Book of the Fortnight

“The Hounds of Baskervilles” by Arthur Cohan Doyle

The infamous detective Sherlock Holmes promises tales of adventure, surprise, and genius. Recommended by VTSU-Castleton senior Charlie Cisneros, this Sherlock Holmes novel is an “easy read, so you’re not lost but you don’t know what’s going to happen next.” 

This third iteration of Doyle’s crime novels allows readers to immerse themselves into early 20th century England as Doyle “writes in a way that you can picture the characters.” In tandem with well-rounded characters, the story is well-written such that “you’re interested in what’s going to happen next.” 


The Heroin Diaries – A year in the life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx and Ian Gittins 

VTSU-Castleton Professor of Communications David Blow points to Herion Diaries as an autobiographical must read (or listen, for audiobook fans). Blow writes, “I love autobiographies of rock stars and have been devouring audiobooks lately on my commute. But this one was pretty shocking.” 

In a sentence, the book “details the depth of addiction that Motley Crüe leader Nikki Sixx fell into – in his own words – from the pages of this diaries often written while huddled up and high in his closet. Given his castaway-kid childhood with no dad and a mom more interested in replacing him, it’s perhaps not surprising.” 

“I was eagerly awaiting the next chapter, even though we all know he survived and is clean with a top syndicated radio show these days.” 

“God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning by Meghan O’Gieblyn

Philosophy professor Brendan Lalor urges a read of this book as it “contributes insightfully to urgently needed understanding of what we are becoming in our times.” O’Gieblyn “draws on diverse domains to articulate where the machinations of cultural tectonics have – under pressure from religion, technology, and other forces – brough us; what it means for meaning for creatures like ourselves; and what possibilities lie ahead.” 

Lalor noted O’Gieblyn’s exploration of “the shift towards magical AI-fetishism and Bostrom/Musk-style technological transhumanism by reference in part to the Calvinism underlying contemporary American Evangelicalism.” 

In Lalor’s words, “her analyses seriously challenge human exceptionalism, grapple with a seemingly perennial crisis of free will for for religion and science, and might even, with effort, yield insight into immediately-future students may come to feel ChatGDP as a “legitimate” extension of their “own” powers.”

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