There is something about a non-fiction book that challenges people to change, to reflect upon their lives, to explore new worlds...

'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries-- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise-- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.

The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds-- from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome-- unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children .

Book Club Choices: November 2011

Has your book group considered reading a book and watching the movie?

The good earth [videodisc] by A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Picture

The good earth [kit] by Pearl S. Buck; introduced and edited by Peter Conn

To kill a mockingbird [kit] by Harper Lee

To kill a mockingbird [videodisc] by a Universal International presentation of a Pakula-Mulligan, Brentwood Productions picture

The kite runner [kit] by Khaled Hosseini

Lest We Forget Movies for Memorial Day

Memorial Day was established in 1868 following the end of the American Civil War as General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters:

II. It is the purpose of the Commander in Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

Over the past two centuries, wars continue to be fought, and Hollywood has immortalized them on film:

Gettysburg [videodisc] by Turner Pictures presents a Mace /Neufeld/Robert Rehme presentation of an Esparza/Katz production ; a film by Ronald F. Maxwell ; screenplay by Ronald F. Maxwell ; produced by Robert Katz, Moctesuma Esparza ; directed by Ronald F. Maxwell

Johnny got his gun [videodisc] by Roxbury Entertainment ; Arch Oboler Productions

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