Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nevermore: Lone Wolf, Glock, Hare With Amber Eyes, and That's Disgusting!

Lone Wolf was the top fiction pick at the Nevermore Book Club.  The new novel by Jodi Picoult follows her successful formula of using a family drama to illustrate a contemporary moral dilemma.  In this case, a young man who left his family years ago is called back when his domineering father is involved in a devastating car wreck. Luke, the father, was obsessed with studying wolf behavior to the point where it broke up the family; now his two children are left to wrestle with whether or not to continue life support. 
A real life family drama is told through an art collection in The Hare with the Amber Eyes.  When Edmund de Waal inherited a collection of Japanese netsuke, including the hare of the title, he begins to trace the history of the objects and in so doing, discovers a great deal about his family’s past as a wealthy Jewish family in Western Europe. They interacted with artists, writers, and the cream of society during this amazing period of intellectual achievement. It came to a crashing halt with the rise of the Nazis. Family members were imprisoned or fled, their homes and property confiscated. 
Glock:  The Rise of America’s Gun by Paul M. Barrett recounts the fascinating history of the Austrian semi-automatic revolver which seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the most recognizable firearm brands.  Gaston Glock knew very little about firearms when he set out to design one as part of a competition.  His expertise was in polymers, which he used to construct the lightweight gun. A combination of events, from the movie “Die Hard 2” which featured the gun, to the FBI’s search for a new weapon for their agents, conspired to make the Glock a global weapon of choice.
According to Rachel Herz, only one emotion needs to be taught:  disgust.  In her book That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion, Herz tries to determine the source of the emotion. Things that are repulsive to one culture may be perfectly acceptable to another, such as drinking animal blood. Even within a culture, acceptability may change with time. Using an outhouse or butchering a pig would have been a common occurrence just a few decades ago; now many people would find the same actions to be – well, disgusting.  What has wrought such a change?  And how do these changes affect our society and us as individuals?
The New Republic is the latest novel from Lionel Shriver, author of the intense novel What Shall We Do About Kevin?  This one is described as “a droll, playful novel” but the topic is terrorism.  Are we ready for a funny novel about terrorists? We await reviews!

Bristol Public Library's Nevermore Book Club meets at  Main every Tuesday at 11:00 AM.  Doughnuts are provided by The Blackbird Bakery--'nuff said!

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