This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class

By Senator Elizabeth Warren. The fiery U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and bestselling author offers a passionate, inspiring book about why our middle class is under siege and how we can win the fight to save it.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of America’s middle class, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country’s leading progressive voices. Now, at a perilous moment for our nation, she has written a book that is at once an illuminating account of how we built the strongest middle class in history, a scathing indictment of those who have spent the past thirty-five years undermining working families, and a rousing call to action.

Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the middle class. An educational system that offered opportunities for all made it possible for her to achieve her dream of going to college, becoming a teacher, and, later, attending law school. But now, for many, these kinds of opportunities are gone, and a government that once looked out for working families is instead captive to the rich and powerful. Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal ushered in an age of widespread prosperity; in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan reversed course and sold the country on the disastrous fiction called trickle-down economics. Now, with the election of Donald Trump—a con artist who promised to drain the swamp of special interests and then surrounded himself with billionaires and lobbyists—the middle class is being pushed ever closer to collapse.

Written in the candid, high-spirited voice that is Warren’s trademark, This Fight Is Our Fight tells eye-opening stories about her battles in the Senate and vividly describes the experiences of hard-working Americans who have too often been given the short end of the stick. Elizabeth Warren has had enough of phony promises and a government that no longer serves its people—she won’t sit down, she won’t be silenced, and she will fight back.

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction

By Derek Thompson. HIT-MAKERS is a groundbreaking investigation into the most valuable currency of the 21st century: people’s attention. With insatiable curiosity, great reporting, and beguiling storytelling, Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson uses the lens of economics to reveal the secret of what makes a hit a hit.

Thompson begins with a simple proposition: even though many number-one songs, blockbuster films, Internet memes, and ubiquitous apps seem to come out of nowhere, hits have a story and they operate by certain rules. There is a reason why some ideas catch on. But a perfectly constructed product isn’t enough to create a hit on the level of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. People have to encounter it. Exposure is the critical other half of the hit equation. So HIT-MAKERS explores two crucial questions:  Why do people like what they like? And how do popular ideas spread?

This is an especially complicated phenomenon in the 21st century because scarcity has yielded to abundance. The finite nature of the concert hall or the museum wall is now the endless Internet. The world of hits is more democratic than ever. It’s also much more unpredictable. So even though human attention has not evolved–our preferences remain guided by an interplay between the complex and the simple, the new and the familiar–capturing that attention is more challenging than ever.

From the rise of the Impressionist vanguard to the ubiquity of SportsCenter, from the global Star Wars franchise to Swedish-engineered pop music, Thompson leaves no pet rock unturned to tell the fascinating story of how culture happens.

How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide

By Jane Bryant Quinn. In this comprehensive guide to managing retirement savings, Quinn (columnist, AARP Bulletin; Making the Most of Your Money NOW) provides savvy suggestions to people approaching, entering, or managing retirement. Those thinking about taking the plunge will value the focus on planning and “rightsizing” spending. New retirees will appreciate the step-by-step tips on which accounts to tap first and how to “prudently parcel your money out.” Finally, those further down the path may find useful advice in a series of “yes”/”no” scenarios, offering a roadmap to inform their own choices. The chapters conclude with concise summaries and bulleted lists, but the information in places is perhaps too comprehensive—the discussion of Social Security, for example, operates at a level of detail that only a die-hard planner may enjoy. VERDICT Readers at these mature stages of planning will find valuable insight and resources here, making the book a good complement to others such as Laurence J. Kotlikoff and others’ Get What’s Yours and Emily Guy Birken’s The Five Years Before You Retire. With strategy and thoughtfulness, Quinn’s readers will be able to “get more from your assets than you probably think.”—Doug Diesenhaus, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation With Andrea Tornielli

Name of God is MercyPope Francis offers an exploration of faith, mercy, reconciliation and the closeness of God.

The Global Code

GlobalCodeThe Global Code: How a New Culture of Universal Values Is Reshaping Business and Marketing
By Dr. Clotaire Rapaille

For decades, Clotaire Rapaille’s work focused on how people’s relationships with the most important concepts in their lives love, health, and money, for instance are guided by subconscious cultural messages. But recently, he has uncovered a new phenomenon: a “global unconscious,” or core values and feelings that are consistent worldwide the result of our constant interconnectedness. He has also identified a new group who are paving the way for the future of decision-making: the Global Tribe. These individuals are fluent in the language of culture, untied to any notion of nationalism or ideology. They are defining the key values driving our new world economy, with profound implications for how companies market their products and services.

Rapaille takes us on a journey through China, Brazil, India, England and everywhere in between to discover the new standards for luxury, pleasure, technology and education. How can elite brands compete in a world of knockoffs? How can universities maintain their prestige when a cheap master’s degree or doctorate is only a click away? We must speak the language of the Global Tribe in order to succeed.

Building on seven years of research, Rapaille analyzes how this new mindset has taken hold in various regions, and how marketers and service providers can tailor their offerings and marketing accordingly. The Global Code is an invaluable glimpse at how our new multi-sphere world is affecting us all.

The Courage to Act

CourageActThe Courage to Act
By Ben S. Bernanke

In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, the unexpected apex of a personal journey from small-town South Carolina to prestigious academic appointments and finally public service in Washington s halls of power.

There would be no time to celebrate.

The bursting of a housing bubble in 2007 exposed the hidden vulnerabilities of the global financial system, bringing it to the brink of meltdown. From the implosion of the investment bank Bear Stearns to the unprecedented bailout of insurance giant AIG, efforts to arrest the financial contagion consumed Bernanke and his team at the Fed. Around the clock, they fought the crisis with every tool at their disposal to keep the United States and world economies afloat.

Working with two U.S. presidents, and under fire from a fractious Congress and a public incensed by behavior on Wall Street, the Fed alongside colleagues in the Treasury Department successfully stabilized a teetering financial system. With creativity and decisiveness, they prevented an economic collapse of unimaginable scale and went on to craft the unorthodox programs that would help revive the U.S. economy and become the model for other countries.

Rich with detail of the decision-making process in Washington and indelible portraits of the major players, The Courage to Act recounts and explains the worst financial crisis and economic slump in America since the Great Depression, providing an insider s account of the policy response.

Overwhelmed

OverwhelmedOverwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

Can working parents in America – or anywhere – ever find true leisure time?

According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is “that place in which we realize our humanity.” If that’s true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we’re doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but “contaminated time”?

Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine “How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure – over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research – anything we could do?”

Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out.

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.”

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