Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Books for July

I'm going to try something new this month: a "New Books" feature in which I highlight a few books that are coming out this month, which I haven't read yet, but look interesting. July is a bit of a slow month for books, but see the two upcoming releases below:


Touching A Nerve: Exploring the Implications of Self As Brain
Patricia Churchland 
W.W. Norton, $26.95

Even if you think that Churchland's brand of neurological reductionism (i.e., our thoughts are nothing more than neurons firing) can be overdone and overhyped, this looks like an interesting book and a fun one to argue with at bedtime, if you like to read such things at bedtime. The publisher's blurb promises a colorful blend of memoir, ethical philosophy, and bibliography of recent work in the field. 

Zibaldone
Giacomo Leopardi 
FSG, $75 
July 9th

Leopardi, who was (as a friend once explained to me) Italy's equivalent of Wordsworth, kept an enormous, 4,500-page notebook of ideas, quotations, and reactions "about religion, philosophy, language, history, anthropology, astronomy, literature, poetry, and love," to quote FSG's blurb. They have now been translated, in full, into English for the first time. Sure to rival Kierkegaard's diaries and Benjamin's Passagenwerk for colorful fragmentary Continental brilliance.