Related to: 'Bioethics: All That Matters'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

John Murray

Rise and Kill First

Ronen Bergman
Authors:
Ronen Bergman

The Talmud says: "If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first." This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel's DNA. From the very beginning of its statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services, and there is one weapon in their vast arsenal that they have relied upon to thwart the most serious threats: Targeted assassinations have been used countless times, on enemies large and small, sometimes in response to attacks against the Israeli people and sometimes preemptively. In this page-turning, eye-opening book, journalist and military analyst Ronen Bergman-praised by David Remnick as "arguably [Israel's] best investigative reporter"-offers a riveting inside account of the targeted killing programs: their successes, their failures, and the moral and political price exacted on the men and women who approved and carried out the missions. Built from interviews with Israeli Prime Ministers as well as high-level figures in Mossad, and the country's military and intelligence services - Rise and Kill First includes never-before-reported, behind-the-curtain accounts of key operations, and based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews and thousands of previously unseen files. Bergman traces, from statehood to the present, the gripping events and thorny ethical questions underlying Israel's targeted killing campaign, which has shaped the Israeli nation, the Middle East, and the entire world.

Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

As well as being a prize-winning, bestselling novelist, Siri Hustvedt is widely regarded as a leading thinker in the fields of neurology, feminism, art criticism and philosophy. She believes passionately that art and science are too often kept separate and that conversations across disciplines are vital to increasing our knowledge of the human mind and body, how they connect and how we think, feel and see. The essays in this volume - all written between 2011 and 2015 - are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt's customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.(P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

Teach Yourself

Shakespeare: A Complete Introduction

Michael Scott
Authors:
Michael Scott
John Murray Learning

The Meaning of Life: All That Matters

James Garvey
Authors:
James Garvey

Perfectly respectable philosophical discussions can look ridiculous compared to questions about the point and purpose of life. Until we have an answer to the ultimate question, both philosphical debates and those ordinary questions that make up everyday life, are just games. The Meaning of Life: All That Matters will help you make sense of the confusion. Starting by questioning the question and looking at the views of great philosophers on life's meaning, James Garvey embarks on a thrilling journey through Augustinian belief in God's Plan, other, non-Western gods and religious answers, absurdity, nihilism, optimistic naturalism, what science has to say, the meaning of death and finally immortality. You may not find the answer within these pages, but at least by the end you'll have a better understanding of the question.

Teach Yourself

Plato: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself

Roy Jackson
Authors:
Roy Jackson

Written by Dr Roy Jackson, who Senior Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, Plato: A Complete Introduction is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key books, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam.The book uses a structure that mirrors the way Plato is taught on many university courses, with chapters including: the pre-socratics; Socrates; who was Plato?; can virtue be taught?; piety; the philosophical life; obeying the law of Athens; the Soul; knowledge as recollection; the forms; Plato's state; education and morality; Plato and art; the Later Period; Aristotle, Plato's great pupil; Neoplatonism; Plato and religion; Plato's legacy.

Teach Yourself

Anatomy & Physiology: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself

David Le Vay
Authors:
David Le Vay

Anatomy & Physiology: A Complete Introduction is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear, jargon-free English and providing added-value features like summaries of key books and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam.The book uses a structure that mirrors the way anatomy & physiology is taught on many university courses, providing a comprehensive introduction to the structure and function of the human body. Extensively illustrated, the book also covers modern methods of investigation, relevant aspects of modern genetics, sports injuries, environmental and evolutionary considerations, and the physiological aspects of AIDS. Topics covered include: cells and tissues; the skeleton; muscle; body coverings and body systems; the upper limb; the lower limb; the abdomen; the thorax; the head and neck; basic biophysics and chemistry; foodstuffs and vitamins; digestion; absorption, utilization and storage of digested food; blood, lymph and reticuloendothelial (immune) system; the heart and circulation; respiration; excretion; nervous system and sense organs; the endocrine system; reproduction and development; environmental considerations; evolution.Anatomy & Physiology employs the 'Breakthrough Method' to help you advance quickly at any subject, whether you're studing for an exam or just for your own interst. The Breakthrough Method is designed to overcome typical problems you'll face as learn new concepts and skills.- Problem: "I find it difficult to remember what I've read."; Solution: this book includes end-of-chapter summaries and questions to test your understanding.- Problem: "Lots of introductory books turn out to cover totally different topics than my course."; Solution: this book is written by a university lecturer who understands what students are expected to know.

John Murray Learning

Leadership Genius

Rus Slater
Authors:
Rus Slater
John Murray Learning

Presentation Genius

Simon Raybould
Authors:
Simon Raybould

The fast-track MBA in presentingImagine having instant access to the world's smartest thinking on presentations - and being shown exactly what to do to guarantee that you get your own presentations right, every time. Presentation Genius makes it easy to apply what researchers know about brilliant presentations to the real world. 40 chapters based on hundreds of cutting-edge business and psychology research projects reveal what works and what doesn't work when you're presenting. Each of the 40 chapters is a mini-masterclass in presentations, explaining the research and showing you how to apply it next time you present.In business, conventional wisdom often says one thing while research says another. Presentation Genius cuts through the noise to bring you proven research and techniques for applying it that will simply make you a better presenter.Quick to read and intensely practical, this book will bring a little presentation genius into your day.'This book will make you a better presenter' Paul McGee - The Sumo Guy. International speaker and bestselling author'What a great little book! There is something here for everyone. Experts will find new ideas (and some science) to test and polish their performances; novices will get a flying start with a whole range of presentation skills, which the rest of us had to learn by trial and error' Peter Judge, MBE, Attorney General of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands'An invaluable aid to anyone who wants to be sure to get information of any type across to audiences of all sizes' Dr Joanna Berry, Director of External Relations at Newcastle University Business School

Hodder & Stoughton

Existentialism: All That Matters

David Cerbone
Authors:
David Cerbone

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL?That is the question at the heart of existentialism and it informs this book's exploration of the existentialist tradition in 19th and 20th century philosophy.Existentialism: All That Matters considers each of the key figures - Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir - who all offer related, though distinct, conceptions of the task of becoming an individual.David Cerbone's book gives a fascinating introduction to existentialism and what matters most about it. ABOUT THE SERIESAll That Matters books are written by the world's leading experts to introduce the most exciting and relevant topics in an accessible, readable way. From Bioethics to Future Cities and Philosophy to Terrorism, the All That Matters series covers controversial and engaging subjects from science, philosophy, history, religion and politics. The authors are world-class academics or leading public intellectuals, on a mission to bring the most interesting and challenging areas of their subject to new readers.

Hodder & Stoughton

Not in God's Name

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks

Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges those who claim that religion is intrinsically a cause of violence, and argues that theology must become part of the solution if it is not to remain at the heart of the problem.This book is a rebuke to all those who kill in the name of the God of life, wage war in the name of the God of peace, hate in the name of the God of love, and practise cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.For the sake of humanity and the free world, the time has come for people of all faiths and none to stand together and declare: Not In God's Name.

Hodder & Stoughton

Buddhism: All That Matters

Pascale Engelmajer
Authors:
Pascale Engelmajer

In Buddhism: All That Matters, Dr Engelmajer gives us a glimpse of what being a Buddhist in today's world entails, and how this links back to the historical and doctrinal development of the many Buddhist traditions extant today.The narrative follows the religious lives of four fictional characters, representative of four Buddhist traditions (Theravada, Chinese Pure Land, Japanese Zen and Tibetan) in their daily lives, describing what being a Buddhist today entails: religious and devotional practices, dietary requirements, ethical principles, and religious and philosophical beliefs. Grounded in the latest scholarship, this book offers a live picture of Buddhism as it is: a variety of practices and beliefs that stem from common doctrines and have developed in many ways across time and space.This accessible and concise book will appeal to both students and general readers, giving a fascinating introduction book will appeal to both students and general readers, giving a fascinating introduction.

Hodder & Stoughton

Euthanasia: All That Matters

Richard Huxtable
Authors:
Richard Huxtable
Two Roads

Eleven Days

Lea Carpenter
Authors:
Lea Carpenter

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2014'SUPERB' - SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE, LONDON EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2013'EXTRAORDINARY' - KEVIN POWERS, AUTHOR OF THE YELLOW BIRDS'THINK HOMELAND IN FICTION FORM...' - RED'AN EXTRAORDINARILY GIFTED WRITER' - MICHIKO KAKUTANI, NEW YORK TIMESEleven Days is, at its heart, the story of a mother and a son.It begins in May 2011: Sara's son Jason has been missing for nine days in the aftermath of a special operations forces mission. Out of devotion to him, Sara has made herself knowledgeable about things military, but she knows nothing more about her son's disappearance than the press corps camped out in her driveway. In a series of flashbacks we learn about Jason's absentee father - a man who died, according to "insiders," helping to make the country safer - and Jason's decision to join the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis after 9/11 and enter into the toughest military training in the world: for the U.S. Naval Special Warfare's Navy SEAL Teams. Through letters Jason wrote his mother while training, we see him becoming a strong, compassionate leader. But his fate will be determined by events that fall outside the sphere of his training, and far outside the strong embrace of his mother's love. As well as a touching picture of the bond between a mother and a son this is a unique look into the training, history and culture of one of the world's elite forces. Page-turning and haunting, this is an astonishing debut which questions the very nature of sacrifice and love.

Coronet

The Science Delusion

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake

The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The sciences would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun.According to the dogmas of science, all reality is material or physical. The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls.But should science be a belief-system, or a method of enquiry? Sheldrake shows that the materialist ideology is moribund; under its sway, increasingly expensive research is reaping diminishing returns.In the skeptical spirit of true science, Sheldrake turns the ten fundamental dogmas of materialism into exciting questions, and shows how all of them open up startling new possibilities.The Science Delusion will radically change your view of what is possible. and give you new hope for the world.

Teach Yourself

Understand Existentialism: Teach Yourself

Mel Thompson, Nigel Rodgers
Authors:
Mel Thompson, Nigel Rodgers
Hodder & Stoughton

Ancestor

Scott Sigler
Authors:
Scott Sigler

Scott Sigler is the voice in modern horror - and ANCESTOR is the book that will have you checking under the bed... and starting at every bump in the night.Cancer. Obesity. The flu. Old age. They can all kill you - and modern medical science hasn't ever found a cure.Until today. On a remote island in the Great Lakes, an unusual group of scientists are using extinct DNA to create the perfect organ donor. It could save millions of lives and win Dr Claus Rhumkorrf the Nobel Prize he craves.The donor animal is genetically the ancestor of all species on the planet - but Nature wiped it out two hundred million years ago. Rhumkorrf and his team are about to find out why.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Selfless Gene

Charles Foster
Authors:
Charles Foster

In THE SELFLESS GENE, Charles Foster assesses the claims of Neo-Darwinists and Young Earth Creationists, demonstrating that orthodox Christianity is not incompatible with what evolutionary biology says about our world. The real issue, he argues, centres around the ethical implications of natural selection, and what such a system - based on selfishness, waste and death - might say about the loving creator God of the Christian faith. Intelligent, provocative and accessible, THE SELFLESS GENE offers the prospect of a reasoned dialogue between faith and scientific study, and a reconciliation of what are popularly seen as two opposing worldviews.

Sceptre

I AM, THEREFORE I THINK: Philosophers Answer Your Questions About Love, Nothingness and Everything Else ...

Alexander George
Authors:
Alexander George

What is like to be another person? Why is stupidity not painful? Is it possible for a human ever to do a selfless act? Do chimpanzees really enjoy eating bananas? How can an exception ever prove a rule? Everyone confronts philosophical issues, so why shouldn't everyone have access to a philosopher? In this wise and witty book, forty philosophers from universities around the world answer real readers' most difficult questions. They address dilemmas and queries on every subject, from adultery and the afterlife, to ethics and existentialism, God, sex, suicide and war. They even address the question, 'Why can't philosophers agree?' This is an entertaining and jargon-free exploration of the philosophy of everyday life.

Reading Group Guide

AUTHENTIC: RELATIONSHIPS FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Sarah Abell

Reading group questions intended as a guide for anyone wishing to go through AUTHENTIC: RELATIONSHIPS FROM THE INSIDE OUT by Sarah Abell as a group.

Chapter One: The House of Punk Sleep

WIDE AWAKE, by Patricia Morrisroe

Read an excerpt of the first chapter of Patricia Morrisroe's brilliant memoir about insomnia, WIDE AWAKE.