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Nominations for our Nov. & Dec. '04 book selection

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 8:13 am
by Chris OConnor
This thread is for making nominations for our November & December 2004 book selection. Please, please, please include an explanation for why you think your suggestion would be ideal for a BookTalk selection. Do not just post a book title. You'll greatly enhance the chances of seeing your suggestion on the next poll if you put some effort into selling us on your book.You can simply copy and paste a description of the book from if you like. You don't have to type an essay as to why the book is so wonderful. Just do something to educate us on what the book is about. Please limit your suggestions to a handful at best. Thanks! "For Every Winner, There Are Dozens Of Losers. Odds Are You're One Of Them"

Re: Nominations for our Nov. & Dec. '04 book selection

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:14 pm
by Chris OConnor
We really need some nominations folks.Chris "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella


Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:02 pm
by tarav
I am nominating Next of Kin, by Roger Fouts. Reading this book affected me greatly. There are four quotes from the following reviews, that I think will peak the interest of booktalk members.1. "What Fouts has learned from chimpanzees is that Descartes was wrong."2. "You cannot read this book and stay neutral."3. "Next of Kin is more than a book about the theory and practice of science."4. "A voyage of scientific discovery and interspecies communication, this is a stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion that will change forever the way we view our biological--and spritual--next of kin."Editorial ReviewsAmazon.comFor three decades, primatologist Roger Fouts has been involved in language studies of the chimpanzee, the animal most closely related to human beings. Among his subjects was the renowned Washoe, who was "endowed with a powerful need to learn and communicate," and who developed an extraordinary vocabulary in American sign language. Another chimpanzee, Fouts writes, "never made a grammatical error," which turned a whole school of linguistic theory upside down. While reporting these successes, Fouts also notes that chimpanzees are regularly abused in laboratory settings and that in the wild their number has fallen from 5,000,000 to fewer than 175,000 in the last century.Product Description:For 30 years Roger Fouts has pioneered communication with chimpanzees through sign language--beginning with a mischievous baby chimp named Washoe. This remarkable book describes Fout's odyssey from novice researcher to celebrity scientist to impassioned crusader for the rights of animals. Living and conversing with these sensitive creatures has given him a profound appreciation of what they can teach us about ourselves. It has also made Fouts an outspoken opponent of biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees. A voyage of scientific discovery and interspecies communication, this is a stirring tale of friendship, courage, and compassion that will change forever the way we view our biological--and spritual--next of kin.Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Richard Wrangham... Next of Kin is more than a book about the theory and practice of science. It's a love story.... Scientists aren't supposed to have their objectivity ruined by emotional involvement. But Next of Kin shows that the ape experiments that fail are those that forbid human sympathy for their subjects. For Fouts, chimpanzee and human minds are fundamentally alike, so it makes sense to care deeply about one's chimpanzee subjects. What Fouts has learned from chimpanzees is that Descartes was wrong. Other animals do have minds. The reason chimpanzees are should be greater. That argument isn't new, but in Next of Kin, it is based on an unparalleled depth of understanding and on a uniquely personal involvement in the battles over congressional legislation and laboratory management. You cannot read this book and stay neutral.

Re: nomination

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:31 am
by amd2003
I will read this, if this book is selected. I have read the book Nim, Herbert Terrace's failed attempt to teach a chimpanzee ASL. The chimp's full name was Nim Chimpsky :-) Edited by: amd2003 at: 10/7/04 12:35 pm


Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:59 pm
by pctacitus
If I thought that there might be a short book dealing with a problem all of us have, namely that there are so many books that we don't have time to read them all, I would have to nominate it. Lo and behold, there is one. As such, I must nominate:So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance by Gabriel Publishers Weekly"The human race publishes a book every thirty seconds," writes Mexican author and consultant Zaid. How can the average reader keep up with even a fraction of the latest new releases, let alone the multitude of classics stretching all the way back to Homer and Plato? The prospect is daunting to even the greatest bibliophile; furthermore, Zaid argues, people seem more interested in writing books than reading them (a recent survey shows 81% of Americans feel they should write a book). Though frustrated by this state of affairs, Zaid takes a philosophical perspective on the state of book publishing today, claiming that the industry doesn't always recognize one of its greatest strengths: its overwhelming diversity. In the publishing industry, a book that appeals to just a few thousand readers stands a good chance of getting published, whereas the commercial film industry and other mass media must function almost exclusively on a mega-budget scale. He celebrates the small printings that appeal to segmented clienteles, specialized niches, and members of different clubs of enthusiasts because "just a few thousand copies, read by the right people, are enough to change the course of conversation, the boundaries of literature, and our intellectual life." Not a groundbreaking book, but an appealing, meditative collection of thoughts and observations on the book industry and the state of literature in the early 21st century.Anne Fadiman, author of Ex Libris"[H]ow can the twenty-first-century reader keep his head above water? Gabriel Zaid answers that question in surprising [and witty] ways." About the AuthorGabriel Zaid is a poet and essayist, and the founder and manager of a consulting firm in Mexico City. His literary work, social and cultural criticism, and business writings have been widely published throughout the Spanish-speaking world. He is a member of El Colegio Nacional and the Mexican Academy of Spanish Language. He lives in Mexico City with the artist Basia Batorska, her paintings, three cats, and ten thousand books.