Staff Picks by Tag

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How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Helena de Bres, Julia de Bres (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781639730346
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - November 7th, 2023

I loved this because I am an identical twin BUT, if you've ever been fascinated or a little weirded out by twins, you very well might like this too. As a philosophy professor and identical twin, Helen de Bres combines her teachings with her lived experience to expound on the intersectionality between being multiple as well as a woman, queer, and disabled versus being a singleton. (And her twin sister, Julia, made the illustrations inside the book!)

Review by Emily

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Night Vision: Seeing Ourselves Through Dark Moods By Mariana Alessandri Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691215457
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Princeton University Press - May 9th, 2023

A philosophy book in self-help's skin, Night Vision rejects modern psychology's "toxic positivity" and dismantles the old-as-time metaphor of light and dark representing good and bad. Alessandri proposes that rather than telling a suffering person to look on the "bright side" we should instead learn to see them in their darkness (and see ourselves too), so both people benefit from a feeling of connection and understanding. Drawing from personal experience and writings including Audre Lord, María Lugones, Miguel de Unamuno, and Søren Kierkegaard–all philosophers who sat for long times in painful emotions–Alessandri teaches the reader to do the same.

Review by Jess

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How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: A Novel By Charles Yu Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307739452
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - June 28th, 2011

"Most people I know live their lives moving in a constant forward direction, the whole time looking backward." In this book, a time travel machine technician goes between universes saving people from (ab)using time travel in their efforts to fix their disappointing lives. When he's not doing that, he's searching for his missing father, who disappeared after inventing time travel. Within this strange and mind-bending plot, Yu addresses some of life's most philosophical questions. Is time a forward trajectory? Do regret and nostalgia serve us? How do we reconcile with the ache of a parent's lost dream? This book is an unconventional but beautiful tribute from a son to his father, and calls on us to reimagine the way we think about time.

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Stillness Is the Key By Ryan Holiday Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525538585
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Portfolio - October 1st, 2019

Read this. You've probably noticed that your train of thought seems weaker, even more vulnerable to unnecessary distractions. But what should we do when cognitive dissonance becomes a daily struggle, making it hard to keep up with our families, jobs, deadlines, and other aspects compounded by stress? According to Ryan Holiday, practicing stillness of the mind helps. Not only does Holiday translate ancient philosophical principles for life, purpose, and knowledge into contemporary context, he offers us a much needed perspective on what it means to be present with what matters to us. 

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Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals By Oliver Burkeman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250849359
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - June 27th, 2023

Don't be fooled by the subtitle. If you're looking for productivity tips to help with your work/life balance, you will find none of that here. This is more about how we spend our lives. How we think about time and how we use it. Serious stuff and yet written with such humor, wit and great care, you'll forget all about its potential to induce an existential crisis. Drawing on history, philosophy, various religions, even pop culture; and his extensive background as a (former) productivity geek, Burkeman takes us on a journey through time and what it means to us. This is essential reading. To say this book has changed me, is not overstating it. It's changed how I think about work, family, social media, road rage, love, death. It's changed how I think about my life. Because, as you'll find out, we are nothing more than the brief, miraculous time we are given. 


Review by Erin