Saturday, November 19, 2016

Books for December

As always, I like to suggest some thought-provoking titles in my selections as well as some lighter fare. The Left Hand of Darkness appeared on a list of books set in Winter and I thought that the gender issues involved would make for a lively discussion. I suggested The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating because I thought it might be an interesting exploration of immobility after Me Before You.

Both books are now available on the Nooks.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

On the planet Winter, there is no gender. The Gethenians can become male or female during each mating cycle, and this is something that humans find incomprehensible.

The Ekumen of Known Worlds has sent an ethnologist to study the Gethenians on their forbidding, ice-bound world. At first he finds his subjects difficult and off-putting, with their elaborate social systems and alien minds. But in the course of a long journey across the ice, he reaches an understanding with one of the Gethenians—it might even be a kind of love...

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. 

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

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