Alumni News: Jonah Lehrer

Dear Reader,


Jonah Lehrer’s enlightening books are, quite simply, a lot of fun to read.   “His clear and vivid writing--incisive and thoughtful, yet sensitive and modest–is a special pleasure,” said Oliver Sacks.


Lehrer’s 2007 erudite and accessible debut, Proust was a Neuroscientist, was an obvious choice for the Discover Great New Writers program.  This is a book, Lehrer writes, “about artists who anticipated the discoveries of neuroscience.  It is about writers and painters and composers who discovered truths about the human mind—real, tangible truths—that science is now only rediscovering.  Their imaginations foretold the facts of the future.”


When it was first published, The Los Angeles Times Book Review said Proust was a Neuroscientist “marks the arrival of an important new thinker, who finds in the science and the arts wonder and beauty, and with equal confidence says wise and fresh things about both.

If you haven’t yet read Lehrer, now’s a perfect time: The NOOK book editions of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide are just $3.99 each until 3/11/12.


Lehrer’s third book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, goes on sale 3/19/12, and it’s the first nonfiction selection of the Barnes & Noble Recommends program. Titles selected for the B&N Recommends program are the books our booksellers can’t stop talking about; Thought-provoking, uniquely engaging, and original in voice, B&N Recommends selections are chosen for sheer reading pleasure and their appeal as book club picks.


Malcolm Gladwell has said “Jonah Lehrer’s new book confirms what his fans have known all along – that he knows more about science than a lot of scientists and more about writing than a lot of writers.  Imagine ties together examples from sources as divergent as Pixar and 3M, Bob Dylan and Yo-Yo Ma.   This book, writes Lehrer, “is about our most important mental talent: the ability to imagine what has never existed.”


Cheers, Miwa


April 25: "[S]cience could be like baseball: a young man's game whose stars made their mark in their early twenties."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.