THE EXCEPTIONS by Zernike NOTE: Meeting Online

Daytime
Wednesday, June 19, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction

The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins and the Fight for Women in Science By Kate Zernike Cover Image

The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins and the Fight for Women in Science (Paperback)

$18.99


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A New York Times Notable Book

As late as 1999, women who succeeded in science were called “exceptional” as if it were unusual for them to be so bright. They were exceptional, not because they could succeed at science but because of all they accomplished despite the hurdles.

“Gripping…one puts down the book inspired by the women’s grit, tenacity, and brilliance.” —Science
“Riveting.” —Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene


In 1963, a female student was attending a lecture given by Nobel Prize winner James Watson, then tenured at Harvard. At nineteen, she was struggling to define her future. She had given herself just ten years to fulfill her professional ambitions before starting the family she was expected to have. For women at that time, a future on the usual path of academic science was unimaginable—but during that lecture, young Nancy Hopkins fell in love with the promise of genetics. Confidently believing science to be a pure meritocracy, she embarked on a career.

In 1999, Hopkins, now a noted molecular geneticist and cancer researcher at MIT, divorced and childless, found herself underpaid and denied the credit and resources given to men of lesser rank. Galvanized by the flagrant favoritism, Hopkins led a group of sixteen women on the faculty in a campaign that prompted MIT to make the historic admission that it had long discriminated against its female scientists. The sixteen women were a formidable group: their work has advanced our understanding of everything from cancer to geology, from fossil fuels to the inner workings of the human brain. And their work to highlight what they called “21st-century discrimination”—a subtle, stubborn, often unconscious bias—set off a national reckoning with the pervasive sexism in science.

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who broke the story, The Exceptions chronicles groundbreaking science and a history-making fight for equal opportunity. It is the “excellent and infuriating” (The New York Times) story of how this group of determined, brilliant women used the power of the collective and the tools of science to inspire ongoing radical change. And it offers an intimate look at the passion that drives discovery, and a rare glimpse into the competitive, hierarchical world of elite science—and the women who dared to challenge it.
Kate Zernike has been a reporter for The New York Times since 2000. She was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for stories about al-Qaeda before and after the 9/11 terror attacks. She was previously a reporter for The Boston Globe, where she broke the story of MIT’s admission that it had discriminated against women on its faculty, on which The Exceptions is based. The daughter and granddaughter of scientists, she is a graduate of Trinity College at the University of Toronto and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons.
Product Details ISBN: 9781982131845
ISBN-10: 1982131845
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 448
Language: English
"Striking an expert balance between the big picture and intimate profiles of the women involved, Zernike offers an intriguing and often infuriating glimpse into the rarefied world of higher education. Readers will be fascinated."Publishers Weekly

“Zernike, a wonderful storyteller, seamlessly weaves together contemporary events, facts
and statistics, and telling anecdotes from women who were working in the sciences at that time,
recreating for readers an almost unbelievable culture of never-ending microaggressions, sexual
harassment, and professional disdain... Zernike's profile of Nancy Hopkins provides brilliant inspiration."Booklist (starred review)

"A fascinating, heartening account of successful advocacy in the scientific and academic communities… A powerful story of 16 women who ‘upset the usual assumptions about why there were so few women in science and math in the U.S.’”Kirkus (starred review)

“What Nancy Hopkins achieved is exceptional—in science of course, but more broadly in society. What Kate Zernike has achieved in this brilliant book is also exceptional—a condemnation of the treatment of women in science and a riveting story about the drive to pursue science."—Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winner The Emperor of All Maladies and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Gene

"Kate Zernike broke the end of this story for the Boston Globe in 1999. Now she goes back to tell it from the beginning, and even though you know how it turns out, you'll hang on every word. A blistering, brave, heartbreaking, and heartening account of brilliant women and the world-changing power of sisterhood and science."
Janice P. Nimura, author of The Doctors Blackwell

“A gripping case study of the horrors and triumphs of the gender revolution in science. No matter who you are, be prepared to be transformed by the remarkable life and career of Nancy Hopkins and the MIT 16. The Exceptions will shock (‘never again’ you will repeat, every few pages); equally, it will instill hope from shining examples of the indomitability of the oppressed insisting simply on a life in science.”--Mahzarin R. Banaji, co-author of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

"A story I wouldn't believe except that it's true, told by the reporter who broke it first. I'm embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about Nancy Hopkins before opening the cover of The Exceptions. Once I started, I couldn't stop. By the end, I thought, there is no stronger antidote to imposter syndrome than knowing someone like you was good enough all along--and that it is the rules that need to change, not the players." -- Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

“A stunning account of discrimination against women scientists based on riveting interviews that reveal disturbing practices and behavior of top male scientists at MIT and elsewhere.”—Kenneth R. Manning, author of Black Apollo of Science  

“Two decades ago, MIT recognized the gender inequality in its faculty and publicly began an effort to address the situation. This well researched and well written book tells that story and places it in an historical and national context. Despite our advances in science and technology, our country and our world still have a long way to go in acknowledging the talents, worth, and contributions of women.”—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams 

“Equally gifted as both reporter and storyteller, Kate Zernike has given us a book that is always engaging, at times shocking, and in the end thrilling: a stirring account of the triumph of women scientists—simultaneously brilliant and brave—in their long struggle for full equality. The Exceptions is exceptional.”—Daniel Okrent, author of The Guarded Gate and Last Call 

"When, despite talent and tenure, Professor Nancy Hopkins found herself thwarted in her ability to do science at her own institution, she got together with a group of other tenured women scientists and collected data that demonstrated discrimination. They documented the size of men’s and women’s offices, their salaries, and the difference in their committee assignments and course loads. Tenured male professors got help with mortgages to buy houses. The tenured women didn’t know these programs existed. The president of MIT admitted discrimination. It was the start of a new kind of conversation in academic life. The Exceptions is pitch perfect in telling this story as only a first chapter in an ongoing struggle. A page-turner. Poignant. Infuriating. Inspirational. I read it and was reminded that this work needs to be taken up by each new generation of women in the workplace."—Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT; author of Reclaiming Conversation and The Empathy Diaries 

 

THE LEOPARD by Lampedusa NOTE: MEETING ONLINE

Daytime
Wednesday, May 15, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The group meets online. For info to join meetings, please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com and bookgroups@politics-prose.com

The Leopard: A Novel By Giuseppe Di Lampedusa Cover Image

The Leopard: A Novel (Paperback)

$18.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
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Politics and Prose at Union Market (1324 4th Street NE)
1 on hand, as of Jun 25 5:35am
Set in the 1860s, The Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. The dramatic sweep and richness of observation, the seamless intertwining of public and private worlds, and the grasp of human frailty imbue The Leopard with its particular melancholy beauty and power, and place it among the greatest historical novels of our time.

Although Giuseppe di Lampedusa had long had the book in mind, he began writing it only in his late fifties; he died at age sixty, soon after the manuscript was rejected as unpublishable. In his introduction, Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, Lampedusa's nephew, gives us a detailed history of the initial publication and the various editions that followed. And he includes passages Lampedusa wrote for the book that were omitted by the original Italian editors.
Here, finally, is the definitive edition of this brilliant and timeless novel.

(Translated from the Italian by Archibald Colquhoun.)

GIUSEPPE DI LAMPEDUSA was born in Sicily in 1896 and died in 1957. The Leopard was his only novel.

Product Details ISBN: 9780375714795
ISBN-10: 0375714790
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: November 6th, 2007
Pages: 336
Language: English
"The genius of its author and the thrill it gives the reader are probably for all time."
The New York Times Book Review

"A masterwork . . . A superb novel in the great tradition and the grand manner."
Newsweek

"A majestic, melancholy, and beautiful novel."
—The New Yorker

CIRCE by Miller NOTE: MEETING ONLINE

Daytime
Wednesday, April 17, 12:30 pm

The Daytime Book Group meets 3rd Wednesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. and reads mostly fiction new and old, and some nonfiction. The group meets online. For info to join meetings, please contact Jeanie Teare jwteare4@gmail.com and bookgroups@politics-prose.com

Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image

Circe (Paperback)

$18.99


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
7 on hand, as of Jun 25 5:20am
Politics and Prose at Union Market (1324 4th Street NE)
8 on hand, as of Jun 25 5:35am

April 2018 Indie Next List


“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller's telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.”
— Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL

This #1 New York Times bestseller is a "bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story" that brilliantly reimagines the life of Circe, formidable sorceress of The Odyssey (Alexandra Alter, TheNew York Times).

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child -- not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power -- the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

#1 New York Times Bestseller -- named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor, Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self, Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider.
Madeline Miller is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two novels: The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Women’s Prize for Fiction 2012, and Circe, which was short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019. Her books have been translated into over thirty two languages. Miller holds an MA in Classics from Brown University, studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms, and taught Latin, Greek, and Shakespeare to high school students for over a decade.
Product Details ISBN: 9780316556323
ISBN-10: 0316556327
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: April 14th, 2020
Pages: 416
Language: English
Winner of the 2019 Indie Choice Award
Shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction
Named one of the 'Best Books of 2018' by NPR, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, People, Time, Amazon,Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor, Southern Living,and Refinery 29.


"Circe,' [is] a bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right."—Alexandra Alter, New York Times

"One of the most amazing qualities of this novel [is]: We know how everything here turns out - we've known it for thousands of years - and yet in Miller's lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The feminist light she shines on these events never distorts their original shape; it only illuminates details we hadn't noticed before."—Ron Charles, Washington Post

"[Miller] gives voice to Circe as a multifaceted and evolving character...'Circe' is very pleasurable to read, combining lively versions of familiar tales and snippets of other, related standards with a highly psychologized, redemptive and ultimately exculpatory account of the protagonist herself."—Claire Messud, New York Times Book Review

"The story of Circe's entanglement with Odysseus lasts far beyond the narrative of "The Odyssey," making for compelling material to revisit. But ultimately it's as a character that Circe stands apart....Through her elegant, psychologically acute prose, Miller gives us a rich female character who inhabits the spaces in between."
Colleen Abel, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Miller's lush, gold-lit novel - told from the perspective of the witch whose name in Greek has echoes of a hawk and a weaver's shuttle - paints another picture: of a fierce goddess who, yes, turns men into pigs, but only because they deserve it."—NPR.org

"so vivid, so layered, you could get lost in it... Whether or not you think you like Greek Mythology, this is just great storytelling. It feels cinematic."—NPR's Here & Now

"Miller's spell builds slowly, but by the last page you'll be in awe. In prose of dreamlike simplicity, she reimagines the myth of Circe."—People

"Miller, with her academic bona fides and born instinct for storytelling, seamlessly grafts modern concepts of selfhood and independence to her mystical reveries of smoke and silver, nectar and bones."—Entertainment Weekly

"This telling, in the sorceress's own words, is not the version we think we know."—New York Times 'T Magazine'

"Miller gives voice to a previously muted perspective in the classics, forging a great romance from the scraps left to us by the ancients....Circe is, instead, a romp, an airy delight, a novel to be gobbled greedily in a single sitting."Aida Edemariam, Guardian

"In Madeline Miller's "Circe" - the gorgeous and gimlet-eyed follow-up to her Orange Prize-winning first novel, "The Song of Achilles" - the goddess is young and romantic enough at the start to feel a tiny bit let down that she's not shackled to a rock like her uncle, Prometheus, getting her liver pecked out each day."
 —Laura Collins-Hughes, Boston Globe

Ambitious in scope, Circe is above all the chronicle of an outsider woman who uses her power and wits to protect herself and the people she loves, ultimately looking within to define herself. Readers will savor the message of standing against a hostile world and forging a new way."—Shelf Awareness

"A retelling of ancient Greek lore gives exhilarating voice to a witch... [Circe is] a sly, petulant, and finally commanding voice that narrates the entirety of Miller's dazzling second novel....Readers will relish following the puzzle of this unpromising daughter of the sun god Helios and his wife, Perse, who had negligible use for their child....Expect Miller's readership to mushroom like one of Circe's spells. Miller makes Homer pertinent to women facing 21st-century monsters."—Kirkus, Starred Review

"An epic spanning thousands of years that's also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner."—Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth

"With lyric beauty of language and melancholy evocative of Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn", CIRCE asks all the big questions of existence while framing them in the life story of the famous goddess who had the magic of transformations. A veritable Who's Who of the gods of Olympus and the heroes of ancient Greece, Circe knows them all and we see them through her perceptive eyes. This is as close as you will ever come to entering the world of mythology as a participant. Stunning, touching, and unique."—Margaret George, author of The Confessions of Young Nero

"Circe bears its own transformative magic, a power enabled by Miller's keen eye for beauty, adventure, and reinvention. Through the charms of a misfit heroine, the world of gods becomes stunningly alive, and the world of our own humanity--its questions, loves, and bonds--is illuminated. This book is an immense gift to anyone who reads to find their own bravery and quest."—Affinity Konar, author of Mischling

"Madeline Miller, master storyteller, conjures Circe glowing and alive - and makes the Gods, nymphs and heroes of ancient Greece walk forth in all their armored splendor. Richly detailed and written with such breathtaking command of story, you will be held enchanted. A breathtaking novel."—Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

"Circe is the utterly captivating, exquisitely written, story of an ordinary, and extraordinary, woman's life"—Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

"Written with power and grace, this enchanting, startling, gripping story casts a spell as strong and magical as any created by the sorceress Circe."—Mary Doria Russell, author of Epitaph

"Madeline Miller's re-imagining of the witch Circe from The Odyssey makes for an intriguing, feminist adventure novel that is perfectly suited for the #TimesUp moment. Circe is also a smart read that has much to say about the long-term consequences of war and a culture that values violence and conquest over compassion and learning...Miller mines intriguing details from the original tale to imagine a rich backstory for Circe that allows readers to re-visit the world of Olympians and Titans in Greek mythology. From the court of the Titans, the reader meets Circe's parents, the god Helios and nymph Perse, and is introduced to a world of supernatural power players that is every bit as back-biting, gossip-filled and vicious as any episode of House of Cards."

May-Lee Chai, Dallas News

"'Circe' is a sentence-by-sentence miracle";—Michigan Daily

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