eBook Friday: Hallucinations

Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks

Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body.

Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience.

Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr. Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Sad Trombone Music

I get to the end of this article from the front page of the August 17, 1893 edition of The Chatham Record, and I imagine the protagonist turning toward the camera with his shoulders shrugged and lip pooched out.

Wah-wah-waaaaah.

“You Don’t Get the Clock.” 

An old custom once prevailed in a remote place of giving a clock to anyone who would truthfully swear he had minded his own business alone for a year and a day, and had not meddled with his neighbors. Many came, but few, if any, gained the prize, which was more difficult to win than the Dunmow flitch of bacon. Though they swore on the four Gospels, and held out their hands in certain hope, some hitch was sure to be found somewhere; and for all their asseverations the clock remained stationary on its shelf, no one being able to prove his absolute immunity from uncalled-for interference in things not in any way concerning himself. At last a young man came with a perfectly clean record, and the clock seemed as if it was at last about to change owners. Then said the custodian, “Oh! A young man was here yesterday, and made mighty sure he was going to have the clock, but he didn’t.” Said the young man seeking the prize, “And why didn’t he get it?” “What’s that to you?” snapped out the custodian; “that’s not your business, and you don’t get the clock.” – New York Dispatch

Library to Host Film and Discussion Series on U.S. Presidents

Chatham Community Library will host a six-week film and discussion series on U.S. Presidents beginning Thursday, August 24th, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Holmes Meeting Room. The series, Presidents, Politics and Power: American Presidents Who Shaped the 20th Century, is part of the “Let’s Talk About It” project sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council and the North Carolina Center for the Book (a program of the State Library of North Carolina).

During the twentieth century the American presidency became the most powerful office in the world. The basis for the power inhered in the extraordinary natural wealth of the United States, in a dynamic economy that operated within an expanding free market, and in the vigorous entrepreneurial energy that those conditions encouraged. But these ingredients did not themselves constitute national power. It required the agency of strong national leadership to make the decisions and shape the policies that would transform the United States by century’s end from an insular, second-rate military entity to an indispensable world power.

Presidents, Politics and Power focuses on six U.S. leaders: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and offers a direct route into central policy questions. Those questions include managing economic growth while balancing the demands of a free market with the needs of labor and consumers, and shaping foreign and military policy to maintain national security and define the country’s changing relationship to the world.

The series consists of six sessions, each featuring a film biography to provide context for discussion. North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholars Willie Nelms and Billy Yeargin, Jr. will lead the discussion and film sessions.

Session dates and times are as follows:

  • Session 1. Theodore Roosevelt: The Bully Pulpit – Thursday, August 24, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: No Ordinary Times – Thursday, August 31, 6:00-pm-8:00pm
  • Session 3. Harry S. Truman: Cold Warrior – Thursday, September 7, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 4. Lyndon Johnson: Anxious Power – Thursday, September 14, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 5. Richard M. Nixon: Power Used and Abused – Thursday, September 21, 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Session 6. Ronald Reagan: Reordering Priorities – Thursday, September 28, 6:00pm-8:00pm

All sessions are free and open to the public.

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities Council.

For questions regarding the upcoming film and discussion series please contact Rita Van Duinen, Branch Manager for the Chatham Community Library at 919-545-8083 or via email at rita.vanduinen@chathamlibraries.org.

eBook Friday: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers

With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters’ inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers’ finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated — and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability “to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.” She writes “with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming,” said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: They All Saw a Cat

They All Saw a Cat, by Brendan Wenzel

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .

In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see? Plus, this is the fixed format version, which looks almost identical to the print edition.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Library Now a Partnering Site for the Virtual Justice Project

Chatham Community Library (CCL) in Pittsboro is now an official partnering site for the Virtual Justice Project (VJP), administered by North Carolina Central University’s School of Law.  Originally established to address limited access to legal services for low-income and marginalized communities, the VJP offers legal information sessions made possible through the use of high-definition videoconferencing equipment. CCL is currently one of seven public libraries in the state to become a VJP partnering site.

CCL hosted its first VJP session, Immigration 101, on July 19th.  The next session entitled Tax and Facts takes place on Wednesday, August 30th at 6:00 pm. Professor Deanna Coleman and Local Taxpayer Advocate Chris Nebel will be discussing how the Taxpayer Advocate Service and NCCU School of Law’s Low Income Taxpayers Clinic can be of assistance to taxpayers.

VJP events are free and open to the public. While registration is not required, seating is limited. Unless otherwise stated, all VJP sessions are conducted in English.

For additional information on the Virtual Justice Project, and to view the 2017 calendar of events, please visit the Project’s website at: http://law.nccu.edu/technology/virtual-justice-project-2/virtual-justice-project/.

If you have questions regarding the Library – VJP partnership, please contact Rita Van Duinen, Branch Manager, at 919-545-8083.

eBook Friday: Anna Karenina [Audiobook]

Anna Karenina [Audiobook], by Leo Tolstoy

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This is the famous opening sentence of Tolstoi’s epic love story between Anna Arkadyevna Karenina and her Count Vronsky. Anna Karenina (1877) by Leo Tolstoy is a classic story of love and tragedy against the backdrop of pre-revolutionary Russia. The extravagant and dramatic story of Anna Karenina who risks everything for passion is intertwined with the quiet story of Levin (an autobiographical character) and his own quest for true love and personal fulfillment. This psychological masterpiece is considered to be one of the greatest novels of world literature.

* this audiobook is available through OneClickDigital

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace, by David Lipsky

In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the ’90s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.”

Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.

A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: I’ve Got Your Number

I’ve Got Your Number, by Sophie Kinsella

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Don’t Get Caught

Don’t Get Caught, by Kurt Dinan

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. —Chaos Club 

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students—who also received invites—are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

Oceans 11 meets The Breakfast Club in this entertaining, fast-paced debut filled with pranks and cons that will keep readers on their toes, never sure who’s pulling the strings or what’s coming next.

***

Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collections at
http://e-inc.overdrive.com
or http://chathamconc.oneclickdigital.com. Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!