Though there are many worlds inside books, they all seem to carry with them the theme of lonely existence in a big, broken, dangerous world.  Whether that world is one of PTSD, of hangings for petty crimes or of global destruction by ice, it seems not even characters who only exist on the pages open in front of us are free from the harsh reality of human existence.  In each narrative you will read of and, ultimately, empathize with the stuggle for self discovery in the big dark world that unties us as human.

THE MOST HUMAN HUMAN // BRIAN CHRISTIAN In a world where technology and human life are becoming more and more intertwined, what sets us apart? How important are the boundaries between human and machine?
THE YELLOW BIRDS // KEVIN POWERS “I promise I’ll bring him home to you”
WORKING // STUDS TERKEL This morning you left your house, got a cup of coffee. You thanked the barista and left without even registering her. You drive to work, say hello to the same security guard you see every day at work without even thinking it strange you don’t know his name. Maybe later you’ll pick up some groceries and say “I’m fine, thanks” to the cashier without looking her in the face. People, it seems, are just a service. But ask them, just once ask them about their job, their dreams. You’ll learn so much.
UTOPIA // THOMAS MORE Have you ever considered living on the island of Utopia?? If you have an interest in….. -Communism -Moon worship -Raising chickens as your own children -Slaves to do the worst work -Mandatory farming -Pacifism -Total lack of privacy -Moving in and out of houses with total strangers YOU might be qualified!* *Must serve as slave before becoming full citizen. Some restrictions apply.
REDEPLOYMENT // PHIL KLAY For Sergeant Price’s body, the distance between Iraq and home can be measured in the hours he spends on the plane. For his mind, however, that distance seems insurmountable. Going from holding a gun to holding his wife; from killing dogs on the street to keeping one as a pet is too much a shock for even the best adapted soldiers.
CAT'S CRADLE // KURT VONNEGUT Imagine a world where the father of the atom bomb could create something more powerful, more destructive than the largest bomb on earth. Vonnegut's alternate world is made complete by a religion told only in lies, an island country that is home to the most beautiful woman John, the narrator, has ever seen, and three misfit, orphaned children who have the power to destroy the world.
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