A law book recommendation: A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DpaeTZ.
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an important book. Sometimes that’s a nice way of saying it is also a slog. Here and there that has some truth, but standout chapters parsed manageably and written in clean, charming prose make the book rewarding in its whole.
Book description from Google Books:
A compelling, radical, “richly explored” (The New York Times Book Review), and “insightful” (Vanity Fair) collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from prize-winning novelist Siri Hustvedt, the acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.In a trilogy of works brought together in a single volume, Siri Hustvedt demonstrates the striking range and depth of her knowledge in both the humanities and the sciences. Armed with passionate curiosity, a sense of humor, and insights from many disciplines she repeatedly upends received ideas and cultural truisms. “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women” (which provided the title of this book) examines particular artworks but also human perception itself, including the biases that influence how we judge art, literature, and the world. Picasso, de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karl Ove Knausgaard all come under Hustvedt’s intense scrutiny. “The Delusions of Certainty” exposes how the age-old, unresolved mind-body problem has shaped and often distorted and confused contemporary thought in neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary psychology. “What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition” includes a powerful reading of Kierkegaard, a trenchant analysis of suicide, and penetrating reflections on the mysteries of hysteria, synesthesia, memory and space, and the philosophical dilemmas of fiction. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an “erudite” (Booklist), “wide-ranging, irreverent, and absorbing meditation on thinking, knowing, and being” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The book is rated 3.76/5 at goodreads.com, from 347 ratings. See 67 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CVIV2A.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CUMFBf.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A law book recommendation: A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DpaeTZ.
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an important book. Sometimes that’s a nice way of saying it is also a slog. Here and there that has some truth, but standout chapters parsed manageably and written in clean, charming prose make the book rewarding in its whole.
Book description from Google Books:
A compelling, radical, “richly explored” (The New York Times Book Review), and “insightful” (Vanity Fair) collection of essays on art, feminism, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy from prize-winning novelist Siri Hustvedt, the acclaimed author of The Blazing World and What I Loved.In a trilogy of works brought together in a single volume, Siri Hustvedt demonstrates the striking range and depth of her knowledge in both the humanities and the sciences. Armed with passionate curiosity, a sense of humor, and insights from many disciplines she repeatedly upends received ideas and cultural truisms. “A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women” (which provided the title of this book) examines particular artworks but also human perception itself, including the biases that influence how we judge art, literature, and the world. Picasso, de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karl Ove Knausgaard all come under Hustvedt’s intense scrutiny. “The Delusions of Certainty” exposes how the age-old, unresolved mind-body problem has shaped and often distorted and confused contemporary thought in neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary psychology. “What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition” includes a powerful reading of Kierkegaard, a trenchant analysis of suicide, and penetrating reflections on the mysteries of hysteria, synesthesia, memory and space, and the philosophical dilemmas of fiction. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women is an “erudite” (Booklist), “wide-ranging, irreverent, and absorbing meditation on thinking, knowing, and being” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
The book is rated 3.76/5 at goodreads.com, from 345 ratings. See 67 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CVIV2A.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CUMFBf.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A law book recommendation: Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2CcBHHc.
In “Other Minds”, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a philosopher, skilfully combines science, philosophy and his experiences of swimming among these tentacled beasts to illuminate the origin and nature of consciousness.
Book description from Google Books:
Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own? What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being—how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage. How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, as they do in a unique location off the coast of Australia?By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind—and on our own.
The book is rated 3.91/5 at goodreads.com, from 2035 ratings. See 323 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Cd3uqU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CHtRGB.

A law book recommendation: Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by Benjamin Rachlin

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2CnU8IW.
Read Rachlin’s Ghost of the Innocent Man to follow the twisted path that led Chris Mumma to pick up Grimes’ file, ultimately exposing the use of outdated photos to mis-identify the perpetrator…
Book description from Google Books:
A Library Journal Top Ten Book of the YearA National Public Radio Great Read for 2017″Remarkable . . . Captivating . . . Rachlin is a skilled storyteller.” –New York Times Book Review”A gripping legal-thriller mystery . . . Profoundly elevates good-cause advocacy to greater heights–to where innocent lives are saved.” –USA Today”A crisply written page turner.” –NPRA gripping account of one man’s long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice systemDuring the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission–unprecedented at its inception in 2006–remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man’s tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
The book is rated 4.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 169 ratings. See 56 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CMRKwd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CPaKub.

A law book recommendation: Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by Benjamin Rachlin

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2CnU8IW.
Read Rachlin’s Ghost of the Innocent Man to follow the twisted path that led Chris Mumma to pick up Grimes’ file, ultimately exposing the use of outdated photos to mis-identify the perpetrator…
Book description from Google Books:
A Library Journal Top Ten Book of the YearA National Public Radio Great Read for 2017″Remarkable . . . Captivating . . . Rachlin is a skilled storyteller.” –New York Times Book Review”A gripping legal-thriller mystery . . . Profoundly elevates good-cause advocacy to greater heights–to where innocent lives are saved.” –USA Today”A crisply written page turner.” –NPRA gripping account of one man’s long road to freedom that will forever change how we understand our criminal justice systemDuring the last three decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina’s Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission–unprecedented at its inception in 2006–remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man’s tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
The book is rated 4.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 169 ratings. See 56 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CMRKwd.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CPaKub.

A law book recommendation: The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading by Anne Gisleson

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2CEQPxS.
This search for purpose and connection amid chaos and loss permeates even the most heart-wrenching moments of The Futilitarians — and it’s what turns the book from a meditation on reading to a celebration of being.
Book description from Google Books:
Recommended Summer Reading — Louise Erdrich, New York TimesA memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of griefAnne Gisleson had lost her twin sisters, had been forced to flee her home during Hurricane Katrina, and had witnessed cancer take her beloved father. Before she met her husband, Brad, he had suffered his own trauma, losing his partner and the mother of his son to cancer in her young thirties. “How do we keep moving forward,” Anne asks, “amid all this loss and threat?” The answer: “We do it together.” Anne and Brad, in the midst of forging their happiness, found that their friends had been suffering their own losses and crises as well: loved ones gone, rocky marriages, tricky child-rearing, jobs lost or gained, financial insecurities or unexpected windfalls. Together these resilient New Orleanians formed what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, which they jokingly dubbed “The Futilitarians.” From Epicurus to Tolstoy, from Cheever to Amis to Lispector, each month they read and talked about identity, parenting, love, mortality, and life in post-Katrina New Orleans,In the year after her father’s death, these living-room gatherings provided a sustenance Anne craved, fortifying her and helping her blaze a trail out of her well-worn grief. More than that, this fellowship allowed her finally to commune with her sisters on the page, and to tell the story of her family that had remained long untold. Written with wisdom, soul, and a playful sense of humor, The Futilitarians is a guide to living curiously and fully, and a testament to the way that even from the toughest soil of sorrow, beauty and wonder can bloom.
The book is rated 3.85/5 at goodreads.com, from 185 ratings. See 45 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CfugPa.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CFa625.

A law book recommendation: Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2CcBHHc.
In “Other Minds”, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a philosopher, skilfully combines science, philosophy and his experiences of swimming among these tentacled beasts to illuminate the origin and nature of consciousness.
Book description from Google Books:
Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own? What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being—how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage. How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, as they do in a unique location off the coast of Australia?By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind—and on our own.
The book is rated 3.91/5 at goodreads.com, from 2005 ratings. See 319 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Cd3uqU.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CHtRGB.

A law book recommendation: How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power by Matthew Bolton

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DzfAL2.
Instead, How to Resist argues that even if people feel they are a tiny part of an unjust system, they can – if they organise themselves properly – effect lasting change. Inspiring stuff.
Book description from Google Books:
“This extraordinary book is the roadmap for a new kind of effective activism.”‘ — Brian Eno”This book is for people who are angry with the ways things are and want to do something about it; for people who are frustrated with the system, or worried about the direction the country is going. Maybe they’ve been on a march, posted their opinions on social media, or shouted angrily at something they’ve seen on the news but don’t feel like it’s making any difference. It is for people who want to make a change but they’re not sure how.” — Matthew Bolton
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 22 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Csb0Py.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CrShnk.

A law book recommendation: How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power by Matthew Bolton

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DzfAL2.
Instead, How to Resist argues that even if people feel they are a tiny part of an unjust system, they can – if they organise themselves properly – effect lasting change. Inspiring stuff.
Book description from Google Books:
“This extraordinary book is the roadmap for a new kind of effective activism.”‘ — Brian Eno”This book is for people who are angry with the ways things are and want to do something about it; for people who are frustrated with the system, or worried about the direction the country is going. Maybe they’ve been on a march, posted their opinions on social media, or shouted angrily at something they’ve seen on the news but don’t feel like it’s making any difference. It is for people who want to make a change but they’re not sure how.” — Matthew Bolton
The book is rated 4.23/5 at goodreads.com, from 22 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2Csb0Py.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CrShnk.

A law book recommendation: The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives by Jesse Eisinger

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2D7zOvo.
This book is a wakeup call, delivered calmly yet with no shortage of well-reasoned urgency, to a nation whose democratic traditions are being undermined by backroom dealing, deregulation, and the consolidation of corporate power. It’s a chilling read, and a needed one.
Book description from Google Books:
From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, “a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission…It is a book of superheroes” (San Franscisco Review of Books).Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed “Too Big to Fail” to almost every large corporation in America—to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why in “an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism…a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy” (Bloomberg Businessweek). Jesse Eisigner begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives. “Brave and elegant….a fearless reporter…Eisinger’s important and profound book takes no prisoners (The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. “This book is a wakeup call…a chilling read, and a needed one” (NPR.org).
The book is rated 3.82/5 at goodreads.com, from 420 ratings. See 84 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D5GZEs.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2BYLOzT.
Google Books preview available in full post.