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.

Sceptre

Spaceman of Bohemia

Jaroslav Kalfar
Authors:
Jaroslav Kalfar

'An incredible experience... I can honestly say I loved every page. Every sentence. Spaceman of Bohemia is unforgettable: a work of breathtaking scope and heart, and a reflection of humanity that's raw and strange and profound and true.' Lisa McInerney, Baileys-Prize-winning author of The Glorious Heresies Set in the near-distant future, Spaceman follows a Czech astronaut as he launches into space to investigate a mysterious dust cloud covering Venus, a suicide mission sponsored by a proud nation. Suddenly a world celebrity, Jakub's marriage starts to fail as the weeks go by, and his sanity comes into question. After his mission is derailed he must make a violent decision that will force him to come to terms with his family's dark political past.An extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist-and risk everything-in the name of love and home, by a startlingly talented young debut novelist.

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
John Murray Learning

The Meaning of Life: All That Matters

James Garvey
Authors:
James Garvey
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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Biz

David Freemantle
Authors:
David Freemantle

This could be a senior executive in a bank, a department manager in a retail store, a middle manager in a government agency or a team leader in a charity. It could be a foreman on a building site or a supervisor in a call centre. "Challenge your team everyday"; This book is designed to be read on a section-a-day basis, focusing each day on one simple thing that you can do to make a big difference in motivating your team. Each of these little behaviours in themselves are not difficult and can easily be practiced. By concentrating on one such behaviour each day you will begin to build up a reputation as a great boss who motivates people and who actually does the BIZ. "Push Back The Boundaries (do something new everyday)"

Reading Group Guide

HANDLE WITH CARE by Jodi Picoult

Reading group guide to use alongside Jodi Picoult's HANDLE WITH CARE.

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.