The Mind Body Problem, by Rebecca Goldstein (also physics and mathematics) When Renee Feuer goes to college, one of the first lessons she tries to learn is how to liberate herself from the restrictions of her Orthodox Jewish background. As she discovers the pleasures of the body, Renee also learns about the excitements of the mind. She enrolls as a philosophy graduate student, then marries Noam Himmel, the world-renowned mathematician. But Renee discovers that being married to a genius is a less elevating experience than expected, and that the allure of sex still beckons. Her quest for a solution to the conflicting demands of sensuality and spirit is a touching and always humorous adventure.
36 Arguments for the Existence of God, by Rebecca Goldstein (also psychology) A witty and intoxicating novel of ideas that plunges into the great debate between faith and reason. At the center is Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology whose book, The Varieties of Religious Illusion, has become a surprise best seller. Dubbed the atheist with a soul, he wins over the stunning Lucinda Mandelbaum, the goddess of game theory. But he is haunted by reminders of two people who ignited his passion to understand religion: his teacher Jonas Elijah Klapper, a renowned literary scholar with a suspicious obsession with messianism, and an angelic six-year-old mathematical genius, heir to the leadership of an exotic Hasidic sect.
Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations, from the Civil War to the 20th century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. In the words of “Kirkus,” it is a novel “as big as a nation, as quiet as thought, and moving as prayer. Matchless and towering.” Gilead tells the story of America and will break your heart.