ELLIOTT BAY FICTION BOOK GROUP
Tuesday, May 7th at 6:30 p.m.
(First Tuesday of each month)
Each month, the Elliott Bay Fiction Book Group reads and discusses the best in contemporary fiction with the occasional classic thrown in for good measure. In May our book group will discuss Leo Tolstoy's novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Tolstoy's most famous novella is an intense and moving examination of death and the possibilities of redemption, here in a powerful translation by the award-winning Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Ivan Ilyich is a middle-aged man who has spent his life focused on his career as a bureaucrat and emotionally detached from his wife and children. After an accident he finds himself on the brink of an untimely death, which he sees as a terrible injustice. Face-to-face with his mortality, Ivan begins to question everything he has believed about the meaning of life. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a masterpiece of psychological realism and philosophical profundity that has inspired generations of readers. "Tolstoy's most artistic, most perfect, and most sophisticated achievement." - Vladimir Nabokov
GLOBAL ISSUES & ETHICS BOOK GROUP
Tuesday, May 14th at 6:30 p.m.
(second Tuesday of each month)
Our Global Issues & Ethics Book Group is devoted to discussing books that cover the most relevant topics of our everyday lives. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle is this month's selected read. Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But, as MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle argues, the relentless connection leads to a new solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Alone Together is the result of Turkle's nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on hundreds of interviews, it describes new, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, an new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude. The Financial Times called it, "A beautifully written, provocative, and worrying book."
SPECULATIONS-SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY BOOK GROUP
Tuesday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m.
(third Tuesday of each month)
It's the near future, and scientists have developed implants that treat brain dysfunctionand also make recipients capable of superhuman feats. Exploiting societal fears of the newly enhanced, politicians pass a set of laws to restrict the rights of "amplified" humans, instantly creating a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old schoolteacher Owen Gray is forced into hiding, only dimly aware of the latent powers he possesses. To escape imprisonment, and to find out who he really is, Owen seeks out a community in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the worldor destroy it. As the literature of ideas and imagination, Science Fiction and Fantasy simply demands discussion. Our selection for May is Amped by Daniel Wilson.