Three on a Theme: Pandemic Philosophy

As we progress into what seems like the umpteenth month of this pandemic, the long-term effects of what it feels like to be isolated from loved ones, constantly exposed to news reports about death and infection rates are starting to feel quite exhausting. Even though some lockdown measures are slowly thawing (have you tried curbside holds pickup yet?), we are still far from returning to the way things were pre-pandemic. Here are some philosophical texts that deal with some of the psychological, political, and social struggles of being in a pandemic for the long haul. Continue reading “Three on a Theme: Pandemic Philosophy”

#BookBingoNW2020: Philosophy or spirituality

In this year’s Book Bingo, the philosophy or spirituality square gives us a chance to explore. For philosophy, we can seek aspects about the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence that interest us.  And, for spirituality, it can be how to look more deeply, or less, into our soul or inner life.  To me during this pandemic, these are even more serious subjects and it was first a bit hard to focus on looking up titles to recommend.  Yet the research has made me think more open-mindedly about people and their lives, which has been a positive experience.

A colleague created this Book Bingo NW 2020: Philosophy or spirituality reading list.  It has 20 titles which range from covering about joy and tragedy, general and beginner reads, and taking us from medieval to current day.  This is a great place to start looking, especially for those titles available now for downloading.  So, my approach has been to look for a few other titles in the catalog to recommend.

Who do we think we are?  How do identities define us?  Anthony Appiah, a British-Ghanaian philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist, in his book called The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity, Creed, Country, Class, Culture asks us these questions and more.  He goes back to historical events that have shaped our own and the world’s identities in religion, race, nationality, class and culture.  These are influenced by how identities work, that there are conflicts between identities, and the identities are created by conflicts.  Appiah gave an author talk at the Central Library in 2018 and here’s a link to the podcast. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Philosophy or spirituality”

Columbia Branch Staff’s Favorites

The Columbia Branch staff put up a popular Staff Picks display throughout July to celebrate this year’s Summer Reading Program. Here are some of the books the Columbia Branch staff loved:

Find "Blankets" in the SPL catalog.Blankets by Craig Thompson
This graphic novel tells a story of coming of age, first love and early adulthood. Thompson captures those timeless themes perfectly in a comic strip form that has won resounding acclaim from both critics and general readers. Continue reading “Columbia Branch Staff’s Favorites”