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

'A gripping investigation of Israel's assassination policy' Sunday Times'Remarkable' Observer'Riveting' Daily Mail'Compelling' John le CarréShortlisted for the Airey Neave Memorial Book PrizeThe 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

The Art of the Good Life

Rolf Dobelli
Authors:
Rolf Dobelli
Sceptre

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women

Siri Hustvedt
Authors:
Siri Hustvedt

Internationally acclaimed as a novelist, Siri Hustvedt is also highly regarded as a writer of non-fiction whose insights are drawn from her broad knowledge in the arts, humanities, and sciences. In this trilogy of works collected in a single volume, Hustvedt brings a feminist, interdisciplinary perspective to a range of subjects. Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, Susan Sontag and Knut Ove Knausgaard are among those who come under her scrutiny. In the book's central essay, she explores the intractable mind-body problem and in the third section, reflects on the mysteries of hysteria, synesthesia, memory, perception, and the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. With clarity, wit, and passion, she exposes gender bias, upends received ideas, and challenges her reader to think again.

Teach Yourself

Shakespeare: A Complete Introduction

Michael Scott
Authors:
Michael Scott

Your complete introduction to ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare has been hailed as one of the greatest thinkers of all time, one of the world's finest artists, poets and dramatists. Shakespeare: A Complete Introduction introduces and explains the plays by looking at how they work, taking you on a journey through the genres of comedy, history and tragedy. The best known and most popular plays are discussed in detail and even plays in which Shakespeare may have had only the briefest creative and collaborative interest as a writer, get at least a mention. With material on his poetry and discussions on aspects of his life too, this truly is a complete introduction to Shakespeare.'A very lively and enthusiastic introduction to the full range of Shakespeare's plays' John Drakakis, Professor of English, University of Stirling'A masterpiece of the genre, written as it is with passion, without condescension, without jargon, thoughtful and open to changing critical theories, but always returning to the plays themselves, plays that fully reveal themselves most in performance.' Martin Wine, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Hodder & Stoughton

Not in God's Name

Jonathan Sacks
Authors:
Jonathan Sacks
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
John Murray Learning

Leadership Genius

Rus Slater
Authors:
Rus Slater

The fast-track MBA in leadershipImagine having instant access to the world's smartest thinking on leadership - and being shown exactly what to do to guarantee that you become a better leader yourself.Leadership Genius makes it easy to apply what researchers know about brilliant leadership to the real world. 40 individual chapters focus on one or more scientific studies into a topic that you, as a leader, need to be aware of. Each of the chapters is a mini-masterclass in leading, explaining the research and showing you how to apply it in your leadership role.In business, conventional wisdom often says one thing while research says another. Leadership Genius cuts through the noise to bring you proven research and techniques for applying it that will simply make you a better leader.Quick to read and intensely practical, this book will bring a little leadership genius into your day.'An easy, back-pocket read for any serious business leader or manager' Lietenant General John Lorimer'An engaging, often humorous, and most certainly accessible observation of the art of leadership' Mark Heywood, Lloyds Banking Group

John Murray Learning

Presentation Genius

Simon Raybould
Authors:
Simon Raybould
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

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

The Dignitas clinic in Switzerland may be a long way away. But the issues around euthanasia can suddenly become very close to home. To many, it seems remarkable that in a society where freedom of choice is eulogised, thousands of people find that there is one last choice that they are not free to make. But as this book will show, euthanasia is an issue at the intersection of new technology, old laws, and timeless ethical quandaries, so that even apparently clear-cut cases have many contradictions. Drawing on the latest research and cases from around the world, Richard Huxtable drills deep into the key issues around euthanasia. His is a new, balanced look at an important issue, and it will appeal to lawyers, medical students and - most importantly - those who find themselves or their relatives faced with end of life dilemmas.

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

Freeing the Spirit of EnquiryThe 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 (published in the US as Science Set Free), 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 'scientific worldview' has become a belief system. 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.Sheldrake examines these dogmas scientifically, and shows persuasively that science would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun.In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins used science to bash God, but here Rupert Sheldrake shows that Dawkins' understanding of what science can do is old-fashioned and itself a delusion. 'Rupert Sheldrake does science, humanity and the world at large a considerable favour.'The Independent'Certainly we need to accept the limitations of much current dogma and keep our minds open as we reasonably can. Sheldrake may help us do so through this well-written, challenging and always interesting book.' Financial Times

Teach Yourself

Understand Existentialism: Teach Yourself

Mel Thompson, Nigel Rodgers
Authors:
Mel Thompson, Nigel Rodgers

Is this the right book for me?Understand Existentialism breaks down a complex mode of thought into more manageable sections, enabling you to get to grips with the key concepts within the movement. Chart the origins and development of existentialism in a variety of disciplines and learn about significant thinkers from Sartre and De Beauvoir to Beckett and Camus. Whether you are a newcomer or more experienced student, this book will enhance your understanding of a brand of philosophy designed to give meaning and direction amongst the uncertainties of modern life.Understand Existentialism includes:Chapter 1: Introduction to existentialismChapter 2: Living dangerously: the roots of existentialismChapter 3: Between birth and deathChapter 4: Existence precedes essenceChapter 5: The authentic lifeChapter 6: Freedom, choice and responsibilityChapter 7: The individual, art and societyChapter 8: Existentialism and religionChapter 9: Authenticity and the absurd: the fiction of Sartre and CamusLearn effortlessly with a new easy-to-read page design and interactive features: Not got much time?One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.Author insightsLots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.Test yourselfTests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.Extend your knowledgeExtra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the subject.Five things to rememberQuick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.Try thisInnovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Hodder Paperbacks

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
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.