What are people reading this weekend?
Book mentions in this thread
by Albert CamusThe townspeople of Oran are in the grip of a deadly plague, which condemns its victims to a swift and horrifying death. Fear, isolation and claustrophobia follow as they are forced into quarantine. Each person responds in their own way to the lethal disease: some resign themselves to fate, some seek blame, and a few, like Dr Rieux, resist the terror. An immediate triumph when it was published in 1947, The Plague is in part an allegory of France's suffering under the Nazi occupation, and a story of bravery and determination against the precariousness of human existence. An immediate triumph when it was published in 1947, The Plague is in part an allegory of France's suffering under the Nazi occupation, and a story of bravery and determination against the precariousness of human existence.
by Isabel WilkersonThe Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. "[Caste] should be at the top of every American's reading list."--Chicago Tribune "As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not." In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
by Ben MezrichFrom Ben Mezrich, the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, comes Bitcoin Billionaires - the fascinating story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss's big bet on crypto-currency and its dazzling pay-off. Ben Mezrich's 2009 bestseller The Accidental Billionaires is the definitive account of Facebook's founding - and the basis for the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network. Two of the story's iconic characters are Harvard students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss: identical twins, Olympic rowers, and legal foils to Mark Zuckerberg. Bitcoin Billionaires is the story of the brothers' redemption and revenge in the wake of their epic legal battle with Facebook - and the first great book from the world of bitcoin. Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers quickly discover that no one will take their money for fear of alienating Zuckerberg. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into a shady character who tells them about a brand new idea: cryptocurrency. Immersing themselves in what is then an obscure and sometimes sinister world, they begin to realize "crypto" is, in their own words, "either the next big thing or total bulls--t." There's nothing left to do but make a bet. From the Silk Road to the halls of the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Facebook boardroom, Bitcoin Billionaires will take us on a wild and surprising ride while illuminating a tantalizing economic future. On November 26th, 2017, the Winklevoss brothers became the first bitcoin billionaires. Here's the story of how they got there - as only Ben Mezrich could tell it.
Breath from Salt
by Bijal P. TrivediScience writer Bijal Trivedi gives a comprehensive look at Cystic Fibrosis, starting with one revolutionary case in the 70s that prompted a wave of change and leading up to the present, and the way treatments for the previously fatal disease are opening the door for curing other life-threatening conditions.
Leonardo Da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson"He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The [bestselling biographer] brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Drawing on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from standing at the intersection of the humanities and technology. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history's most memorable smile on the Mona Lisa. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo's lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. His ability to combine art and science, made iconic by his drawing of what may be himself inside a circle and a square, remains the enduring recipe for innovation. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it; to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different."--Jacket.
The Dark Forest (The Three-Body Problem Series, 2)
by Cixin LiuThis near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead. The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy The Three-Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End Other Books Ball Lightning (forthcoming)
The Big Ratchet
by Ruth DeFriesHow an ordinary mammal manipulated nature to become technologically sophisticated city-dwellers -- and why our history points to an optimistic future in the face of environmental crisis Our species long lived on the edge of starvation. Now we produce enough food for all 7 billion of us to eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This is such an astonishing thing in the history of life as to verge on the miraculous. The Big Ratchet is the story of how it happened, of the ratchets -- the technologies and innovations, big and small -- that propelled our species from hunters and gatherers on the savannahs of Africa to shoppers in the aisles of the supermarket. The Big Ratchet itself came in the twentieth century, when a range of technologies -- from fossil fuels to scientific plant breeding to nitrogen fertilizers -- combined to nearly quadruple our population in a century, and to grow our food supply even faster. To some, these technologies are a sign of our greatness; to others, of our hubris. MacArthur fellow and Columbia University professor Ruth DeFries argues that the debate is the wrong one to have. Limits do exist, but every limit that has confronted us, we have surpassed. That cycle of crisis and growth is the story of our history; indeed, it is the essence of The Big Ratchet. Understanding it will reveal not just how we reached this point in our history, but how we might survive it.
by Dennis E. TaylorCivil war looms in the Bobiverse in this brand-new, epic-length adventure by best seller Dennis E. Taylor. More than a hundred years ago, Bender set out for the stars and was never heard from again. There has been no trace of him despite numerous searches by his clone-mates. Now Bob is determined to organize an expedition to learn Bender's fate-whatever the cost. But nothing is ever simple in the Bobiverse. Bob's descendants are out to the 24th generation now, and replicative drift has produced individuals who can barely be considered Bobs anymore. Some of them oppose Bob's plan; others have plans of their own. The out-of-control moots are the least of the Bobiverse's problems. Undaunted, Bob and his allies follow Bender's trail. But what they discover out in deep space is so unexpected and so complex that it could either save the universe-or pose an existential threat the likes of which the Bobiverse has never faced.
by David Heinemeier HanssonFor too long our lives have been dominated by the ‘under one roof’ Industrial Revolution model of work. That era is now over. There is no longer a reason for the daily roll call, of the need to be seen with your butt on your seat in the office. The technology to work remotely and to avoid the daily grind of commuting and meetings has finally come of age, and bestselling authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the masters of making it work at tech company 37signals. Remote working is the future – and it is rushing towards us. Remote: Office Not Required combines eye-opening ideas with entertaining narrative. It will convince you that working remotely increases productivity and innovation, and it will also teach you how to get it right – whether you are a manager, working solo or one of a team. Chapters include: ‘Talent isn’t bound by the hubs’, ‘It’s the technology, stupid’, ‘When to type, when to talk’, ‘Stop managing the chairs’ and ‘The virtual water cooler’. Brilliantly simple and refreshingly illuminating this is a call to action to end the tyranny of being shackled to the office.
by Max HastingsFrom one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences. World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives—an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war. Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments—Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in real human context. Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India. Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century.
The Honourable Schoolboy
by John le CarréGeorge Smiley, of England's Secret Service, goes onto the attack, manipulating old Asian hand Jerry Westerby through the Far East and a tangle of money, defection, passion, loyalty and love that severely tests Westerby's hitherto unfaltering allegiances. By best-selling the author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Reissue.
The Solace of Open Spaces
by Gretel EhrlichThese transcendent, lyrical essays on the West announced Gretel Ehrlich as a major American writer—“Wyoming has found its Whitman” (Annie Dillard). Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life. Ehrlich captures both the otherworldly beauty and cruelty of the natural forces—the harsh wind, bitter cold, and swiftly changing seasons—in the remote reaches of the American West. She brings depth, tenderness, and humor to her portraits of the peculiar souls who also call it home: hermits and ranchers, rodeo cowboys and schoolteachers, dreamers and realists. Together, these essays form an evocative and vibrant tribute to the life Ehrlich chose and the geography she loves. Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, The Solace of Open Spaces is raw, meditative, electrifying, and uncommonly wise. In prose “as expansive as a Wyoming vista, as charged as a bolt of prairie lightning,” Ehrlich explores the magical interplay between our interior lives and the world around us (Newsday).
Why Nations Fail
by Daron AcemogluShortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012. Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace. Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.
Waverley (Oxford World's Classics)
by Walter Scott"The most romantic parts of this narrative are precisely those which have a foundation in fact." Edward Waverley, a young English soldier in the Hanoverian army, is sent to Scotland where he finds himself caught up in events that quickly transform from the stuff of romance into nightmare. His character is fashioned through his experience of the Jacobite rising of 1745-6, the last civil war fought on British soil and the unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the Stuart monarchy, represented by Prince Charles Edward. Waverley's love for the spirited Flora MacIvor and his romantic nature increasingly pull him towards the Jacobite cause, and test his loyalty to the utmost. With Waverley, Scott invented the historical novel in its modern form and profoundly influenced the development of the European and American novel for a century at least. Waverley asks the reader to consider how history is shaped, who owns it, and what it means to live in it - questions as vital at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the nineteenth. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Escape from Freedom
by Erich FrommIf humanity cannot live with the dangers and responsibilities inherent in freedom, it will probably turn to authoritarianism. This is the central idea of Escape from Freedom, a landmark work by one of the most distinguished thinkers of our time, and a book that is as timely now as when first published in 1941. Few books have thrown such light upon the forces that shape modern society or penetrated so deeply into the causes of authoritarian systems. If the rise of democracy set some people free, at the same time it gave birth to a society in which the individual feels alienated and dehumanized. Using the insights of psychoanalysis as probing agents, Fromm's work analyzes the illness of contemporary civilization as witnessed by its willingness to submit to totalitarian rule.
A Companion to Familia Romana
by Jeanne NeumannThis volume is the completely reset Second Edition of Jeanne Marie Neumann's A College Companion (Focus, 2008). It offers a running exposition, in English, of the Latin grammar covered in Hans H. Ørberg's Familia Romana, and includes the complete text of the Ørberg ancillaries Grammatica Latina and Latin–English Vocabulary. It also serves as a substitute for Ørberg's Latine Disco, on which it is based. As it includes no exercises, however, it is not a substitute for the Ørberg ancillary Exercitia Latina I. Though designed especially for those approaching Familia Romana at an accelerated pace, this volume will be useful to anyone seeking an explicit layout of Familia Romana's inductively-presented grammar. In addition to many revisions of the text, the Second Edition also includes new units on cultural context, tied to the narrative content of the chapter.
The Midnight Library
by Matt HaigTHE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A BBC TWO BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK Between life and death there is a library. When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?
by Jonathan RottenbergNearly every depressed person is assured by doctors, well-meaning friends and family, the media, and ubiquitous advertisements that the underlying problem is a chemical imbalance. Such a simple defect should be fixable, yet despite all of the resources that have been devoted to finding a pharmacological solution, depression remains stubbornly widespread. Why are we losing this fight? In this humane and illuminating challenge to defect models of depression, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg argues that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion. In other words, it is a low mood gone haywire. Drawing on recent developments in the science of mood-and his own harrowing depressive experience as a young adult-Rottenberg explains depression in evolutionary terms, showing how its dark pull arises from adaptations that evolved to help our ancestors ensure their survival. Moods, high and low, evolved to compel us to more efficiently pursue rewards. While this worked for our ancestors, our modern environment-in which daily survival is no longer a sole focus-makes it all too easy for low mood to slide into severe, long-lasting depression. Weaving together experimental and epidemiological research, clinical observations, and the voices of individuals who have struggled with depression, The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures-and makes a strong case for de-stigmatizing this increasingly common condition. In so doing, Rottenberg offers hope in the form of his own and other patients' recovery, and points the way towards new paths for treatment.
History of the Peloponnesian War
by ThucydidesWritten four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the long life-and-death struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling its author's ambitious claim. Thucydides himself (c.460-400 BC) was an Athenian and achieved the rank of general in the earlier stages of the war. He applied thereafter a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this factual record of a disastrous conflict.
The Haunting of H. G. Wells
by Robert Masello"It's 1914. The Great War grips the world--and from the Western Front a strange story emerges...a story of St. George and a brigade of angels descending from heaven to fight beside the beleaguered British troops. But can there be any truth to it? H. G. Wells, the most celebrated writer of his day--author of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man--is dispatched to find out. There, he finds an eerie wasteland inhabited by the living, the dead, and those forever stranded somewhere in between...a no-man's-land whose unhappy souls trail him home to London, where a deadly plot, one that could turn the tide of war, is rapidly unfolding. In league with his young love, the reporter and suffragette Rebecca West, Wells must do battle with diabolical forces--secret agents and depraved occultists--to save his sanity, his country, and ultimately the world."--Provided by publisher.