It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

ItsComplicatedBy danah boyd

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.

Hard Choices

HardChoicesBy Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.

“All of us face hard choices in our lives,” Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. “Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become.”

In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm’s way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, traveled nearly one million miles, and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications, and health. Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of women, youth, and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day.

Secretary Clinton’s descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use “smart power” to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world – one in which America remains the indispensable nation.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

FlashBoysBy Michael Lewis

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading source of the most intractable problems will have no advantage whatsoever.

The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think Wall Street guy. Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.

The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.”

Mike Stobbe joins us for a discussion and signing of his new book, “Surgeon General’s Warning”

Please join us for a very special discussion with Mike Stobbe, author of “Surgeon’s General’s Warning: How Politics Crippled the Nation’s Doctor” on Sunday October 12th at 12:00 noon. Surgeon General

What does it mean to be the nation’s doctor? In this engaging narrative, journalist Mike Stobbe examines the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, emphasizing that it has always been unique within the federal government in its ability to influence public health. But now, in their efforts to provide leadership in public health policy, surgeons general compete with other high-profile figures such as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, in an era of declining budgets, when public health departments have eliminated tens of thousands of jobs, some argue that a lower-profile and ineffective surgeon general is a waste of money. By tracing stories of how surgeons general like Luther Terry, C. Everett Koop, and Joycelyn Elders created policies and confronted controversy in response to issues like smoking, AIDS, and masturbation, Stobbe highlights how this office is key to shaping the nation’s health and explailns why its decline is harming our national well-being.

About the author:

Mike Stobbe is a national medical correspondent for The Associated Press and is based in New York City. He covers the CDC and writes on a range of health and medical topics. He has a doctorate in public health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina.

Reviews:

“A richly detailed account of the rise and fall of the United States surgeon general. . . . An important book for policymakers. Many readers will lament the declining state of a post that has contributed much to the country’s health.”—Kirkus
“Stobbe’s skillful, engaging report is especially relevant today as the public’s health continues to challenge the nation’s leaders.”—Publishers Weekly
“With the rare blend of a reporter’s nose for a story and a scholar’s fastidiousness, Stobbe chronicles the past century and a half of Surgeons General. The result is a stimulating perspective on the history of American public health.”—Dave A Chokshi The Lancet
“Mike Stobbe’s history of the U.S. surgeon general is more than a grand tour of American medicine. It is a thoughtful and engaging analysis of what the surgeons general did and do while pursuing the not-always-so-straight line of advancing the public’s health.”—Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, Director at the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, and Editor-in-Chief of The Milbank Quarterly

 

St. Peter’s Bones: How the Relics of the First Pope Were Lost and Found . . . and Then Lost and Found Again by Thomas Craughwell

In this fascinating account of the search for the remains of the world’s first pope, none other than Peter, the chief apostle of Jesus, Thomas J. Craughwell takes us on one of the most exciting archaeological finds of the twentieth century. ST Peter's bones
In 1448 a team of architects and engineers brought Pope Nicholas V unhappy news: the 1,100-year-old Basilica of St. Peter suffered from so many structural defects that it was beyond repair. The only solution was to pull down the old church–one of the most venerable churches in all of Christiandom–and erect a new basilica on the site. Incredibly, one of the tombs the builders paved over was the resting place of St. Peter.
Then in 1939, while reconstructing the grottoes below St. Peter’s Basilica, a workman’s shovel struck not dirt or rock but open air. After inspecting what could be seen through the hole they’d made in the mausoleum’s roof, Pope Pius XII secretly authorized a full-scale excavation. What lay beneath? The answer and the adventure await. In this riveting history, facts, traditions, and faith collide to reveal the investigation, betrayals, and mystery behind St. Peter’s burial place.

Pre-order a copy by calling the store: 203-730-2973……or order from the online store on the webpage- 20% off and $.99 delivery

 

 

Men We Reaped

MenWeReapedBy Jesmyn Ward

“We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” —Harriet Tubman

In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life – to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth – and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.

Jesmyn grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi. She writes powerfully about the pressures this brings, on the men who can do no right and the women who stand in for family in a society where the men are often absent. She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. As the sole member of her family to leave home and pursue higher education, she writes about this parallel American universe with the objectivity distance provides and the intimacy of utter familiarity. A brutal world rendered beautifully, Jesmyn Ward’s memoir will sit comfortably alongside Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

Mission to MarsBy Buzz Aldrin

Legendary “space statesman” Buzz Aldrin speaks out as a vital advocate for the continuing quest to push the boundaries of the universe as we know it. As a pioneering astronaut who first set foot on the moon during mankind’s first landing of Apollo 11–and as an aerospace engineer who designed an orbital rendezvous technique critical to future planetary landings – Aldrin has a vision, and in this book he plots out the path he proposes, taking humans to Mars by 2035.

“Colonizing space is essential for the long-term survival of the human race, and this book shows us how.” —Stephen Hawking

“Any time an Apollo-era astronaut steps forward with ideas for our future in space, it’s time to stop whatever we’re doing and pay attention. Buzz Aldrin, one of the first moonwalkers, has no shortage of these ideas. And in Mission to Mars he treats us to how, when, and why we should travel there.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Page by page, this book makes you want to slide into your space suit and light your engines.” —Bill Nye, The Science Guy

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry

Pound FoolishBy Helaine Olen

If you’ve ever bought a personal finance book, watched a TV show about stock picking, listened to a radio show about getting out of debt, or attended a seminar to help you plan for your retirement, you’ve probably heard some version of these quotes:

  • “What’s keeping you from being rich? In most cases, it is simply a lack of belief.” –Suze Orman, The Courage to Be Rich
  • “Are you latte-ing away your financial future?” –David Bach, Smart Women Finish Rich
  • “I know you’re capable of picking winning stocks and holding on to them.” –Jim Cramer, Mad Money

They’re common refrains among personal finance gurus. There’s just one problem: those and many similar statements are false.

For the past few decades, Americans have spent billions of dollars on personal finance products. As salaries have stagnated and companies have cut back on benefits, we’ve taken matters into our own hands, embracing the can-do attitude that if we’re smart enough, we can overcome even daunting financial obstacles. But that’s not true. In this meticulously reported and shocking book, journalist and former financial columnist Helaine Olen goes behind the curtain of the personal finance industry to expose the myths, contradictions, and outright lies it has perpetuated. She shows how an industry that started as a response to the Great Depression morphed into a behemoth that thrives by selling us products and services that offer little if any help.

Olen calls out some of the biggest names in the business, revealing how even the most respected gurus have engaged in dubious, even deceitful, practices – from accepting payments from banks and corporations in exchange for promoting certain products to blaming the victims of economic catastrophe for their own financial misfortune. Pound Foolish also disproves many myths about spending and saving, including:

  • Small pleasures can bankrupt you: Gurus popularized the idea that cutting out lattes and other small expenditures could make us millionaires. But reducing our caffeine consumption will not offset our biggest expenses: housing, education, health care, and retirement.
  • Disciplined investing will make you rich: Gurus also love to show how steady investing can turn modest savings into a huge nest egg at retirement. But these calculations assume a healthy market and a lifetime without any setbacks – two conditions that have no connection to the real world.
  • Women need extra help managing money: Product pushers often target women, whose alleged financial ignorance supposedly leaves them especially at risk. In reality, women and men are both terrible at handling finances.
  • Financial literacy classes will prevent future economic crises: Experts like to claim mandatory sessions on personal finance in school will cure many of our money ills. Not only is there little evidence this is true, the entire movement is largely funded and promoted by the financial services sector.

Weaving together original reporting, interviews with experts, and studies from disciplines ranging from behavioral economics to retirement planning, Pound Foolish is a compassionate and compelling book that will change the way we think and talk about our money.

The Future

the FutureBy Al Gore

From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything – a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world:

  • Ever-increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what he labels “Earth Inc.” – an integrated holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past.
  • The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of “the Global Mind,” which links the thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases.
  • The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years – from a U.S.-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets.
  • A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species.
  • Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science – and are putting control of evolution in human hands.
  • There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide.

From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has been warning us of the promise and peril of emergent truths – no matter how “inconvenient” they may seem to be. As absorbing as it is visionary, The Future is a map of the world to come, from a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful ForeversBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter – Annawadi’s “most-everything girl” – will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a National Book Award Winner for 2011 and is currently a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for nonfiction.

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