WEEKEND READS

Keeping the gears going, staying open to new ideas, finding common experiential threads in humanity, enriching one's travels or traveling without leaving home; the reasons we read are many. Here are the books our faculty and staff are reading right now.

 
 
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THE CALIFORNIA FIELD ATLAS

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED: OBI KAUFMANN

"[A] gorgeously illustrated compendium."—Sunset Magazine | #1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller

"This lavishly illustrated atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories in exquisite maps and trail paintings. Based on decades of exploring the backcountry of the Golden State, artist-adventurer Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of living, connected systems like no book has done before... Full of character and color, a bit larger than life, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place." —Heyday Into California

Who's reading this? Liam Whelan (Recommended by and in partnership with: Green Apple Books)

 
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Destiny DISRUPTED: A HISTORY OF THE WORLD THROUGH ISLAMIC EYES

TAMIM ANSARY

"In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe, a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized, had somehow hijacked destiny." —Public Affairs

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies and Alexis Cohen (Recommended by and in partnership with: Green Apple Books)

 
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A GARDEN TO DYE FOR

CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN

"This is the perfect book for someone who has never dabbled in dyeing textiles before. There’s just enough information here to get you started, but not too much so that you’re overwhelmed by the process. Chris tells you how, gives you some sources for materials, and encourages you to experiment. There’s nothing too exotic (unless you want it to be!) and she uses more than 50 fairly common plants that you might already have in your garden." —Horticulture Magazine

Who's reading this? Gabriel Cohen (Recommended by and in partnership with: Green Apple Books)

 
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The Scent of Time: A Philosophical Essay on the Art of Lingering

Byung-Chul Han, Daniel Steuer (Translator)

"In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time.  Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation.  It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling.

Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness." —Publisher's Note

Who's reading this? Meinir Davies

 
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SCIENCE AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES

RUPERT SHELDRAKE

"In this pioneering book Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage:

· Meditation
· Gratitude
· Connecting with nature
· Relating to plants
· Rituals
· Singing and chanting
· Pilgrimage and holy places

The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier.

Rupert Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways that readers can explore these fields for themselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the non-religious, this book will show how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all, even if they do not subscribe to a religious belief system." —Publisher's Note

Who's reading this? Alexis Cohen (Recommended by and in partnership with: Green Apple Books)

 
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FAUST

IVAN TURGENEV

"In this rediscovered literary gem, Turgenev explores the elusive nature of love, suggesting that with the loss of love comes a sense of resignation—and the conviction that the essence of life lies in self-denial. It is published here with the short story Yakov Pasynkov. In a series of letters to a friend, the narrator relates how he has managed to convince a married woman—hitherto shielded from the powerful effects of poetry and fiction—of the importance of developing the imagination. By introducing her to Goethe’s masterpiece, he sets in motion a chain of crucial events. In this poetic exploration of spiritual awakening, Turgenev demonstrates his preoccupation with the culture of Western Europe and the nature of human relations. Ivan Turgenev was a Russian novelist and playwright who spent much of his life in Western Europe. His writing profoundly affected the course of European literature." —Publisher's Note

Who's reading this? Claudio Salusso

 
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FAUST

JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE

"Faust is a tragic play in two parts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, usually known in English as Faust, Part One and Faust, Part Two. Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is considered by many to be Goethe's magnum opus and the greatest work of German literature." —Wikipedia

Who's reading this? Claudio Salusso

 
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HOUSEKEEPING

MARILYNNE ROBINSON

"A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town 'chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere.' Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience." —Publishers Note

Who's reading this? Krista Landers

 
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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Howard Zinn

"Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance." —Publishers Note

Who's reading this? Kyle Walenga

 
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FReedom is a constant struggle: ferguson, palestine and the foundations of a movement

angela y. davis

"Angela Davis firmly states [in Freedom is a Constant Struggle], '[ev]ery change that has happened has come as a result of mass movements.' If you look deeper, it is evident that it was not individuals such as Abraham Lincoln, MLK, Jr., Barack Obama, or even herself who demanded change – well-organized mass movements always did. The title of her book suggests that new solidarities between young organizers have created the foundation of a (new) movement. Davis believes that the future lies in young people and the young generation is informed by feminism and anti-racist struggles in a way that Davis’s generation was not. It is in this collective that Davis 'find[s] reservoirs of hope and optimism.' So, too, do I." —Fazeela Siddiqui

Who's reading this? Kyle Walenga