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NON-FICTION Book Group
First Tuesday at 1PM
In the summer of 1953, a renowned Yale neurosurgeon named William Beecher Scoville performed a novel operation on a 27-year-old epileptic patient named Henry Molaison, drilling two silver-dollar sized holes in his forehead and suctioning out a few teaspoons of tissue from a mysterious region deep inside his brain. The operation helped control Molaison's intractable seizures, but it also did something else: It left Molaison amnesic for the rest of his life, with a short term memory of just thirty seconds. Patient H.M., as he came to be known, would emerge as the most important human research subject in history.
Much of what we now know about how memory works is a direct result of the sixty years of near-constant experimentation carried out upon him until his death in 2008. Award-winning journalist Luke Dittrich brings readers from the gleaming laboratory in San Diego where Molaison's disembodied brain -- now the focus of intense scrutiny -- sits today; to the surgical suites of the 1940s and 50s, where doctors wielded the powers of gods; and into the examination rooms where generations of researchers performed endless experiments on a single, essential, oblivious man: H.M. In the process, Dittrich excavates the lives of Dr. Scoville and his most famous patient, and spins their tales together in thrilling, kaleidoscopic fashion, uncovering troves of well-guarded secrets, and revealing how the bright future of modern neuroscience has dark roots in the forgotten history of psychosurgery, raising ethical questions that echo into the present day
Copies of the book will be available to borrow from the Library. All readers are welcome to the discussion.
Third Thursday Book Group
Thursday May 16 at 1PM
Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within.
Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
Copies of the book are available to borrow. All readers are welcome to the discussion.
Upcoming Book Group Selections
Upcoming titles for our Third Thursday Book Group:
June 20 - About Grace by Anthony Doerr
July 18 - Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
The Non-Fiction Book Group meets the first Tuesday of the month, at 1PM.
July and August, the group takes a break, to return in September.
6/4/2019 Woolly Ben Mezrich
9/3/2019 Sons and Soldiers Bruce B. Henderson