Nonfiction

NVCL Reads: Over 400 Pages

If you’re doing #NVCLreads this summer and are a particularly ambitious reader, then this category is for you!  Great for long (long) days at the beach, or hiding inside from sunburn, here are our picks for #NVCLreads400:

fallonyourkneesFall on Your Knees, by Ann Marie Macdonald (566 pages)
Recommended by Fereshteh

Following the curves of history in the first half of the twentieth century, Fall On Your Knees takes us from haunted Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, through the battle fields of World War One, to the emerging jazz scene of New York city and into the lives of four unforgettable sisters. The mythically charged Piper family–James, a father of intelligence and immense ambition, Materia, his Lebanese child-bride, and their daughters: Kathleen, a budding opera Diva; Frances, the incorrigible liar and hell-bent bad girl; Mercedes, obsessive Catholic and protector of the flock; and Lily, the adored invalid who takes us on a quest for truth and redemption–is supported by a richly textured cast of characters. Together they weave a tale of inescapable family bonds, of terrible secrets, of miracles, racial strife, attempted murder, birth and death, and forbidden love.*

* could alternately be used for#NVCLreadsWinner or #NVCLreadsHistorical

agoodmanA Good Man, by Gay Vanderhaeghe (464 pages)
Recommended by Fereshteh

A Good Man culminates what could be thought of as a trilogy of books set in the late nineteenth-century Canadian and American West, and it is a masterpiece. Vanderhaeghe skilfully weaves a rich tapestry of history with the turns of fortune of his most vividly and compellingly drawn cast of characters yet. Vanderhaeghe entwines breathtaking, intriguing, and richly described narratives that contain a compelling love story, a tale of revenge and violence, a spectacular battle scene, the story of an incident in Welsely’s past that threatens his relationship with Ada, and much, much more. While raising moral questions, this novel weaves the historical with the personal and stands as Vanderhaeghe’s most accomplished and brilliant novel to date.*

* could alternately be used for #NVCLreadsHistorical

lightgetsinHow the Light Gets In, by Louise Penny (405 pages)
Recommended by Margarete

In the 9th Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny,  most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues.*

tyrantsthroneTyrant’s Throne (Greatcoats #4), by Sebastian DeCastell
(601 pages). Recommended by Margarete

After years of struggle and sacrifice, Falcio val Mond, First Cantor of the Greatcoats, is on the brink of fulfilling his dead king’s dream: Aline, the king’s daughter, is about to take the throne and restore the rule of law once and for all. But for the Greatcoats, nothing is ever that simple. As the nobles of Tristia and even the Greatcoats themselves fight over who should rule, the Warlord of Avares threatens to invade. With so many powerful contenders vying for power, it will fall to Falcio to render the one verdict he cannot bring himself to utter, much less enforce. Should he help crown the young woman he vowed to put on the throne, or uphold the laws he swore to serve?*
Haven’t read this series? Try the first one – Traitor’s Blade – for #NVCLreadsSciFi!

waterratThe Water-Rat of Wanchai: an Ava Lee novel, by Ian Hamilton
(412 pages). Recommended by Margarete

In the first book of the Ava Lee series, Ava – young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant who works for an elderly Hong Kong–based “Uncle,” who may or may not have ties to the Triads – travels across continents to track $5 million owed by a seafood company. But it’s in Guyana where she meets her match: Captain Robbins, a huge hulk of a man and godfather-like figure who controls the police, politicians, and criminals alike. In exchange for his help, he decides he wants a piece of Ava’s $5 million action and will do whatever it takes to get his fair share…*

The Way the Crow Flies, by Ann Marie Macdonald (820 pages)crowflies
Recommended by Fereshteh

The optimism of the early sixties, infused with the excitement of the space race and the menace of the Cold War, is filtered through the rich imagination of high-spirited, eight-year-old Madeleine, who welcomes her family’s posting to a quiet Air Force base near the Canadian border. Secure in the love of her beautiful mother, she is unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in a web of secrets. When a very local murder intersects with global forces, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine will be forced to learn a lesson about the ambiguity of human morality — one she will only begin to understand when she carries her quest for the truth, and the killer, into adulthood twenty years later.*

Something for the ambitious teen…

bloodredroadBlood Red Road, by Moira Young (458 pages)
Recommended by Kate

In a distant future, eighteen-year-old Lugh is kidnapped, and while his twin sister Saba and nine-year-old Emmi are trailing him across bleak Sandsea they are captured, too, and taken to brutal Hopetown, where Saba is forced to be a cage fighter until new friends help plan an escape.

This is the first in Young’s Dustlands series, and could instead be used for #NVCLreadsSciFi or #NVCLreadsDystopia squares.

And something for the ambitious tween…

airbornAirborn, by Kenneth Oppel (417 pages)
Recommended by Linda

This award winning book is sure to capture  a child’s imagination as 14-year old Matt Cruse sets sail in an Airship called the Aurora. As a cabin boy in this fantastical ship Matt has a series of adventures  including strange cloud cats and pirates.

*Descriptions from the publishers

-Kat

NVCL Reads: Folk and Fairy Tales

If you’re doing #NVCLreads this summer with the kids, they might want to read some Canadian folk and fairy tales for #NVCLreadsFairyTales. (And you may want to read some for #NVCLreadsIllustrated or #NVCLreads200.)  Homa from our fabulous Children’s Department has some ideas about where to start:

Our collection of folk & fairy tales aims to engage children in timeless stories and help them to discover diversity.  This collection represents a range of traditions from various cultures and countries.  Here are some of the Canadian authors that have written fables, fairy tales, legends and myths.

fingerlingLittle Fingerling by Monica Hughes

This familiar Japanese folktale, a cross between Tom Thumb and David and Goliath, is given sophisticated treatment in this attractive picture book. Hughes’s telling is leisurely and formal, with a traditional tone that suits the material. In ancient Japan, a tiny son is born to an elderly couple. As he grows older — but no larger — his courage and resourcefulness see him through many exciting adventures.

41Q+Z8fVfsLThe Nervous Prince and other stories by Michael B. Kerr   

What was Cinderella’s prince really like? Was Red Riding Hood rescued by a woodsman, or not? Was Jack’s beanstalk genetically modified? Why were Hansel and Gretel searching for carbohydrate treats in the forest? And who styled Rapunzel’s hair? These updated versions of popular folk and fairy tales answer all these burning questions and more.

The-King-and-the-Tortoise-1200x972The King and The Tortoise by Tololwa M. Mollel

Who is the cleverest creature of all? In order to find out, the king has issued a challenge: who can make him a robe of smoke? The swift hare, the sly fox, the fierce leopard, and the mighty elephant try but each one fails.  It is up to the tortoise, patient and slow, to win the day through wit alone.  In this gentle traditional story from Cameroon, master story teller Tolowa Mollel has woven a tale of humor and wisdom as magical as a robe of smoke.

mermaid's museThe Mermaid’s Muse: The Legend of the Dragon Boats by David Bouchard 

History meets myth in this dramatic re-telling of the story of Qu Yuan, celebrated poet-in-exile of ancient China. In Bouchard’s tale the poet and a sea dragon, in the appearance of a mermaid, develop a mutually inspiring friendship that drives them to sail away together, to the mistaken alarm of Qu Yuan’s neighbors. The surprising climax illustrates the traditional Chinese origin of dragon boats. Spectacularly illustrated, this book is truly amazing — you should read it!

TwoSistersThe Two Sisters by E. Pauline Johnson

Many thousands of years ago, two little girl with eyes of spring and hearts of summer had the courage to ask their father to stop a war. He does as they ask, and this brings about a lasting peace in the land. This book will lead you on your own adventure through the rich history of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest.  I highly recommend it. It is a book for all ages with a valuable message and fabulous illustrations.

 

howsummerHow Summer Came to Canada Pictures by Elizabeth Cleaver Retold by William Toye

When the giant Winter came down from the North to live in Eastern Canada the land became frozen and white. Glooskap, mythical lord and creator of the Micmac Indians, saves his people from endless cold when he brings a beautiful Queen to his country. Her name is Summer and she persuades Winter to relax his icy grip every Spring while she awakens the land from its deep sleep and gives life to everything that grows. The beautiful illustrations of this book feature scenes of icy desolation and sunny flowering greenness.

Let’s read more folk and fairy tales this summer to better understand ourselves and others.

-Homa

NVCL Reads: Dystopic Canadian Novels

Reading today’s headlines it is no surprise that dystopian fiction has attracted a new audience.  Book sales of classics like 1984 and Brave New World have skyrocketed, meanwhile Canada’s dystopic diva Margaret Atwood has found a new fanbase for her classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, with Hulu’s dark and wildly popular TV series.

In honour of these dark times, may I present #NVCLreadsDystopia

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandelstation eleven

I absolutely LOVED this book.

Station Eleven asks a question that most dystopian novels miss: how do the survivors of a worldwide epidemic learn to enjoy life after they’ve learned how to survive? What happens to art when 99.9% of the world is dead? Emily St.John Mandel weaves convincing characters together with the most intriguing elements – Shakespearean theatre, a traveling symphony, cults, kidnappings, a very fluffy puppy, secret poets, sci-fi comic books, the life of the rich and famous, and the life of a paparazzo. Station Eleven is one of those books that sits in your mind, begging for attention, long after it’s over. (From the publisher).

The Handmaids Tale and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
handmaidstales

Although it was originally published in 1985, as mentioned earlier The Handmaids Tale is likely the best known piece of Canadian dystopian fiction today. Set in a near-future totalitarian England, the Republic of Gilead,  the novel explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain individualism and independence.

If you’ve had enough of Gilead, Margaret Atwood has plenty to offer for those interested in imagining just how bad things could get.

As the first book in the dystopic trilogy, and soon to be it’s very own HBO series, no Canadian dystopic list would be complete without Margaret Atwood’s riveting novel Oryx and Crake. 

When the story opens, the narrator Snowman is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes – into his own past, and back to Crake’s high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief. (From the publisher).

Neuromancer by William Gibson neuromancer

Neuromancer was  the first novel to win the Nebula, Huge and Philip K. Dick Award–an unprecedented achievement which thereby legitimized cyberpunk as a mainstream branch of science fiction literature. Set within the Matrix, a world within the world and global consensus- hallucination, Neuromancer follows the story of Henry Case. Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction. (From the publisher).

 

Company Town by Madeline Ashby

companytown

New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.

Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig—making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa’s front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be—but now, the danger is personal. (From the publisher).

 

Nostalgia by M.G. Vassanji  nostalgia

For fans of the HBO series Westworld, comes a taut and thought-provoking novel about the personal identity and the power of one’s past.

In the indeterminate future in an unnamed western city, physical impediments to immortality have been overcome. As society approaches the prospect of eternal life, a new problem must be confronted: with the threat of the brain’s storage capacity being overwhelmed, people want to move forward into the future free from redundant, unwanted and interfering memories. Rejuvenated bodies require rejuvenated identities–all traces of a person’s past are erased and new, complete fictions are implanted in their stead. On occasion, though, cracks emerge, and reminders of discarded lives seep through. Those afflicted suffer from Leaked Memory Syndrome, or Nostalgia, whereby thoughts from a previous existence burrow in the conscious mind threatening to pull sufferers into an internal abyss.

Doctor Frank Sina specializes in sealing these memory leaks. He is satisfied in his profession, more or less secure in the life he shares with his much younger lover, content with his own fiction–a happy childhood in the Yukon, an adulthood marked by the influence of a mathematician father and poet mother. But one day, Presley Smith arrives in Frank’s office. Persistent thoughts are torturing Presley, recurring images of another time and place. As he tries to save Presley from the onslaught of memory, Frank finds clues that suggest Presley’s past may be located in war-torn, nuclear-ravaged Maskinia, a territory located in the southern hemisphere, isolated from the north by fiercely guarded borders and policy barriers. Frank’s suspicions are only intensified when the Department of Internal Security takes an interest in Presley. They describe him as one of their own, meaning his new life was one they created for him, and they want him back. Who was Presley before the Department remade him, what secrets are buried in the memories that are encroaching upon him? As Frank tries to save Presley from both internal and external threats, cracks emerge in his own fiction, and the thoughts that sneak through suggest a connection with the mysterious Presley that goes well beyond a doctor and his patient. (From the publisher).

 

NVCL Reads: Canada 150

Canada150Want to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, expand your experience of Canadian literature, have fun, and maybe win a prize?  Then NVCL Reads: Canada 150 is for you!

NVCL Reads is a reading bingo game that allows readers of all ages on the North Shore to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by reading Canadian authors and having fun.

How to Play

  • We have three bingo cards to choose from: children’s, teen, and adult.  Download the card of your choice, or pick up a bingo card from any information desk at the library.
  • Find and read books by Canadian authors to cross off bingo squares. You need a line of 5 to get a bingo.
  • Share the love!  Post about your reads on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to tag us @northvancitylib and use the hashtag #NVCLreads
  • When you have a bingo, let us know!  Come into the library and hand the bingo card in at any desk to get a draw slip, or submit the bingo card electronically. Please visit www.nvcl.ca to find out how.
  • For each line of five you complete, you’ll be entered into a draw for prizes.  The contest closes on September 5, 2017.  Winners must be able to pick their prizes up from the North Vancouver City Library; we are not able to mail your prize to you.

For full contest details, visit our website.

We’ll be blogging suggested reads for each square all summer long.  If you have questions about the program, please email plesku@cnv.org

Happy Canadian reading!

 

-Patricia

Wedding Season Survival Guide

cheers

Up until recently I didn’t really realize that “wedding season” is a thing. Then my late-twenties arrived. Gone are the halcyon days of impromptu weekend summer getaways in favor of  a regimented event schedule filled with uncomfortable footwear,  bubbly, and hopefully some earnest romance.

Some people claim to love wedding season, others claim to hate it–although I suspect most find themselves somewhere in the middle.  Regardless of where you stand in the nuptial spectrum, as Jen Doll, author of   Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest states in her article for Flavour Wire , “weddings make for great scenes, unforgettable moments of high expectation, emotion, and drama — in fiction as well as in nonfiction.” Whether you’re tying the knot, or deciding on how to fill that plus-one RSVP, consider this a survival guide full of practical tips, and literary inspiration.

Tips and Tricks

The Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook worstcasewedding

by Joshua Piven

Not to be a pessimist, but really who knew that so much could go wrong on such a happy day? This  step-by-step instruction guide is designed to help the bride and groom–and everyone else–survive the nuptials, from trimming the guest list all the way through to re-purposing unwanted presents. This manual teaches how to charm nightmare in-laws,  combat floral allergies, stop a disastrous toast, and enjoy the day.

Pocket Guide to Wedding Speeches & Toasts by Darren Noel pocketguidewedding.jpg

I’m one of those people who thinks that they’re skilled at public-speaking, until of course I actually step up to the mic.  Thankfully, the library has several copies of how-to manuals and guides to help sweaty-palmed orators float from our seats to the podium and back with some semblance of poise, and hopefully at least one laugh (or tear)  from the audience.

 

weddingetiquette.jpgThe Everything Wedding Etiquette Book; From Invites to Thank-you Notes–all You Need to Handle Even the Stickiest Situations With Ease by Holly Lefevre 

I think that one of the biggest sources of wedding-related anxiety results from the complex, awkward, and often contentious interrelationships that develop when two independent people and their associated families, friends, and distant cousins are brought together under one roof, fed a pile of alcohol and told to get along.   Alas, this guide is designed to help wedding planners navigate the art of seating charts, thank-you cards, and tricky in-law dramas with ease.

 

Literature for for the hopeless romantics….

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead seatingarrangements.jpg

A romantic comedy set over three days of a WASP-y wedding on an island off the coast of New England, this novel allows the complex interrelationships to fully blossom into hilarious, preppy depravity.  A social satire which explores themes of status, family, love and its obligations, this novel is a perfect precursor to the upcoming wedding in your calendar.

prideandpredPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

From the classic opening line, “it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”,  Austen sets the tone for this classic novel which cements advantageous marriage as a fundamental social value, and the central ambition for its main characters. Even a cynic like me was swept up in  this genteel turn-of-the-century story.

 

The Princess Bride   By William Goldman princessbride

“Mawidge, it’s a dweam wiffin a dweam” Enough said.

(P.S. The audiobook version narrated by Rob Reiner is particularly hilarious)

 

Literature for the wedding-tolerant….

janeeyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Sure, they may get married in the end…however, with Mr. Briggs’ interruption “I declare the existence of an impediment,” readers everywhere were forever doomed to wince upon hearing the words “speak now or forever hold your peace”.  This broody classic is arguably the ultimate botched-wedding.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  greatexpec

As Jen Doll states,  “is there a more tragic and memorable jilted at the altar figure than poor, dear Miss Havisham? ” Twenty minutes before her wedding is set commence, she gets a letter from her betrothed,  Compeyson, who has defrauded her and won’t be showing up. Thus begins the rest of her life, frozen in time as a hermit in her spoiling mansion, wearing her wedding dress and one shoe, and her wedding cake left uneaten on the table.  Yeesh.

 

 

If all else fails, there’s also this awesome Wedding Season Bingo game card  from Swimmingly which is worth a good giggle.

wedding season bingo

(image source: http://www.swimmingly.com/relationships/weddings/keep-track-of-all-the-hottest-wedding-trends-with-summer-wedding-bingo/)

 

Cheers!

-Mikale

Ready to Read? Prepping for this year’s North Shore Writer’s Festival

 

Just over one month to go before the annual North Shore Writer’s Festival takes off at the District of North Vancouver’s beautiful Lynn Valley Branch. As you may know, the North Shore Writers Festival is a celebration of Canadian authors brought to you by your North Shore public libraries – North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District and West Vancouver Memorial – as well as by the North Shore News.

NVCL Splash Page

The festival kicks off on Friday, April 15th with a highly competitive Literary Trivia contest, hosted by the hilarious, “gregarious and encyclopedic” Grant Lawrence. If you are interested in joining this fierce battle of literary wits please email nswftrivia@gmail.com ASAP to secure your spot!

Then on Saturday April 16th we have a variety of activities to delight the literary-inclined including an information session on “How to Become a Successful Indie Author” hosted local author and Amazon bestselling author of five novels  Martin Crosbie. In addition, the festival will also feature a local-author book fair, Literary Fortune Teller, and a Writer-Reader Reception.

However, when all  is said and done what I’m looking forward to most is la pièce de résistance: this year’s incredible line-up of author readings! In the past we’ve had authors such as John Valliant, Elizabeth Hay and Lawrence Hill share and discuss their craft, and this year is no exception. This year we are grateful to have award-winning cartoonist Lynn Johnston, poet and performer Jordan Abel, and author Camilla Gibb join us. For more on the schedule, click here.

In celebration of this biblio-extravaganza, I’ve put together a little wrap-up about each of our guest speakers and their selected works. Stop by the library and pick up a copy of their books today!

Lynn Johnston Lynn Johnston

Known best for her beloved series ‘For Better Or For Worse”, the brilliant newspaper comic strip which chronicles the domestic lives of the Patterson family in real-time, Lynn Johnston will speak about her career and retirement adventures here on the North Shore. Growing up, I remember my mum giggling over the Saturday paper, then cutting and pasting various strips to the fridge in delight. Of course I was always most interested in the various adventures of Farley, the family dog.

Jordan Abel

Jordan_Abel

I first heard about Jordan Abel’s work when he was highlighted as one of CBC’s “Writers to Watch in 2015.” As a  Nisga’a writer and poet from Vancouver who created some truly innovative and genius work examining historical texts about indigenous life, and then re-working and thereby re-contextualizing their meaning. His latest work , ‘Un/inhabited’ draws from 91 Western novels that total over 10,000 pages of source text and explores “the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land.” For more about Abel’s work and process, check out his interview with Event Magazine here. 

 

Camilla Gibb

Known best for her four acclaimed novels, including the bestseller ‘Sweetness ithis is happyn the Belly’  Camilla joins memoirist JJ Lee in a conversation titled “The Art of Turning Personal Stories into Universal Truths” where they will discuss writing life, and her motivations for writing her critically acclaimed new memoir ‘This is Happy’ (currently on my nightstand….stay tuned!). Having completed an undergrad degree in Creative Non-Fiction, I’ve always been a huge fan of memoirs and have heard nothing but good reviews about this poignant, devastating and yet ultimately uplifting book. For more about Camilla’s story, check out this interview she did with the Globe and Mail last year. 

 

 

 

Happy reading and I hope to see you at the Festival!!

-Mikale

Brain Books!

Given the popularity of Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain’s Way of Healing and the current interest in neuroplasticity, it is plain that neuroscience is a hot topic just now. Here are a few additional non-intimidating titles that will inspire and fascinate.

TaleDuelingNeurosurgeonsThe Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, by Sam Kean

Popular science at its best. Historically, brain research consisted of waiting for a traumatic event, and then observing the patient’s strange shifts in personality, focus, and interests. Kean’s book is chock full of fascinating anecdotes which he uses to illustrate the development of modern neurology. It’s an entertaining, compelling, and educational read.

My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte TaylorStrokeOfInsight

This is the astonishing journey of a brain scientist who suffers a stroke. Because of her neurological training, she is able to identify and articulate the different brain functions affected as the trauma progresses. What’s more, her observations will make you think about issues ranging from spiritual insight, to childhood perceptions. Fascinating.

AutisticBrainThe Autistic Brain, by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Reporting from the forefront of autism science, the irrepressible Temple Grandin weaves together her own experiences with new discoveries from neuroimaging and genetic science. She advocates for a strength based approach to treatment, focusing on what kids on the spectrum can do, rather than on their weaknesses. This is a human and enlightening narrative about a condition the author knows from the inside.

A Leg to Stand On, by Oliver SacksLegToStandOn

What list of popular brain books would be complete without something by the late Oliver Sacks? In this extraordinary book, Sacks relates his own experience with the mysteries of neurology. After a hiking accident, Sack’s recuperation is complicated when he finds that his injured leg no longer feels like it is part of his body. A remarkable narrative told with signature Sacksian humour, curiosity, humanity, and wonder.

ConcussionConcussion, by Jeanne Marie Laskas

When an immigrant doctor performed an autopsy on “Iron Mike,” a hall of fame football player, he didn’t expect to become the target of the powerful and moneyed National Football League. But his research revealed that Mike’s mental deterioration and death were the result of repeated blows to the head from years of playing football – research the NFL did everything in its power to discredit and suppress. Recently made into a film starring Will Smith.

The Future of the Mind, by Michio KakuFutureOfMind

Smart pills that enhance cognition; uploading a brain to a computer; recording memories; the ability to control computers with our minds – these are some of the ideas Kaku floats in this tour of what our neurological future might hold. Written by a theoretical physicist, this book provides a captivating look at the amazing research currently being done in the field of neuroscience.

Enjoy!