Summer Reads

New releases May 2017

What makes for a good summer read? Regardless of whether you enjoy suspense, mystery, romance, biography, or non-fiction, one great option is to try an audiobook version of the book. No eye strain at the beach, or you can watch the scenery go by as you travel instead of having your nose in a print book.

nook books

Or you may prefer a print book nonetheless. Or an ebook reader. Your best choice should depend on where you are, and how much time you have. No matter what, smart people make time for books. 

Scarlette Johansson

The How of Happiness

Sonja LyubomirskyIt’s a 2008 book by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research—on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness—was honored with a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and a million-dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The How of Happiness has been translated into nineteen languages. If you missed it, it’s worth a look. It is “a comprehensive guide to understanding the elements of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It is also a practical, empowering, and easy-to-follow workbook, incorporating happiness strategies, exercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for understanding our individuality, all in an effort to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives. Drawing upon years of pioneering research with thousands of men and women, The How of Happiness is both a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands.” Regarding the other books on the video below, the Flat Earth people have gone viral on Youtube (one of the reasons for this blog: to inspire literacy there. Read previous post for interview with the author of THE WAR ON SCIENCE.) One of the best science books to debunk this is THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY. Consider this: most of the Flat Earth believers (over 100,000 videos preaching it) are lucky to have a GED or high school diploma. Richard Feynman (clip seen in video) was a Physicist, a graduate of MIT and Princeton, and taught at Cornell and CIT. He was the recipient of the Albert Einstein Award, the Nobel Prize, the Oersted Medal, and the National Medal of Science. Question: who is MORE likely to arrive at an explanation for how science works: someone who doesn’t know how science works, or a genius who spent his entire life studying science? …Someone who believes we are at the end of science, or someone who believes we are nearer the beginning? Someone who looks backward to the Dark Ages, or someone who looks to the future? “We are not at the end of new knowledge,” said David Deutsch, a pioneer in quantum computing, in THE BEGINNING OF INFINITY. “The search for better explanations has infinite reach.” Past static societies wanted to have what we enjoy today, but they didn’t because they did not create new knowledge or use science as a tool. They were mired in dogma, and it never occurred to them to think differently. When, by accident or idea, they discovered new things, they progressed. But it was always an uphill push against the forces of ignorance. Einstein said that, “Nationalism is the measles of humanity,” and “ignorance and violence go hand in hand.” Which path will YOU choose? Despair, greed, and narcissism…or literacy, hope, and love? Be a BAWSE…and not just with makeup. 

Lilly Singh

 

Highly Anticipated Books of 2017

advertising

Here is the audiobook blurb from The End of Advertising: The ad apocalypse is upon us. Today millions are downloading ad-blocking software, and still more are paying subscription premiums to avoid ads. This $600 billion industry is now careening toward outright extinction, after having taken for granted a captive audience for too long, a choice that has led to lazy, overabundant, and frankly annoying ads. Make no mistake, Madison Avenue: Traditional advertising as we know it is over. In this short, controversial manifesto, Andrew Essex offers both a wake-up call and a road map to the future. Essex helped run what was generally considered to be the hottest shop in the industry, Droga5. He is therefore uniquely qualified to report on the industry’s demise—and what it must do to reinvent itself. He gives a brief and pungent history of the rise and fall of Adland—a story populated by snake-oil salesmen, slicksters, and search-engine optimizers. But his book is no eulogy. Instead, Essex boldly challenges global marketers to innovate their way into a better ad-free future. Rather than clutter our world, ambitious marketing campaigns could provide utility, services, gifts, investment, and even patronage of the arts and blockbuster entertainment. Ads could become so enticing that people would pay—yes, pay—to see them. With trenchant wit and razor-sharp insights, Essex presents an essential new vision of where the smart businesses could be headed, to the cheers of brands and consumers alike.  Interesting, huh?

Change of Seasons

 

Review of CHANGE OF SEASONS by John Oates HERE.

sex-scandal

kelly-osbourne

 

Could You be a Hermit?

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Have you ever thought about just getting away from it all, whatever “it” is? (A cubicle job, McNews, social media, traffic.) A 20 year old named Christopher Knight did just that permanently: just walked away, into the woods. In an amazing story chronicled in THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS, written by journalist Michael Finkel, Knight left his home in Massachusetts and drove to Maine, where he set up camp in the wilderness in 1986…and stayed there for the next twenty-seven years. Not speaking to anyone. You’ve seen the show “Naked and Afraid” and “Survivor.” What if the show never ended? Why did he do it? “I never fit in anywhere,” Knight said. He was shy, but intelligent. He learned how to store water and food. He hunted. He stole from the nearest town, and left cabins in such a way that one could ever be sure anyone was there. He never visited a doctor. “I was never sick,” he said. “You get sick by being around other people.” He read books, and was eventually caught and jailed…then released. He felt remorse, but also contentment. He preferred to be alone, to be private, with no desire for money or fame or what American culture thinks vitally important. Subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit.” On audio it is narrated by actor Mark Bramhall. It is profound in parts, and reflective. Often we need someone with a completely different viewpoint to hold up a mirror to what we are doing to ourselves. Is his a good example for others? Obviously not. But there is a middle ground between fanaticism and being a hermit or monk, and we can all learn from such a story.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

New book releasesIn an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate for “her” kids: Nick, the brilliant scam artist; Emma, the gifted dancer and party girl; Dave, the B student who strives to meet his parents’ expectations; Calista, the hippie outcast who hides her intelligence for reasons of her own. Theirs is a world in which every action may become public—postable, shareable, indelible. With the rare talent that transforms teenage dramas into compelling and urgent fiction, Lindsey Lee Johnson makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with the sorrow, passion, and beauty of life in any time, and at any age.  Narrator Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.

Other new books include SET YOUR VOICE FREE by Roger Love, subtitled “How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want.” Also THE POWER OF MEANING by Emily Esfahani Smith, subtitled “Crafting a Life That Matters.” PARIS FOR ONE, stories by Jojo Moyes, read by a full cast on audio. RING OF FIRE by Brad Taylor, a thriller read by actors Henry Strozier and Rich Orlow on audio. THE WAY OF STRANGERS: Encounters with the Islamic State by Graeme Wood, read on audio by the author. A WORLD IN DISARRAY by Richard Haass, read by Dan Woren and subtitled “American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order.” For scifi buffs, TAKE BACK THE SKY by Greg Bear, read by Jay Snyder. BLOOD VOW by J.R. Ward, a fantasy read by Jim Frangione. And THE REVENGE OF ANALOG by David Sax, a music memoir read by the author.

GoodreadsWhich one of these four is not an audiobook?