Dublin, 1918: three days in a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu. A small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, by the bestselling author of The Wonder and ROOM.
In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders — Doctor Kathleen Lynn, on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.
In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.
In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.
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Air Salt re/writes trauma and recovery in a fully-formed debut collection from a writer to watch.
Ian Kinney fell seven stories, and he survived. In Air Salt, Kinney (un)writes his hospitalization and recovery, using poetry as neuro-rehabilitation. A memoir written by an amnesiac, this collection stitches splintered narratives with projective verse, cutting up and reassembling found text from Get Well Soon Cards, emails between friends, excerpts from personal journals, written records of eye witnesses, the police and EMS reports, relevant Real Estate listings, nurses’ charts, doctors’ notes, hospital brochures, and Kinney’s Neuropsychological Assessment: all increasingly recombinant, all increasingly in chorus. Kinney re-sorts the writing to etch in itself a more essential expression, Air Salt.
A challenging, prototypic piece of post-traumatic writing, Air Salt accommodates narrative discord and juxtaposes heterogenous voices. It reflects the lived experience of trauma, continually (re)arranging distorted phrases, interrogating and (re)forming itself, and (re)fusing to compromise. Air Salt reintegrates a shattered body of local narratives and presses on.
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From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology.
We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?
Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.
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Recommended by Leanne Shapton
From one of the undisputed masters of world literature, a haunting novel of sublime ambition and power about a man whose fragmentary memories of a lost childhood lead him on a quest across Europe in search of his heritage.
Jacques Austerlitz is a survivor – rescued as a child from the Nazi threat. In the summer of 1939 he arrives in Wales to live with a Methodist minister and his wife. As he grows up, they tell him nothing of his origins, and he reaches adulthood with no understanding of where he came from. Late in life, a sudden memory brings him the first glimpse of his origins, launching him on a journey into a family history that has been buried.
Bob Wiseman believes most things in life are universal or, as Lauryn Hill says, everything is everything. Bearing in mind that advice, Wiseman writes about finding the link between music and daily life, like what is common between Mary Margaret O’Hara, hiding around the corner with the lights turned off in order to record herself and his 5-year-old insisting he stop hurrying to her dance lesson and marvel at the fluff ball she is blowing toward the ceiling. Each entry is unique and compellingly written, but the themes throughout — on improvisational music, life lessons, and conflict — are ubiquitous.
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