Recommended Reads (Aug. 13)

It’s not too late to pack in some great summer reads. Here is Ensuing Chapters‘ recommended reads for the week of Aug. 13, highlighting upcoming and recent releases.

Dreamland: Adventures in the Science of Sleep 

by David K. Randall

Journalist and somnambulist David K. Randall explores the schematics of slumber in this round-up of sleep study anecdotes and analysis, to be released Aug. 13. This promises to be a quirky and informative science read in the vein of Mary Roach and Sam Kean.

Hell’s Angels
by Hunter S. Thompson

This seminal work of gonzo journalism, released digitally for the Nook earlier this month, is a hawg-stomp of danger, debauchery and wicked escapism. This ultra-violent ode to the outlaw biker, released in 1966, still stands as a cultural document of ’60s counter-culture, a fearless feat of immersion reporting and an epic fantasy for anyone who’s felt like ditching the mainstream, straddling a Harley and living free amid the underworld.

Of course, there is no fairy-tale ending for Thompson, who finds himself on the wrong end of the bikers’ boots. Edgy, controversial, hyperbolic, sensationalistice. Yep, it’s all those things. It’s also damn good. Finally, a reason to get a leather jacket for your Nook.


Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution

by Rebecca Stott

Darwin wasn’t the first scientist to observe natural selection at work. His discovery was, like his theory, the product of years of evolution and adaptations, both in thought and society. Here, Stott, an English teacher and author of earlier books on Darwin, gives credit to the thinkers and tinkers who laid the groundwork for On the Origin of Species.

Recently, Stott was interviewed by New York Times‘ book reviewer John Williams. You can read their Q&A here.


This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music

by Adam Brent Houghtaling

This manifesto of misery celebrates the purist of guilty pleasures: the sad song. Sure, we’ve all enjoyed a slow-drag at a high school dance, or hit repeat on Soul Asylum’s “Endless Farewell” whilst nursing a heartbreak. But why do we enjoy them even when we’re happy?

Ballads, like heartaches, come in all varieties, but for Houghtaling, they all share a skeletal structure, which he details in This Will End in Tears. Susan Stamberg, of National Public Radio, recently interviewed Houghtaling. He offered insights to the genre, a few musical suggestions and a sneak preview of the book here.

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