What to Read this Month: August 2017

whattoread

Welcome back to a new semester!  While you’re exploring all that Duke has to offer, why not explore our New and Noteworthy or Current Literature collections?  One of the great things about the books in these collections is the variety of subject areas and genres represented—everything  from popular novels, political histories, and books about animals (and many things in between).


monkeytalkMonkeytalk: Inside the Worlds and Minds of Primates by Julia Fischer. Monkey see, monkey do–or does she? Can the behavior of non-human primates–their sociality, their intelligence, their communication–really be chalked up to simple mimicry? Emphatically, absolutely: no. And as famed primatologist Julia Fischer reveals, the human bias inherent in this oft-uttered adage is our loss, for it is only through the study of our primate brethren that we may begin to understand ourselves.  An eye-opening blend of storytelling, memoir, and science, Monkeytalk takes us into the field and the world’s primate labs to investigate the intricacies of primate social mores through the lens of communication.


mothstorytellingThe Moth Presents All these Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a “one-hit wonder,” a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s “secret army” during World War II, and more.


walkawayWalkaway: A Novel by Cory Doctorow.  From New York Times bestselling author Cory Doctorow, an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.  Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.  You can read reviews here and here.

 

 


TheEvangelicalsThe Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald.  This groundbreaking book from a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America–from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.  Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances FitGerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time.  You can read reviews here and here.  You may also appreciate this interview with the author.


fortunateonesThe Fortunate Ones: A Novel by Ellen Umansky. One very special work of art–a Chaim Soutine painting–will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.  This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, this book is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.

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