What’s a good general interest non-fiction book you’ve read in the last few months?
Book mentions in this thread
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
by Julian JaynesAt the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.
The Courage To Be Disliked
by Ichiro KishimiThe Japanese phenomenon that teaches us the simple yet profound lessons required to liberate our real selves and find lasting happiness. The Courage to be Disliked shows you how to unlock the power within yourself to become your best and truest self, change your future and find lasting happiness. Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts and the expectations of others. It's a philosophy that's profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change, and to ignore the limitations that we and those around us can place on ourselves. The result is a book that is both highly accessible and profound in its importance. Millions have already read and benefited from its wisdom. Now that The Courage to be Disliked has been published for the first time in English, so can you.
by Scott Barry KaufmanWhen positive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman first discovered Maslow's unfinished theory of transcendence, sprinkled throughout a cache of unpublished journals, he felt a deep resonance with his own work and life. In this groundbreaking book, Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off, unraveling the mysteries of his unfinished theory, and integrating these ideas with the latest research on attachment, connection, exploration, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived. Maslow's model provides a roadmap for finding purpose and fulfillment--not by striving for money, success, or "happiness," but by becoming the best version of ourselves, or what Maslow called self-actualization. Transcend reveals a level of human potential that's even higher, which Maslow termed "transcendence." Beyond individual fulfillment, this way of being--which taps into the whole person-- connects us not only to our best self, but also to one another. With never-before-published insights and new research findings, along with thought-provoking examples and personality tests, this empowering book is a manual for self-analysis and nurturing a deeper connection with our highest potential-- and beyond.
Conversing with Cage
by Richard KostelanetzAnnotation Conversing with Cage draws on over 150 interviews with John Cage conducted over four decades to draw a full picture of his life and art. Filled with the witty aphorisms that have made Cage as famous as an esthetic philosopher as a composer, the book offers both an introduction to Cage's way of thinking and a rich gathering of his many thoughts on art, life, and music. John Cage is perhaps this century's most radical classical composer. From his famous "silent" piece (4'33") to his proclamation that "all sound is music," Cage stretched the aesthetic boundaries of what could be performed in the modern concert hall. But, more than that, Cage was a provocative cultural figure, who played a key role in inspiring scores of other artists-and social philosophers-in the second half of the 20th century. Through his life and work, he created revolutions in thinking about art, and its relationship to the world around us. Conversing with Cage is the ideal introduction to this world, offering in the artist's own words his ideas about life and art. It will appeal to all fans of this mythic figure on the American scene, as well as anyone interested in better understanding 20th century modernism.
by Eric BergerThe dramatic inside story of the first four historic flights that launched SpaceX--and Elon Musk--from a shaky startup into the world's leading edge rocket company. In 2006, SpaceX--a brand-new venture with fewer than 200 employees--rolled its first, single-engine rocket onto a launch pad at Kwajalein Atoll. After a groundbreaking launch from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Falcon 1 rocket designed by Elon Musk's engineers rose in the air for approximately thirty seconds. Then, its engine flamed out, and the rocket crashed back into the ocean. In 2007, SpaceX undertook a second launch. This time, the rocket rose far into space, but just before reaching orbit it spun out of control. Confident of success in 2008, Musk and his team launched their third rocket with several paying customers. The first stage executed perfectly, but instead of falling away, it thudded into the second stage. Another failure. Elon Musk had only budgeted for three attempts when he founded SpaceX. Out of money and with a single Falcon 1 rocket left in its factory, SpaceX decided to try one last, dramatic launch. Over eight weeks, engineers worked furiously to prepare this final rocket. The fate of Musk's venture mirrored the trajectory of this slender, single-engine rocket aimed toward the skies. If it crashed and burned, so would SpaceX. In September 2008, SpaceX's last chance for success lifted off . . . and accelerated like a dream, soaring into orbit flawlessly. That success would launch a miraculous decade for the company, in which SpaceX grew from building a single-engine rocket to one with a staggering 27 engines; created two different spacecraft, and mastered reusable-rocket descents using mobile drone ships on the open seas. It marked a level of production and achievement that has not been seen since the space race of the 1960s. But these achievements would not have been possible without SpaceX's first four flight tests. Drawing on unparalleled access and exclusive interviews with dozens of former and current employees--engineers, designers, mechanics, and executives, including Elon Musk--Eric Berger tells the complete story of this foundational generation that transformed SpaceX into the world's leading space company. Liftoff includes more than a dozen photographs.
The Origins and History of Consciousness (Princeton Classics, 9)
by Erich NeumannThe Origins and History of Consciousness draws on a full range of world mythology to show how individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as human consciousness as a whole. Erich Neumann was one of C. G. Jung's most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right. In this influential book, Neumann shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, the tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence, the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness. Featuring a foreword by Jung, this Princeton Classics edition introduces a new generation of readers to this eloquent and enduring work.
The Secret Life of Groceries
by Benjamin Lorr"In the tradition of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma, an extraordinary investigation into the human lives at the heart of the American grocery store What does it take to run the American supermarket? How do products get to shelves? Who sets the price? And who suffers the consequences of increased convenience end efficiency? In this alarming exposé, author Benjamin Lorr pulls back the curtain on this highly secretive industry. Combining deep sourcing, immersive reporting, and compulsively readable prose, Lorr leads a wild investigation in which we learn: The secrets of Trader Joe's success from Trader Joe himself Why truckers call their job "sharecropping on wheels" What it takes for a product to earn certification labels like "organic" and "fair trade" The struggles entrepreneurs face as they fight for shelf space, including essential tips, tricks, and traps for any new food business The truth behind the alarming slave trade in the shrimp industry The result is a page-turning portrait of an industry in flux, filled with the passion, ingenuity, and exploitation required to make this everyday miracle continue to function. The product of five years of research and hundreds of interviews across every level of the industry, The Secret Life of Groceries delivers powerful social commentary on the inherently American quest for more and the social costs therein"--
Thinking in Bets
by Annie DukePoker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result. In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making? Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.
The Terrorist's Dilemma
by Jacob N. ShapiroHow do terrorist groups control their members? Do the tools groups use to monitor their operatives and enforce discipline create security vulnerabilities that governments can exploit? This title examines the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured.
A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief
by Patrick Vinton KirchTracing the origins of the Hawaiians and other Polynesians back to the shores of the South China Sea, archaeologist Patrick Vinton Kirch follows their voyages of discovery across the Pacific in this fascinating history of Hawaiian culture from about one thousand years ago. Combining more than four decades of his own research with Native Hawaiian oral traditions and the evidence of archaeology, Kirch puts a human face on the gradual rise to power of the Hawaiian god-kings, who by the late eighteenth century were locked in a series of wars for ultimate control of the entire archipelago. This lively, accessible chronicle works back from Captain James Cook’s encounter with the pristine kingdom in 1778, when the British explorers encountered an island civilization governed by rulers who could not be gazed upon by common people. Interweaving anecdotes from his own widespread travel and extensive archaeological investigations into the broader historical narrative, Kirch shows how the early Polynesian settlers of Hawai'i adapted to this new island landscape and created highly productive agricultural systems.
What Is Real?
by Adam BeckerEvery physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.
Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
by Jack M. BickhamConsisting of detailed discussions in which film directors and actors analyse key scenes from their film output, Mark Cousins's study covers the period from the 1940s through to the 1990s. The author discusses approximately forty of the most important scenes ever shot.
Against the Grain
by James C. ScottAn account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
Brave New Work
by Aaron Dignan"This is the management book of the year. Clear, powerful and urgent, it's a must read for anyone who cares about where they work and how they work." --Seth Godin, author of This is Marketing "This book is a breath of fresh air. Read it now, and make sure your boss does too." --Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg Aaron Dignan is the driver behind some of today's most agile, fastest-scaling companies. In this book, he reveals his tested strategies for eliminating red tape, dissolving bureaucracy, and doing the best work of your life. He's found that nearly everyone, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, points to the same frustrations: lack of trust, bottlenecks in decision making, siloed functions and teams, meeting and email overload, tiresome budgeting, short-term thinking, and more. Is there any hope for a solution? Haven't countless business gurus promised the answer, yet changed almost nothing about the way we work? That's because we fail to recognize that organizations aren't machines to be predicted and controlled. They're complex human systems full of potential waiting to be released. Dignan says you can't fix a team, department, or organization by tinkering around the edges. Over the years, he has helped his clients completely reinvent their operating systems--the fundamental principles and practices that shape their culture--with extraordinary success. Imagine a bank that abandoned traditional budgeting, only to outperform its competition for decades. An appliance manufacturer that divided itself into 2,000 autonomous teams, resulting not in chaos but rapid growth. A healthcare provider with an HQ of just 50 people supporting over 14,000 people in the field--that is named the "best place to work" year after year.. And even a team that saved $3 million per year by cancelling one monthly meeting. Their stories may sound improbable, but in Brave New Work you'll learn exactly how they and other organizations are inventing a smarter, healthier, and more effective way to work. Not through top down mandates, but through a groundswell of autonomy, trust, and transparency. Whether you lead a team of ten or ten thousand, improving your operating system is the single most powerful thing you can do. The only question is, are you ready?
The River of Doubt
by Candice MillardAt once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever. Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, Indian attack, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived. From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut.
by Nicholas CarrNew York Times bestseller • Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize “This is a book to shake up the world.” —Ann Patchett Nicholas Carr’s bestseller The Shallows has become a foundational book in one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? This 10th-anniversary edition includes a new afterword that brings the story up to date, with a deep examination of the cognitive and behavioral effects of smartphones and social media.
Amusing Ourselves to Death
by Neil PostmanExamines the ways in which television has transformed public discourse--in politics, education, religion, science, and elsewhere--into a form of entertainment that undermines exposition, explanation and knowledge, in a special anniversary edition of the classic critique of the influence of the mass media on a democratic society. Reprint.
How Emotions Are Made
by Lisa Feldman Barrett'Fascinating . . . a thought-provoking journey into emotion science' The Wall Street Journal When you feel anxious, angry, happy, or surprised, what's really going on inside of you? Many scientists believe that emotions come from a specific part of the brain, triggered by the world around us. The thrill of seeing an old friend, the fear of losing someone we love - each of these sensations seems to arise automatically and uncontrollably from within us, finding expression on our faces and in our behaviour, carrying us away with the experience. This understanding of emotion has been around since Plato. But what if it is wrong? In How Emotions Are Made, pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett draws on the latest scientific evidence to reveal that our common-sense ideas about emotions are dramatically, even dangerously, out of date - and that we have been paying the price. Emotions aren't universally pre-programmed in our brains and bodies; rather they are psychological experiences that each of us constructs based on our unique personal history, physiology and environment. This new view of emotions has serious implications: when judges issue lesser sentences for crimes of passion, when police officers fire at threatening suspects, or when doctors choose between one diagnosis and another, they're all, in some way, relying on the ancient assumption that emotions are hardwired into our brains and bodies. Revising that conception of emotion isn't just good science, Barrett shows; it's vital to our well-being and the health of society itself.
by David EpsteinMany experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. Epstein examined the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists, and discovered that in most fields-- especially those that are complex and unpredictable-- generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists juggle many interests rather than focusing on one-- but they're also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. -- adapted from jacket
The Strangest Man
by Graham Farmelo'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather. Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac's massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship. The Strangest Man is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history. 'A wonderful book . . . Moving, sometimes comic, sometimes infinitely sad, and goes to the roots of what we mean by truth in science.' Lord Waldegrave, Daily Telegraph
Living in Data
by Jer ThorpJer Thorp’s analysis of the word “data” in 10,325 New York Times stories written between 1984 and 2018 shows a distinct trend: among the words most closely associated with “data,” we find not only its classic companions “information” and “digital,” but also a variety of new neighbors—from “scandal” and “misinformation” to “ethics,” “friends,” and “play.” To live in data in the twenty-first century is to be incessantly extracted from, classified and categorized, statisti-fied, sold, and surveilled. Data—our data—is mined and processed for profit, power, and political gain. In Living in Data, Thorp asks a crucial question of our time: How do we stop passively inhabiting data, and instead become active citizens of it? Threading a data story through hippo attacks, glaciers, and school gymnasiums, around colossal rice piles, and over active minefields, Living in Data reminds us that the future of data is still wide open, that there are ways to transcend facts and figures and to find more visceral ways to engage with data, that there are always new stories to be told about how data can be used. Punctuated with Thorp's original and informative illustrations, Living in Data not only redefines what data is, but reimagines who gets to speak its language and how to use its power to create a more just and democratic future. Timely and inspiring, Living in Data gives us a much-needed path forward.
Four Lost Cities
by Annalee NewitzOne of Apple's Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.
The Beginning of Infinity
by David DeutschA bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.
Land Of The Seven Rivers
by Sanyal SanjeevDid ancient India witness the Great Flood? Why did the Buddha give his first sermon at Sarnath? How did the Europeans map India? Combining scholarship with sparkling wit, Sanjeev Sanyal sets out to explore how India's history was shaped by its geography--answering questions you may have never thought to ask. Moving from geological and genetic origins to present-day Gurgaon, Land of the Seven Rivers is riveting, wry and full of surprises.
The Psychology of Money
by Morgan HouselDoing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people. Money—investing, personal finance, and business decisions—is typically taught as a math-based field, where data and formulas tell us exactly what to do. But in the real world people don’t make financial decisions on a spreadsheet. They make them at the dinner table, or in a meeting room, where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together. In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.
In The Garden of Beasts
by Erik LarsonBerlin,1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany, in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent U.S. State Department, while Martha is drawn to the Nazis and their vision of a 'New Germany' and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as the year darkens, Dodd and his daughter find their lives transformed and any last illusion they might have about Hitler are shattered by the violence of the 'Night of the Long Knives' in the summer of 1934 that established him as supreme dictator. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler amongst others, Erik Larson's new book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history.
by Stephen R. PlattWhen Britain declared war on China in 1839, it sealed the fate of what had been, for centuries, the wealthiest and most powerful empire in the world.China was much weaker than was commonly understood and the war set in motion the fall of the Qing dynasty which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. Beginning with the very first efforts by the British government to 'open' China to trade, Stephen Platt tells the epic story of the decades leading up to the war and, given the growing uncertainty in current relations between China and the West, shows how the conflict still has important implications for the world today.
Bubble in the Sun
by Christopher KnowltonChristopher Knowlton, author of Cattle Kingdom and former Fortune writer, takes an in-depth look at the spectacular Florida land boom of the 1920s and shows how it led directly to the Great Depression. The 1920s in Florida was a time of incredible excess, immense wealth, and precipitous collapse. The decade there produced the largest human migration in American history, far exceeding the settlement of the West, as millions flocked to the grand hotels and the new cities that rose rapidly from the teeming wetlands. The boom spawned a new subdivision civilization—and the most egregious large-scale assault on the environment in the name of “progress.” Nowhere was the glitz and froth of the Roaring Twenties more excessive than in Florida. Here was Vegas before there was a Vegas: gambling was condoned and so was drinking, since prohibition was not enforced. Tycoons, crooks, and celebrities arrived en masse to promote or exploit this new and dazzling American frontier in the sunshine. Yet, the import and deep impact of these historical events have never been explored thoroughly until now. In Bubble in the Sun Christopher Knowlton examines the grand artistic and entrepreneurial visions behind Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, and other storied sites, as well as the darker side of the frenzy. For while giant fortunes were being made and lost and the nightlife raged more raucously than anywhere else, the pure beauty of the Everglades suffered wanton ruination and the workers, mostly black, who built and maintained the boom, endured grievous abuses. Knowlton breathes dynamic life into the forces that made and wrecked Florida during the decade: the real estate moguls Carl Fisher, George Merrick, and Addison Mizner, and the once-in-a-century hurricane whose aftermath triggered the stock market crash. This essential account is a revelatory—and riveting—history of an era that still affects our country today.
Some Assembly Required
by Neil ShubinThe author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish gives us a brilliant, up-to-date account of the great transformations in the history of life on Earth. Over billions of years, fish evolved to walk on land, reptiles transformed into birds that fly, and ape-like primates changed into humans who walk on two legs, talk and write. This is a story full of surprises. If you think that feathers arose to help animals fly, or lungs to help them walk on land, you’d be in good company. You’d also be entirely wrong. Neil Shubin delves deep into the mystery of life, the ongoing revolutions in our understanding of how we got here, and brings us closer to answering one of the great questions – was life on earth inevitable…or was it all an accident?
The Plague Year
by Lawrence WrightA New York Times Notable Book of 2018 'This is a funny, pointed love letter to Texas, at once elegiac and clear-eyed' Ben Macintyre, The Times From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. Texas is a Republican state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslim adherents in the United States). The cities are Democrat and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports and has an economy only somewhat smaller than Australia's. Lawrence Wright has written an enchanting book about what is often seen as an unenchanting place. Having spent most of his life there, while remaining deeply aware of its oddities, Wright is as charmed by Texan foibles and landscapes as he is appalled by its politics and brutality. With its economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation producing both extraordinary growth and striking income disparities, Texas, Wright shows, looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. This profound portrait of the state, completed just as Texas battled to rebuild after the devastating storms of summer 2017, not only reflects the United States back as it is, but as it was and as it might be. As much the home of Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson as of J.R., Ross Perot and the Bush family, as filled with magical scenery as with desolate oil-fields and strip-malls, Texas is a bellwether, super-sized mass of contradictions: a life-long study.
The Book of Why
by Judea PearlHow the study of causality revolutionized science and the world Cause and effect: it's at the center of scientific inquiry, and yet for decades scientists had no way of answering simple questions, such as whether smoking causes cancer. In The Book of Why, Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie show how Pearl's work on causality has broken through this stalemate, unleashing a revolution in our knowledge of the world. Anyone who wants to understand how science, the human mind, or artificial intelligence works needs The Book of Why. "Illuminating. . . a valuable lesson on the history of ideas." --New York Times "This book really gets you thinking about cause and effect as it applies to issues of our time. . . . Extraordinary." --Science Friday
by Tyson YunkaportaA paradigm-shifting book in the vein of Sapiens that brings a crucial Indigenous perspective to historical and cultural issues of history, education, money, power, and sustainability—and offers a new template for living. As an indigenous person, Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from a unique perspective, one tied to the natural and spiritual world. In considering how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation, he raises important questions. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently? In this thoughtful, culturally rich, mind-expanding book, he provides answers. Yunkaporta’s writing process begins with images. Honoring indigenous traditions, he makes carvings of what he wants to say, channeling his thoughts through symbols and diagrams rather than words. He yarns with people, looking for ways to connect images and stories with place and relationship to create a coherent world view, and he uses sand talk, the Aboriginal custom of drawing images on the ground to convey knowledge. In Sand Talk, he provides a new model for our everyday lives. Rich in ideas and inspiration, it explains how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everyone and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things. Most of all it’s about a very special way of thinking, of learning to see from a native perspective, one that is spiritually and physically tied to the earth around us, and how it can save our world. Sand Talk include 22 black-and-white illustrations that add depth to the text.
by Kelly LeonardExecutives from The Second City—the world’s premier comedy theater and school of improvisation—reveal improvisational techniques that can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses. For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry—including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork. The rules for leadership and teamwork have changed, and the skills that got professionals ahead a generation ago don’t work anymore. Now The Second City provides a new toolkit individuals and organizations can use to thrive in a world increasingly shaped by speed, social communication, and decentralization. Based on eight principles of improvisation, Yes, And helps to develop these skills and foster them in high-potential leaders and their teams, including: Mastering the ability to co-create in an ensemble Fostering a “yes, and” approach to work Embracing failure to accelerate high performance Leading by listening and by learning to follow Innovating by making something out of nothing Yes, And is a must-read for professionals and organizations, helping to develop the invaluable leadership skills needed to succeed today.
The Ethical Algorithm
by Michael KearnsOver the course of a generation, algorithms have gone from mathematical abstractions to powerful mediators of daily life. Algorithms have made our lives more efficient, more entertaining, and, sometimes, better informed. At the same time, complex algorithms are increasingly violating the basic rights of individual citizens. Allegedly anonymized datasets routinely leak our most sensitive personal information; statistical models for everything from mortgages to college admissions reflect racial and gender bias. Meanwhile, users manipulate algorithms to "game" search engines, spam filters, online reviewing services, and navigation apps. Understanding and improving the science behind the algorithms that run our lives is rapidly becoming one of the most pressing issues of this century. Traditional fixes, such as laws, regulations and watchdog groups, have proven woefully inadequate. Reporting from the cutting edge of scientific research, The Ethical Algorithm offers a new approach: a set of principled solutions based on the emerging and exciting science of socially aware algorithm design. Michael Kearns and Aaron Roth explain how we can better embed human principles into machine code - without halting the advance of data-driven scientific exploration. Weaving together innovative research with stories of citizens, scientists, and activists on the front lines, The Ethical Algorithm offers a compelling vision for a future, one in which we can better protect humans from the unintended impacts of algorithms while continuing to inspire wondrous advances in technology.
The First Tycoon
by T.J. StilesNATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD In this groundbreaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through his genius and force of will, did more than perhaps any other individual to create modern capitalism. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The First Tycoon describes an improbable life, from Vanderbilt’s humble birth during the presidency of George Washington to his death as one of the richest men in American history. In between we see how the Commodore helped to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. Epic in its scope and success, the life of Vanderbilt is also the story of the rise of America itself.
by Dan Heath___________ 'Informs, engages and, above all, entertains' - Charles Duhigg New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath asks what happens when we take our thinking upstream and try to prevent problems before they happen. We all have a tendency to work around problems. We are resourceful. We improvise. We're so accustomed to managing emergencies as they strike that we often don't stop to think about how we could prevent crises before they happen. Why 'solve' crimes when we could stop them being committed? Why treat chronic diseases when they could be prevented from developing? Why provide shelter for the homeless rather than working to keep people housed in the first place? Why do our efforts skew so heavily towards reaction rather than prevention? The notion of preventing problems is an evergreen need in our professional and daily lives. Which makes Upstream a book for skeptical optimists - across all sectors - who know it's not going to be easy, but who believe that we have the capacity to solve some of our thorniest issues, if only we start to think about the system rather than the symptoms. Drawing on insights from Dan Heath's extensive research, as well as hundreds of new interviews with unconventional problem solvers, he delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than simply reacting to them.
by Kermit Pattison"A rip-roaring tale, Fossil Men is one of those rare books that can be a prism through which to view the world, exposing the fabric of the Earth and illuminating the Tree of Life." —New York Times bestselling author Peter Nichols A behind-the-scenes account of the shocking discovery of the skeleton of “Ardi,” a human ancestor far older than Lucy - a find that shook the world of paleoanthropology and radically altered our understanding of human evolution. In 1994, a team led by fossil-hunting legend Tim White—”the Steve Jobs of paleoanthropology”—uncovered the bones of a human ancestor in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Radiometric dating of nearby rocks indicated the skeleton, classified as Ardipithecus ramidus, was 4.4 million years old, more than a million years older than “Lucy,” then the oldest known human ancestor. The findings challenged many assumptions about human evolution—how we started walking upright, how we evolved our nimble hands, and, most significantly, whether we were descended from an ancestor that resembled today’s chimpanzee—and repudiated a half-century of paleoanthropological orthodoxy. Fossil Men is the first full-length exploration of Ardi, the fossil men who found her, and her impact on what we know about the origins of the human species. It is a scientific detective story played out in anatomy and the natural history of the human body. Kermit Pattison brings into focus a cast of eccentric, obsessive scientists, including one of the world’s greatest fossil hunters, Tim White—an exacting and unforgiving fossil hunter whose virtuoso skills in the field were matched only by his propensity for making enemies; Gen Suwa, a Japanese savant who sometimes didn’t bother going home at night to devote more hours to science; Owen Lovejoy, a onetime creationist-turned-paleoanthropologist; Berhane Asfaw, who survived imprisonment and torture to become Ethiopia’s most senior paleoanthropologist and who fought for African scientists to gain equal footing in the study of human origins; and the Leakeys, for decades the most famous family in paleoanthropology. An intriguing tale of scientific discovery, obsession and rivalry that moves from the sun-baked desert of Africa and a nation caught in a brutal civil war, to modern high-tech labs and academic lecture halls, Fossil Men is popular science at its best, and a must read for fans of Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, and Edward O. Wilson.
by Mark MiodownikA world-leading materials scientist presents an engrossing collection of stories that explain the science and history of materials, from the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, revealing the miracles of engineering that seep into our everyday lives. 25,000 first printing.
Why Love Matters
by Sue GerhardtWhy Love Matters explains why loving relationships are essential to brain development in the early years, and how these early interactions can have lasting consequences for future emotional and physical health. This second edition follows on from the success of the first, updating the scientific research, covering recent findings in genetics and the mind/body connection, and including a new chapter highlighting our growing understanding of the part also played by pregnancy in shaping a baby’s future emotional and physical well-being. Sue Gerhardt focuses in particular on the wide-ranging effects of early stress on a baby or toddler’s developing nervous system. When things go wrong with relationships in early life, the dependent child has to adapt; what we now know is that his or her brain adapts too. The brain’s emotion and immune systems are particularly affected by early stress and can become less effective. This makes the child more vulnerable to a range of later difficulties such as depression, anti-social behaviour, addictions or anorexia, as well as physical illness. Why Love Matters is an accessible, lively, account of the latest findings in neuroscience, developmental psychology and neurobiology – research which matters to us all. It is an invaluable and hugely popular guide for parents and professionals alike.
When The Body Says No
by Dr Gabor Maté1 The Bermuda Triangle 2 The Little Girl Too Good to Be True 3 Stress and Emotional Competence 4 Buried Alive 5 Never Good Enough 6 You Are Part of This Too, Mom 7 Stress, Hormones, Repression and Cancer 8 Something Good Comes Out of This Is There a "Cancer Personality"? 10 The 55 Per Cent Solution 11 It's All in Her Head 12 I Shall Die First from the Top 13 Self or Non-Self: The Immune System Confused 14 A Fine Balance: The Biology of Relationships 15 The Biology of Loss 16 The Dance of Generations 17 The Biology of Belief 18 The Power of Negative Thinking 19 The Seven A's of Healing Notes Resources Acknowledgments Index
Last Child in the Woods
by Richard LouvThis huge international bestseller, fully revised for non-American readers, is now in ebook. Last Child in the Woods shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distant from nature, why this matters, and what we can do to make a difference. It is unsentimental, rigorous and utterly original. 'A cri de coeur for our children' Guardian Camping in the garden, riding bikes through the woods, climbing trees, collecting bugs, picking wildflowers, running through piles of autumn leaves... These are the things childhood memories are made of. But for a whole generation of today's children the pleasures of a free-range childhood are missing, and their indoor habits contribute to epidemic obesity, attention-deficit disorder, isolation and childhood depression. This timely book shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distanced from nature, why this matters and how we can make a difference. Last Child in the Woods is a clarion call, brilliantly written, compelling and irresistibly persuasive - a book that will change minds and lives.
The Big Goodbye
by Sam Wasson'A multifaceted dissection of the infamous noir film ... good reading for any American cinema buff' Kirkus Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making. In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of its most colorful characters. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage murder of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered deal-making of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation. Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today.
The Hype Machine
by Sinan Aral"Social media connected the world--and gave rise to fake news and increasing polarization. Now a leading researcher at MIT draws on 20 years of research to show how these trends threaten our political, economic, and emotional health in this eye-opening exploration of the dark side of technological progress. Today we have the ability, unprecedented in human history, to amplify our interactions with each other through social media. It is paramount, MIT social media expert Sinan Aral says, that we recognize the outsized impact social media has on our culture, our democracy, and our lives in order to steer today's social technology toward good, while avoiding the ways it can pull us apart. Otherwise, we could fall victim to what Aral calls "The Hype Machine." As a senior researcher of the longest-running study of fake news ever conducted, Aral found that lies spread online farther and faster than the truth--a harrowing conclusion that was featured on the cover of Science magazine. Among the questions Aral explores following twenty years of field research: Did Russian interference change the 2016 election? And how is it affecting the vote in 2020? Why does fake news travel faster than the truth online? How do social ratings and automated sharing determine which products succeed and fail? How does social media affect our kids? First, Aral links alarming data and statistics to three accelerating social media shifts: hyper-socialization, personalized mass persuasion, and the tyranny of trends. Next, he grapples with the consequences of the Hype Machine for elections, businesses, dating, and health. Finally, he maps out strategies for navigating the Hype Machine, offering his singular guidance for managing social media to fulfill its promise going forward. Rarely has a book so directly wrestled with the secret forces that drive the news cycle every day"--
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters
by Jason StearnsA "tremendous," "intrepid" history of the devastating war in the heart of Africa's Congo, with first-hand accounts of the continent's worst conflict in modern times. At the heart of Africa is the Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal war in which millions have died. In Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, renowned political activist and researcher Jason K. Stearns has written a compelling and deeply-reported narrative of how Congo became a failed state that collapsed into a war of retaliatory massacres. Stearns brilliantly describes the key perpetrators, many of whom he met personally, and highlights the nature of the political system that brought these people to power, as well as the moral decisions with which the war confronted them. Now updated with a new introduction, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters tells the full story of Africa's Great War.
by Ramses BravoBravo! is a collection of delicious, health-promoting recipes from the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, whose dietary program has helped more than 7,000 people recover from numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and hypertension. Included are tips and guidelines to help readers easily transition to a diet of nutritional excellence, along with 14 days of menus to get them started. Nutritional analyses accompany all of the recipes and menus.
Please Kill Me
by Legs McNeil“Ranks up there with the great rock & roll books of all time.”—Time Out New York “Lurid, insolent, disorderly, funny, sometimes gross, sometimes mean and occasionally touching . . . Resounds with authenticity.”—The New York Times “No volume serves juicier dish on punk’s New York birth . . . Tales of sex, drugs and music that will make you wish you’d been there.”—Rolling Stone A contemporary classic, Please Kill Me is the definitive oral history of the most nihilistic of all pop movements. Iggy Pop, Richard Hell, the Ramones, and scores of other punk figures lend their voices to this decisive account of that explosive era. This 20th anniversary edition features new photos and an afterword by the authors. “Utterly and shamelessly sensational.”—Newsday
The Idea of the Brain
by Matthew CobbAn "elegant", "engrossing" (Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal) examination of what we think we know about the brain and why -- despite technological advances -- the workings of our most essential organ remain a mystery. "I cannot recommend this book strongly enough."--Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm For thousands of years, thinkers and scientists have tried to understand what the brain does. Yet, despite the astonishing discoveries of science, we still have only the vaguest idea of how the brain works. In The Idea of the Brain, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb traces how our conception of the brain has evolved over the centuries. Although it might seem to be a story of ever-increasing knowledge of biology, Cobb shows how our ideas about the brain have been shaped by each era's most significant technologies. Today we might think the brain is like a supercomputer. In the past, it has been compared to a telegraph, a telephone exchange, or some kind of hydraulic system. What will we think the brain is like tomorrow, when new technology arises? The result is an essential read for anyone interested in the complex processes that drive science and the forces that have shaped our marvelous brains.
The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
by Tim HarfordA million readers bought The Undercover Economist to get the lowdown on how economics works on a small scale, in our everyday lives. Since then, economics has become big news. Crises, austerity, riots, bonuses - all are in the headlines all the time. But how does this large-scale economic world really work? What would happen if we cancelled everyone's debt? How do you create a job? Will the BRIC countries take over the world? Asking - among many other things -- what the future holds for the Euro, why the banks are still paying record bonuses and where government borrowing will take us, in The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, Tim Harford returns with his trademark clarity and wit to explain what's really going on - and what it means for us all.
by Sharyl AttkissonNew York Times bestselling author Sharyl Attkisson takes on the media’s misreporting on Black Lives Matter, coronavirus, Joe Biden, Silicon Valley censorship, and more. When the facts don’t fit their Narrative, the media abandons the facts, not the Narrative. Virtually every piece of information you get through the media has been massaged, shaped, curated, and manipulated before it reaches you. Some of it is censored entirely. The news can no longer be counted on to reflect all the facts. Instead of telling us what happened yesterday, they tell us what’s new in the prepackaged soap opera they’ve been calling the news. For the past four years, five-time Emmy Award–winning investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Sharyl Attkisson has been collecting and dissecting alarming incidents tracing the shocking devolution of what used to be the most respected news organizations on the planet. For the first time, top news executives and reporters representing every major national television news outlet—from ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN to FOX and MSNBC—speak frankly, confiding in Attkisson about the death of the news as they once knew it. Their concern transcends partisan divides. Most frightening of all, a broad campaign in the media has convinced many Americans not only to accept but to demand censorship over journalism. It is a stroke of genius on the part of those seeking to influence public opinion: undermine public confidence in the news, then insist upon “curating” information and divining the “truth.” The thinking is done for you. They’ll decide which pesky facts shouldn’t cross your desk by declaring them false, irrelevant, debunked, unsafe, or out-of-bounds. We have reached a state of utter absurdity, where journalism schools teach students that their own, personal truth or chosen narratives matter more than reality. In Slanted, Attkisson digs into the language of propagandists, the persistence of false media narratives, the driving forces behind today's dangerous blend of facts and opinion, the abandonment of journalism ethics, and the new, Orwellian definition of what it means to report the news.
by David EaglemanWhat does drug withdrawal have in common with a broken heart? Why is the enemy of memory not time, but other memories? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Why did many people in the 1980s mistakenly perceive book pages to be slightly red in colour? Why is the world’s best archer armless? Might we someday control a robot with our thoughts, just as we do our fingers and toes? Why do we dream at night, and what does that have to do with the rotation of the planet? The answer to these questions is right behind our eyes. The greatest technology we have ever discovered on this planet is the three-pound organ carried around in the vault of the skull. This book is not simply about what the brain is, but what it does. The magic of the brain is not found in the parts it’s made of, but in the way those parts unceasingly re-weave themselves in an electric, living fabric. Surf the leading edge of neuroscience atop the anecdotes and metaphors that have made Eagleman one of the best scientific translators of our generation. Covering decades of research to the present day, Livewired also presents new discoveries from Eagleman’s own laboratory, from synaesthesia to dreaming to wearable neurotech devices that revolutionize how we think about the senses.
The ONE Thing
by Gary Keller• More than 500 appearances on national bestseller lists • #1 Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today • Won 12 book awards • Translated into 35 languages • Voted Top 100 Business Book of All Time on Goodreads People are using this simple, powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives. Companies are helping their employees be more productive with study groups, training, and coaching. Sales teams are boosting sales. Churches are conducting classes and recommending for their members. By focusing their energy on one thing at a time people are living more rewarding lives by building their careers, strengthening their finances, losing weight and getting in shape, deepening their faith, and nurturing stronger marriages and personal relationships. YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what's the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller paychecks, fewer promotions--and lots of stress. AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH — LESS AND MORE. In The ONE Thing, you'll learn to * cut through the clutter * achieve better results in less time * build momentum toward your goal* dial down the stress * overcome that overwhelmed feeling * revive your energy * stay on track * master what matters to you The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual. WHAT'S YOUR ONE THING?
A Conflict of Visions
by Thomas SowellControversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes this pattern. He describes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the "constrained" vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the "unconstrained" vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.
The Logic of Life
by Tim HarfordThe author of The Underground Economist weaves together real-life scenarios, from a Las Vegas casino to a barroom speed date, to analyze the underlying economic logic behind seemingly irrational behavior, explaining how people respond to future costs and benefits and how socially tragic outcomes have their roots in individually rational decisions. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
The Rational Optimist
by Matt RidleyFor two hundred years the pessimists have dominated public discourse, insisting that things will soon be getting much worse. But in fact, life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before. In his bold and bracing exploration into how human culture evolves positively through exchange and specialization, bestselling author Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. An astute, refreshing, and revelatory work that covers the entire sweep of human history—from the Stone Age to the Internet—The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.
by William BridgesCelebrating 40 years of the best-selling guide for coping with life's changes, named one of the 50 all-time best books in self-help and personal development -- with a new Discussion Guide for readers, written by Susan Bridges and aimed at today's current people and organizations facing unprecedented change First published in 1980, Transitions was the first book to explore the underlying and universal pattern of transition. Named one of the fifty most important self-help books of all time, Transitions remains the essential guide for coping with the inevitable changes in life. Transitions takes readers step-by-step through the three perilous stages of any transition, explaining how each stage can be understood and embraced. The book offers an elegant, simple, yet profoundly insightful roadmap to navigate change and move into a hopeful future: Endings. Every transition begins with one. Too often we misunderstand them, confuse them with finality -- that's it, all over, finished! Yet the way we think about endings is key to how we can begin anew. The Neutral Zone. The second hurdle: a seemingly unproductive time-out when we feel disconnected from people and things in the past, and emotionally unconnected to the present. Actually, the neutral zone is a time of reorientation. How can we make the most of it? The New Beginning. We come to beginnings only at the end, when we launch new activities. To make a successful new beginning requires more than simply persevering. It requires an understanding of the external signs and inner signals that point the way to the future.
by John HaywoodA magisterial history of the Vikings that fully reflects the extraordinary geographical range of their activities, from Newfoundland in the west to Baghdad in the east The violent and predatory society of Dark Age Scandinavia left a unique impact on the history of medieval Europe. From their chill northern fastness, Norse warriors, explorers, and merchants raided, traded, and settled across wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic from the late 8th to the mid-11th century. This history narrates their story region by region, focusing on places where key events were played out, from the sack of Lindisfarne in 793 to the murder in Iceland in 1241 of the saga-writer Snorri Sturluson. Such episodes are fascinating in themselves, but also shed crucial light on the nature of Viking activity--its causes, effects, and the reasons for its decline. In 800 the Scandinavians were barbarians in longboats bent on plunder and rapine; by 1200, their homelands were an integral part of Latin Christendom. John Haywood tells, in authoritative but compellingly readable fashion, the extraordinary story of the Viking Age.
The Undoing Project
by Michael LewisForty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms. The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield--both had important careers in the Israeli military--and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn't remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter. This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.
The Fabric of Civilization
by Virginia PostrelFrom Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide. The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.
How to Be Alone
by Lane MooreThe former Sex & Relationships Editor for Cosmopolitan and host of the wildly popular comedy show Tinder Live with Lane Moore presents her poignant, funny, and deeply moving first book. Lane Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had. From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift. How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words.
The Art of Impossible
by Steven KotlerBestselling author and peak performance expert Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we too can stretch far beyond our capabilities, making impossible dreams much more attainable for all of us. What does it take to accomplish the impossible? What does it take to shatter our limitations, exceed our expectations, and turn our biggest dreams into our most recent achievements? We are capable of so much more than we know—that’s the message at the core of The Art of Impossible. Building upon cutting-edge neuroscience and over twenty years of research, bestselling author, peak performance expert and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, Steven Kotler lays out a blueprint for extreme performance improvement. If you want to aim high, here is the playbook to make it happen! Inspirational and aspirational, pragmatic and accessible, The Art of Impossible is a life-changing experience disguised as a how-to manual for peak performance that anyone can use to shoot for the stars . . . space-suit, not included.
Under a White Sky
by Elizabeth KolbertOver the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
by Matthew McConaugheyFrom the Academy Award®-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction "Unflinchingly honest and remarkably candid, Matthew McConaughey's book invites us to grapple with the lessons of his life as he did--and to see that the point was never to win, but to understand."--Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life's challenges--how to get relative with the inevitable--you can enjoy a state of success I call "catching greenlights." So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it's medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot's license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It's a love letter. To life. It's also a guide to catching more greenlights--and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. Good luck.
The Evolution of Civilizations
by Carroll QuigleyCarroll Quigley was a legendary teacher at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. His course on the history of civilization was extraordinary in its scope and in its impact on students. Like the course, The Evolution of Civilizations is a comprehensive and perceptive look at the factors behind the rise and fall of civilizations. Quigley examines the application of scientific method to the social sciences, then establishes his historical hypotheses. He poses a division of culture into six levels from the abstract to the more concrete. He then tests those hypotheses by a detailed analysis of five major civilizations: the Mesopotamian, the Canaanite, the Minoan, the classical, and the Western. Quigley defines a civilization as "a producing society with an instrument of expansion." A civilization's decline is not inevitable but occurs when its instrument of expansion is transformed into an institution--that is, when social arrangements that meet real social needs are transformed into social institutions serving their own purposes regardless of real social needs.
How to Change
by Katy MilkmanAward-winning Wharton Professor and Choiceology podcast host Katy Milkman has devoted her career to the study of behavior change. In this ground-breaking book, Milkman reveals a proven path that can take you from where you are to where you want to be, with a foreword from psychologist Angela Duckworth, the best-selling author of Grit. Set audacious goals. Foster good habits. Create social support. You've surely heard this advice before. If you've ever tried to change or encourage it -- to boost exercise or healthy eating, to prevent missed deadlines or kick-start savings -- then you know there are thousands of apps, books, and YouTube videos promising to help and offering sound guidance. And yet, you're still not where you want to be. This trailblazing book from award-winning behavioral scientist and Wharton Professor Katy Milkman explains why. In a career devoted to uncovering what helps people change, Milkman has discovered a crucial thing many of us get wrong: our strategy. Change, she's learned, comes most readily when you understand what's standing between you and success and tailor your solution to that roadblock. If you want to work out more but find exercise difficult and boring, downloading a goal-setting app probably won't help. But what if, instead, you transformed your workouts so they became a source of pleasure instead of a chore? Turning an uphill battle into a downhill one is the key to success. Drawing on Milkman's original research and the work of her dozens of world-renowned scientific collaborators, How to Change shares an innovative new approach that will help you change or encourage change in others. Through case studies, engaging stories, and examples from cutting-edge research, this book illustrates how to identify and overcome the barriers that regularly stand in the way of change. How to Change will teach you: * Why timing can be everything when it comes to making a change * How to turn temptation and inertia into assets that can help you conquer your goals * That giving advice, even if it's about something you're struggling with, can help you achieve more Whether you're a manager, coach, or teacher aiming to help others change for the better or are struggling to kick-start change yourself, How to Change offers an invaluable, science-based blueprint for achieving your goals, once and for all.
by Bill BrowderExpelled from Russia after exposing corruption in Russian companies, an investment broker describes how his attorney was detained, tortured and beaten to death for testifying against Russian law enforcement officers who stole millions in taxes paid to the government. Illustrations. Tour.
Nine Nasty Words
by John McWhorterOne of the preeminent linguists of our time examines the realms of language that are considered shocking and taboo in order to understand what imbues curse words with such power--and why we love them so much. Profanity has always been a deliciously vibrant part of our lexicon, an integral part of being human. In fact, our ability to curse comes from a different part of the brain than other parts of speech--the urgency with which we say "f&*k!" is instead related to the instinct that tells us to flee from danger. Language evolves with time, and so does what we consider profane or unspeakable. Nine Nasty Words is a rollicking examination of profanity, explored from every angle: historical, sociological, political, linguistic. In a particularly coarse moment, when the public discourse is shaped in part by once-shocking words, nothing could be timelier.