The End of Mr. Y – Scarlett Thomas
“If you knew this book was cursed, would you read it?
When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second hand bookstore, she can’t believe her eyes. Copies are exceedingly rare, and everyone who has ever read it – including its author, Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas – has disappeared. Ariel can’t resist the promise in the book’s history and its pages, and so steps into a thrilling adventure of time, space, love, death, and everything in between.”
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
“In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story.
The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic.
Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway – a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.”
Multiplicity - Rita Carter
“In this interpretation of the many selves within the human mind, science and medical writer Carter (Mapping the Mind) offers a unique definition of multiple personalities in a functioning person, without the usual discussion of phobias or other psychological disorder. Carter sees personality as a cluster of related traits; for instance, ambition and related traits like drive and impatience could be one personality that would coexist with other personalities in one individual. She describes, for instance, a passive mother of two transforming into a powerful attorney in a high-powered firm; this mental shape-shifting leads the mother to display contradictory character traits at home, at work and at play. Contrasting what the author calls minor and major personality traits in thought and behavior, Carter explains: Our inner landscape is constantly changing. Various personalities form, change, fade away, reform, merge, shrink and grow. She adds intriguing diagrams of memory and recall patterns illustrating how people behave differently in different situations. Exercises provided in the second part of the book encourage the reader’s family and work personalities to interact and communicate positively with each other. Carter is pushing the envelope on personality, and her book should spark debate on the flexibility of the human mind.”
Our Tragic Universe - Scarlett Thomas
“Can a story save your life?
Meg Carpenter is broke. Her novel is years overdue. Her cell phone is out of minutes. And her moody boyfriend’s only contribution to the household is his sour attitude. So she jumps at the chance to review a pseudoscientific book that promises life everlasting.
But who wants to live forever?
Consulting cosmology and physics, tarot cards, koans (and riddles and jokes), new-age theories of everything, narrative theory, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, and knitting patterns, Meg wends her way throughOur Tragic Universe, asking this and many other questions. Does she believe in fairies? In magic? Is she a superbeing? Is she living a storyless story? And what’s the connection between her off-hand suggestion to push a car into a river, a ship in a bottle, a mysterious beast loose on the moor, and the controversial author of The Science of Living Forever?
Smart, entrancing, and boiling over with Thomas’s trademark big ideas, Our Tragic Universe is a book about how relationships are created and destroyed, how we can rewrite our futures (if not our histories), and how stories just might save our lives.”