Novelist Lily King has written an exquisitely beautiful book called Euphoria. The historical fiction novel is based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead and her time spent in the territory of New Guinea in the 1930’s. Upon reading her biography King learned of the crazy love triangle that ensued with Mead, her second husband, Reo Fortune and fellow anthropologist, Gregory Bateson, who eventually became her third husband. King recalled, “I thought it would make a great novel. “
King has made the story her own and tells the story from the perspective of Andrew Bankson, the lonely distraught anthropologist who has been alone in the jungle for months and was suicidal prior to the arrival of Nell and Fen, the husband and wife anthropologists he befriends. The couple are exhausted and sick from being pursued by one of the violent tribes they were studying and Bankson cleverly offers to find them another friendlier tribe to study. They happily agree and although exhausted, the bonding of like scientific minds creates a friendship that takes an interesting turn of events. Read the book to discover what happens next.
After reading this novel, I wanted to learn more about the life of Margaret Mead. Here are some additional titles to checkout.
Margaret Mead: A Life
With a daughter’s eye: a memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson
Letters from the field , 1925-1975
What a pleasure it was to listen to the audiobook , I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron from our Overdrive collection. If you are looking for some serious belly laughs and reassurance that your memory is not the only one that is going south, Ephron’s title is the perfect antidote. While I Remember Nothing pokes fun at various memory gaffes, including the writer not recoginizing her own sister, the book also contains astute observations about technology, her love affair with journalism, her relationship with her mom, and the fact that time stops for no one. It has been almost two years since the death of the beloved personal essayist and screenwriter, however her connection to the common man lives on through her books and movies. Give this title or any Ephron title a listen, I promise it will make you laugh!
What do California Chrome and Ancillary Justice have in common? Last week, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice won the prestigious Nebula Award for Best Novel voted upon by The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The novel has also won the Arthur C. Clarke award for the UK’s best science fiction novel. Let’s not jinx its possible Triple Crown status as it is a Hugo award nominee as well.
What is this novel about? Ancillary Justice is the first book in Leckie’s space opera trilogy called the “Imperial Radch.” The novel starts as artificial intelligence Breq, who once controlled a massive starship and its crew, is now isolated in a single frail human body, while seeking answers to her questions. Read NPR’s review here. Reserve your copy by clicking on the cover.
If you like fiction with a medical twist along the line of Lisa Genova and JoJo Moyes, then you should give Gemini by Carol Cassella a try. Along with being the author of Gemini, Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist so she is certainly knowledgeable about her subject matter. The book revolves around duel narratives hence the intriguing title. This novel starts off with the story of a comatose Jane Doe who has been brought to a hospital after being hit in a car accident. One plot is the story of surgeon, Dr. Charlotte Reese and the medical, ethical and moral dilemmas she has to face as she deals with the unidentified patient. The other story line tells the tale of two young teenagers Bo, a wealthy lanky young man who befriends Raney, a young female townie who lives with her grandfather while barely making ends meet in rural Washington state. Cassella who lives in Washington state describes the area so beautifully, you want to take a visit. I loved the way this story intertwined and had various twists and turns that made Gemini an unpredictable and interesting read. Give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think about it!
My good friend lives in NYC and she is always getting me to go to museums and art shows, often at a deep discount. She is very clever and thrifty in that way. She has inspired me to investigate other museums to go to. I was looking around our library’s catalog for something interesting to read about museums and The Secret Museum by Molly Oldfield popped up. The description looked interesting and reviews were positive. When it arrived it wasn’t what I expected! It’s a substantial book. I think they call this type of book a coffee table book. It has a beautiful cover and no matter where I open it up, it was wonderfully interesting and full of fun details. My favorite quote from it is, “It’s strange to think that we humans- who are all made of stardust- look up at the sky to study galaxies without often reflecting on the fact that what we are actually studying is light. The things we’re looking at are no longer there.” See! Pretty unexpected given the title. Another story that stuck with me was Object 25, A Blue Whale. Apparently, all that we know about the Blue Whale is thanks for Dr. Fredrick John Knox. Whale bone corsets weren’t actually made from whale bones. It’s made from the baleen, the stuff that whales use for ‘teeth-‘ which isn’t bone, come to find out. If you can’t get yourself to a museum anytime soon I recommend checking this book out. It gives you that sense of awe and wonder without the travel and expense. (review by Heather Gayton)