What We Are Reading Today: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Updated 12 August 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

  • This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells 100 years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. 

It is a “transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power,” said a review in goodreads.com.

This is the “story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina,” it added.

Critic Angela Flournoy commented in The New York Times: “Part oral history, part urban history, part celebration of a bygone way of life, The Yellow House is a full indictment of the greed, discrimination, indifference and poor city planning that led her family’s home to be wiped off the map. It is an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future of the city of New Orleans, and of America writ large.”


What We Are Reading Today: Conscience by Patricia S. Churchland

Updated 26 August 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Conscience by Patricia S. Churchland

  • Churchland brings together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture

In her brilliant work Touching a Nerve, Patricia S. Churchland, the distinguished founder of neurophilosophy, drew from scientific research on the brain to understand its philosophical and ethical implications for identity, consciousness, free will, and memory, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

In Conscience, she explores how moral systems arise from our physical selves in combination with environmental demands.

All social groups have ideals for behavior, even though ethics vary among different cultures and among individuals within each culture. In trying to understand why, Churchland brings together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture. 

She shows how children grow up in society to learn, through repetition and rewards, the norms, values, and behavior that their parents embrace.

Conscience delves into scientific studies, particularly the fascinating work on twins, to deepen our understanding of whether people have a predisposition to embrace specific ethical stands.