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The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

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An amazing look at our language, with much insight into what linguistics & semantics are all about. Pinker lets the novice become privy to what experts / academics are looking into. Witty, full of neat examples. Chapters on names, taboo words, metaphor etc.
Small Beneath the Sky: A Prairie Memoir

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As you read this slim volume you can't help but feel it is coming straight from the heart. And if you have prairie roots (Crozier grew up in Swift Current), it will further enhance the appeal (it reminded me of Dorothy Livesy's memoir A Winnipeg Childhood.) Read it and be inspired to pick up a volume of Lorna Crozier's poetry.
The Call: A Novel

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This novel lets you live vicariously in rural Vermont, with Martin, Jen and their three young children. They have a simple, full life (not quite homesteaders), but the post 2008 downturn is increasingly affecting his veterinary practice. Theirs are the typical joys and stresses affecting couples raising a family, and Yannick Murphy portrays these extremely well. When tragedy strikes, you share the pain and worry, and witness the changes in the family dynamic, but it is well worth the trip. I finished the book wanting to read her other novels.
State of Wonder: A Novel

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This Heart of Darkness like tale leads you on a journey into the Amazon jungle with a female researcher employed by a pharmaceutical company. What begins as a mission to investigate the death of a colleague leads to some unexpected and harrowing discoveries.Great escape lit!
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China

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Leslie Chang, a Wall Street Journal correspondant, lived in China for a year, during which time she researched this book. Her primary objective was to gain an understanding of the lives of the girls and young women who leave their families in the countryside to go to work in the factories in Dongguan, and here she gives a fascinating account of modern Chinese life. Several chapters are also devoted to researching her own family's past.. If you liked Jan Wong's Beijing Confidential you'll enjoy Factory Girls.
What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness

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A starkly truthful account of this Scottish novelist's life, including her struggles with alcohal, her feelings of insecurity, her relationships with her ex-husbands and children, and the condition called blepharospasm that caused her blindness. With each chapter I experienced a different emotional response ranging from sympathy to frustration, disbelief and admiration.
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