinette takes her revenge. It is swift and it is horrible. A cruel, funny and tender examination of class differences, of the dynamic between mother and daughter, Le bal is ultimately dedicated to the torments of childhood. Snow in Autumn pays homage to Nemirovsky's beloved Chekhov and chronicles the life of a devoted servant following her masters as they flee Revolutionary Moscow and emigrate to a life of hardship in Paris."
101 Zen Stories
This is a new release of the original 1940 edition.
The Day of the Owl
Author: Leonardo Sciascia, Archibald Colquhoun, Arthur Oliver
Publisher: New York Review of Books
A man is shot dead as he runs to catch the bus in the piazza of a small Sicilian town. Captain Bellodi, the detective on the case, is new to his job and determined to prove himself. Bellodi suspects the Mafia, and his suspicions grow when he finds himself up against an apparently unbreachable wall of silence. A surprise turn puts him on the track of a series of nasty crimes. But all the while Bellodi's investigation is being carefully monitored by a host of observers, near and far. They share a single concern: to keep the truth from coming out. This short, beautifully paced novel is a mesmerizing description of the Mafia at work.
A Russian Novel
Author: Emmanuel Carrere
Publisher: Profile Books
Set in Paris and Kotelnich, a small post-Soviet town, A Russian Novel traces Carrre's pursuit of two obsessions: the disappearance of his Russian grandfather and his fascination with a woman he loves but cannot keep from destroying. Elegant and passionate, A Russian Novel weaves the strands of Carrre's story into a travelogue of a journey inward. Road trip, confession, emotional tour de force, this fearless reckoning illuminates the schemes we devise to evade ourselves and the inevitable payment they exact as we discover we cannot, after all, escape our most fearsome and persistent adversary: yourself.
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Awe and exhiliration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.