New Meetup: Little Canada Book Club - "The Men Who Stare at Goats" by Jon Ronson

From: Patricia M.
Sent on: Sunday, October 11, 2009 6:57 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group!

What: Little Canada Book Club - "The Men Who Stare at Goats" by Jon Ronson

When: November 14,[masked]:00 PM

Where:
Caribou Coffee
3354 Rice St
Little Canada, MN 55126
[masked]

This month we will be discussing "The Men Who Stare at Goats" by Jon Ronson.

Please note this is a change from our previously planned schedule. We have moved "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman to our December meeting. This change was made due to that fact that a movie version of "The Men Who Stare at Goats" is coming out in early November, and some members might prefer to read the book prior to seeing the movie.

From Publishers Weekly
This exploration of the U.S. military's flirtation with the supernatural is at once funny and tragic. It reads like fiction, with plenty of dialogue and descriptive detail, but as Ronson's">Ronson's">Ronson's">Ronson's investigation into the government's peculiar past doings creeps into the present-and into Iraq-it will raise goose bumps. As Ronson reveals, a secret wing of the U.S. military called First Earth Battalion was created in 1979 with the purpose of creating "Warrior Monks," soldiers capable of walking through walls, becoming invisible, reading minds and even killing a goat simply by staring at it. Some of the characters involved seem well-meaning enough, such as the hapless General Stubblebine, who is "confounded by his continual failure to walk through his wall." But Ronson (Them: Adventures with Extremists) soon learns that the Battalion's bizarre ideas inspired some alarming torture techniques being used in the present-day War on Terror. One technique involves subjecting prisoners to 24 hours of Barney the Purple Dinosaur's song, "I Love You," and another makes use of the Predator, a small, toy-like object designed by military martial arts master Pete Brusso that can inflict a large amount of pain in many different ways ("You can take eyeballs right out... with this bit," Brusso tells Ronson). Ronson approaches the material with an open mind and a delightfully dry sense of humor, which makes this an entertaining, if unsettling, read. Indeed, as the events recounted here grow ever more curious-and the individuals Ronson meets more disturbing-it's necessary to remind oneself of Ronson's">Ronson's">Ronson's">Ronson's opening words: "This is a true story."
Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

We will also be choosing books for future meetings, so please come ready to express your preference or to make additional suggestions. Books under consideration include:
"The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" by Oliver Sacks
"The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene
"Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution" by Neil Degrasse Tyson (or another of his books)
"Why Does E=mc2? (And Why Should We Care?)" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw
"The Secular Mind" by Robert Coles

Caribou Coffee asks that we make a minimum purchase of $25 to use their meeting room. To ensure we cover the cost of the room, please let the cashier know you are with the book club if you buy something.

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/minnesota-atheists/calendar/11599838/

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