Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Library books

I've three books waiting to be picked up at the public library, including Gart Niederhoffer's A Taxonomy of Barnacles but I found another three that I had to have on the new book cart tonight.

Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead:

"The stories people told about the crossing were as varied and elaborate as their ten billion lives, so much more particular than those other stories, the ones they told about their deaths. After all, there were only so many ways a person could die: either your heart took you, or your head took you, or it was one of the new diseases. But no one followed the same path over the crossing. Lev Paley said that he had watched his atoms break apart like marbles, roll across the universe, then gather themselves together again out of nothing at all. Hanbing Li said that he woke inside the body of an aphid and lived an entire life in the flesh of a single peach. Graciella Cavazos would say only that she began to snow—four words—and smile bashfully whenever anyone pressed her for details."

Allegra Goodman's Intuition:

"They both knew that in the end, talent hardly mattered if you couldn't get results. Lots of people were talented. Talent and intelligence, not to mention tireless hard work, got lab scientists through the door, but—this was the dirty secret—you needed luck. You might be prepared and bright and diligent, and fail and fail and fail. The gene you sought to isolate, the phenomenon you thought significant, could still elude you; the trent and significant pattern of disease could devolve into an endless hell of ambiguities."

Jeff Faux's The Global Class War:

"This is not the first time in American history that investment opportunity has marched under the banner of a messianic crusade to enlighten the world. But in the past, when what was good for General Motors was good for Americaa, the economic benefits generally trickled down to the people back home. Today, the new post-cold war globalization has disconnected the fate of America's citizens from those who own and control the great transnational corporations with American names. Economic success these days is not, as many would have it, a matter of being connected to the global economy. Illegal immigrants, downsized factory workers, and laid-off telemarketers are all connected to the global economy—as are design engineers, accountants, and computer programmers stunned to learn that their jobs have been outsourced. The successful are not just connected, they are connected to the top—to the people who run the Party of Davos."

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