Articles tagged "robots"

For Your Consideration: November 2015 LibraryReads Titles

Download, read, and nominate your favorite titles now for the November 2015* LibraryReads list!

*Nominations are due September 20! Click here for the full list of 2015 deadlines.

A WILD SWAN by Michael Cunningham
Classic fairy tales are reimagined for our times by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of THE HOURS and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. “Cunningham doesn’t retell but rethinks these tales, considering how they might play out today or what happens long after the spell has been broken.” — Library Journal, pre-pub alert

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I BLAME DENNIS HOPPER: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies by Illeana Douglas
Award-winning actress Illeana Douglas’s memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

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PETTY by Warren Zanes
An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured alongside him.

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THE LADY IN THE VAN by Alan Bennett
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Maggie Smith, Alan Bennett’s famous and heartwarming story “The Lady in the Van,” and more of Bennett’s classic short form work.

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A former undercover cop now in witness protection finds himself pulled into the search for a missing woman in New Mexico. The film rights sold to Warner Bros with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce!

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Books for Boys

This season Macmillan Library is all about boys and their adventures in growing up.  The boys whose DIY robot bests MIT, the boys who attend a terrifyingly real boarding school (in the future), and the boys who use gaming as a means of salvation…   We’re getting to know them all. Won’t you join us?

SPARE PARTS by Joshua Davis

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”—Publishers Weekly

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WOLF IN WHITE VAN by John Darnielle

National Book Award Finalist

“A pop culture-infused novel that thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally considers the dark side of nerddom.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

GOODHOUSE by Peyton Marshall

“A cut above the strong recent crop of dystopian futures, with a sympathetic protagonist, a believably degenerated society, and harrowing pacing, this deserves a wide audience.”—Library Journal, starred review


Happy #BookBday to VIRTUALLY HUMAN

Today we wish a very special #BookBday to VIRTUALLY HUMAN: The Promise—and the Peril—of Digital Immortality by Martine Rothblatt, PhD.

VIRTUALLY HUMAN explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness—simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives and the medical ethics involved.

Martine has already started by creating Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts. How? Via a Mindfile—a digital database of a real person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, and opinions (in this case, Martine’s wife Bina).


Major media is already lining up for VIRTUALLY HUMAN, starting with a New York Magazine cover story of Martine Rothblatt!

The New York Post and Washington Post did features on Martine and more interviews are still to come from CBS “This Morning,” Washington Post Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Wired, NPR’s “On Point” and more!


An Interview with Debut Author Lydia Netzer!

Let's cut to the chase: I loved this book. I had no idea what I was getting into when I cracked the pages of SHINE SHINE SHINE and here I am a month later still processing all of the wonderfully full and flawed characters—some of who are on their way to the moon(!), others of who feel alienated right in the suburbs of their own planet.

Debut author Lydia Netzer was kind enough to answer a few questions about her terrific first novel for us. Read on, readers!

Q: You cover a lot of ground in SHINE SHINE SHINE from Burma to Virginia to Pennsylvania to the Moon (not to mention the past and the future)! Which setting did you have the most fun writing?

I grew up in Detroit, but we spent all our summers in the hills of western Pennsylvania, living in a decrepit old farmhouse on a dirt road. Of course, I loved this old farm, and I still do -- it’s June now and I’m answering these questions from the dining room -- panelled in wormy chestnut and full of weird antiques! The valley where Sunny and Maxon played as children is my valley, their creek is my creek, and the stump that’s shaped like a throne -- that was my mossy old stump throne. It was very satisfying to bring that setting into the book and put into words the way I felt about this place as a child. As an only child, I spent a lot of time dangling from the tire swing by myself, and often imagined a playmate arriving magically out of the woods, just as Maxon did for Sunny. 

lydiaQ: Many of the characters in SHINE SHINE SHINE struggle to project an air of "normalcy," did you have any challenges writing scenes with such offbeat people?

I have yet to meet a person who is absolutely normal. I think normalcy is a construct. There are some people who do a pretty excellent job at burying their weirdness, but that doesn’t mean the weirdness isn’t there. These skilled social creatures, practiced at fitting in, collectively create a definition of what “normal” looks like and then others strive to match it. Or else they don’t. Some of us are less committed to passing for normal, and we let our weirdness out a bit, peel the lid off the crazy, off the angst and the exuberance. I’m sure people have good reasons for wanting to pass as normal and have others see them as acceptable. In fact, parenthood can really drive you in this direction -- toward stuffing down all your crazy and packing it away, presenting a very peaceful, unremarkable face to the world. No one sets out wanting to be the weirdo mom or the freak dad. It’s a status you have to come to grips with over time, sometimes after all attempts to disappear into normalcy have failed. 

So to answer the question, I think there are offbeat people all around, and imagining what strange fancies lurked under the apparently normal skin of apparently average people was a very interesting project. 

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Q: If a Reader's Advisory librarian wanted to compare SHINE SHINE SHINE to a couple of other books or even movies on their shelves, which would you want them to pick?