New Releases | March 14, 2023
March 14, 2023
Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about.
Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.
This week, our choices are:
The Battle for Your Brain: Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology by Nita A. Farahany, St. Martin’s Press (DJJS)
A rock star academic explores the final frontier of personal privacy: your mind.
Imagine a world where your brain can be interrogated to learn your political beliefs, thought crimes are punishable by law, and your own feelings can be used against you. Where perfumers create customized fragrances to perfectly suit your emotions, and anyone can peer into their own mind to eliminate painful memories or cure addictions.
Neuroscience has already made all of this possible, and neurotechnology will soon become the universal controller for our interactions with technology. This can benefit humanity immensely, but without safeguards, it can severely threaten our fundamental rights to privacy, freedom of thought, and self-determination.
Companies, governments, and militaries are all in: there have never been more ways to hack and track our brains. But access is just the beginning. Our brains can be changed with performance-boosting drugs, electrical stimulation, and surgical interventions. Soon neuro-monitoring and even cognitive warfare will be commonplace—the brain is the next battleground for humanity.
The Battle for Your Brain by Nita A. Farahany dives deeply into the promises and perils of the coming dawn of brain access and alteration. Written by one of the world's foremost experts on the ethics of neuroscience, this highly original book offers a path forward to navigate the complex dilemmas that will fundamentally impact our freedom to understand, shape, and define ourselves.
A Manual for How to Love Us: Stories by Erin Slaughter, Harper Perennial (EPP)
Seamlessly shifting between the speculative and the blindingly real, balancing the bizarre with the subtle brutality of the mundane, A Manual for How to Love Us is a tender portrait of women trying their best to survive, love, and find genuine meaning in the aftermath of loss.
In these unconventional and unpredictably connected stories, Erin Slaughter shatters the stereotype of the soft-spoken, sorrowful woman in distress, queering the domestic and honoring the feral in all of us. In each story, grieving women embrace their wildest impulses as they attempt to master their lives: one woman becomes a “gazer” at a fraternity house, another slowly moves into her otherworldly stained-glass art, a couple speaks only their basement’s black box, and a thruple must decide what to do when one partner disappears.
The women in Erin Slaughter’s stories suffer messy breaks, whisper secrets to the ghosts tangled in the knots of their hair, eat raw meat to commune with their inner wolves, and build deadly MLM schemes along the Gulf Coast.
Set across oft-overlooked towns in the American South, A Manual for How to Love Us spotlights women who are living on the brink and clinging to its precipitous edge. Lyrical and surprisingly humorous, A Manual for How to Love Us is an exciting debut that reveals the sticky complications of living in a body, in all its grotesquerie and glory.
A Revolutionary Faith: Liberation Theology Between Public Religion and Public Reason by Raúl E. Zegarra Medina, Stanford University Press (JAG)
Religious commitments can be a powerful engine for progressive social change, and in this new book, Raúl E. Zegarra examines the process of articulation of religious beliefs and political concerns that takes place in religious organizing and activism. Focusing on the example of Latin American liberation theology and the work of Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez, Zegarra shows how liberation theology advocates have been able to produce a new balance between faith and politics that advances an agenda of progressive social change without reducing politics to faith or faith to politics.
Drawing from theologian David Tracy's method of critical correlation, the book focuses on key historical, philosophical, and theological shifts that have allowed liberation theologians to produce a new interpretation of the relationship between faith and politics in the Christian tradition, especially when issues of social justice are at stake. The book further approaches liberation theology's contributions to theorizing social justice through an unconventional path: a critical dialogue with the work of philosopher John Rawls. This dialogue, as Zegarra contends, allows us to see more clearly the contributions of liberation theology to the cause of progressive social change. Ultimately the book stands between "public religion" and "public reason," offering something of a blueprint for theological innovation and for how to remain committed to one's faith while respecting and defending the core values of democracy.
What Looks Like Bravery: An Epic Journey Through Loss to Love by Laurel Braitman, Simon & Schuster (GMC)
Laurel Braitman spent her childhood learning how to outfish grown men, keep bees, and fix carburetors from her larger-than-life dad. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he went to spectacular lengths to teach her the skills she’d need to survive without him. But by her mid-thirties she is a ship about to splinter on the rocks, exhausted by running from her own bad feelings. We follow as Laurel changes course, navigating multiple wildernesses—from northern New Mexico and western Alaska to her own Tinder app. She learns the hard way that no achievement, no matter how shiny, can protect her from pain, and works to transform guilt and regret into gold: learning from a badass birder in the Bering Sea, a few dozen grieving kids in a support group, a pile of smoking ashes, and countless online dates. Along the way, she faces a wildfire that threatens everyone and everything she cares about, a grueling test of her own survival skills, and the fact that we often have to say our hardest goodbyes before we’re ready. In the end Laurel realizes that being open to love after loss is not only possible, it can set us free.
What Looks Like Bravery is a hero’s journey for our times. Laurel teaches us that hope is a form of courage, one that can work as an all- purpose key to the locked doors of your dreams.