Non-fiction Book Club Meetup Group Message Board › Book Suggestions for 2013
From January New Member Profile suggestions survey -- with 25%+ of votes
Guns, Germs and Steel – Diamond 57.14%
Thinking Fast and Slow, 52.38%
Against All Enemies, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000 47.62%
The Third Chimpanzee (Jerad Diamond) 47.62%
The Power of Habit. Why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg. 42.86%
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali 42.86%
Max Weber's The Protestant ethic and the Spirit of capitalism 38.10%
Lincoln - a team of rivals 33.33%
Cosmos by Carl Sagan 33.33%
You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto, Jaron Lanier 28.57%
Prisoner of Tehran 28.57%
The Happiness Hypothesis (Jonathan Haidt); 28.57%
From March New Member Profile Suggestion survey - 25%+ of votes:
The power of Habit (CHARLES DUHIGG) 169/190 Groundbreaking new research shows that by grabbing hold of the three-step "loop" all habits form in our brains--cue, routine, reward--we can change them, giving us the power to take control over our lives. 0.5128
The biology of belief : unleashing the power of consciousness, matter & miracles (BRUCE LIPTON) 52/11 Through the research of Dr. Lipton and other leading-edge scientists, stunning new discoveries have been made about the interaction between your mind and body and the processes by which cells receive information. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology, that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our thoughts. Using simple language, illustrations, humour, and everyday examples, he demonstrates how the new science of Epigenetics 0.4103
Harperland (L. MARTIN) 50/9 After four years in power, Stephen Harper's governance comes under the microscope of prominent Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin. Focusing on the growth of executive power under Harper and drawing on interviews with prominent insiders, Martin probes the smearing of opponents, the silencing of the public and diplomatic service, the secrecy, the prorogations, the unprecedented centralizing of power, and the attempted muzzling of the media. He examines controversies such as the existence of a secret dirty-tricks handbook, the Chuck Cadman affair, campaign financing, 0.4103
Thinking Fast and Slow (DANIEL KAHNEMAN) 224/180 0.3846
The power of why: Simple Questions that Lead to Success (AMANDA LANG) 109/441 Why are some people able to get so much more done in so much less time than others? Why do some companies flourish in tough times while others fail? Why are some countries more productive than others? Through an entertaining mix of examples from the business world, insights from innovation gurus, little-known research, the experiences of business leaders and her own candid stories of life off-camera, Amanda Lang explains how asking the right questions has changed the world and how it can change you, too 0.3846
My stroke of insight (JILL BOLTE TAYLOR) 59/17 On the morning of December 10, 1996, Taylor, a brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke. She observed her own mind completely deteriorate. Now she shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery. 0.3846
Reading Lolita in Tehran (AZAR NAFISI) 68/7 For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. 0.2821
I.O.U. : why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay (J. LANCHESTER) 23/17 Part economic primer, part fiscal and historical analysis, New Yorker and London Review of Books contributor John Lanchester offers his brilliantly witty, succinct overview of the current financial crisis. For most people, the reasons for the sudden collapse of our economy remain obscure. I.O.U. is the story of how we came to experience such a complete and devastating financial implosion, and how the decisions and actions of a select group of individuals had profound consequences for America, Europe, and the global economy overall. 0.2821
Autobiography of Malcolm X (MALCOM X) 21/2 0.2821
The better angels of our nature (STEVEN PINKER) 47/27 In this startling new book, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the past was much worse. Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: genocides in the Old Testament, gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm, monarchs who beheaded their relatives, and American founders who dueled with their rivals. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were common features of life for millennia, then were suddenly abolished. How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed? 0.2564
An Unquiet Mind - a Memoir of Moods and Madness (KAY REDFIELD) 11/2 From a leading international authority on manic-depressive illness--and one of only a handful of women who are full professors of medicine--comes a remarkable personal testimony: the revelation of her own struggle since childhood with manic-depression, and how it has shaped her life. 0.2564
Edited by RK on Apr 3, 2013 9:22 PM
Suggestions from Helen
How Much Is Enough? : The Love Of Money And The Case For The Good Life
by Skidelsky, Robert Jacob Alexander
54 holds / 15 copies
Moral and ethical aspects of wealth: Analyzes questions that arose from the 2008 financial crisis while assessing the predictions of John Maynard Keynes, sharing the authors' views of a positive life and how recent generations have traded morality for wealth.
The Filter Bubble : What The Internet Is Hiding From You
by Pariser, Eli
8 holds / 23 copies
"An eye-opening account of how the hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling-and limiting-the information we consume. In December 2009, Google began customizing its search results for each user. Instead of giving you the most broadly popular result, Google now tries to predict what you are most likely to click on. According to MoveOn.org board president Eli Pariser, Google's change in policy is symptomatic of the most significant shift to take place on the Web in recent years-the rise of personalization. In this groundbreaking investigation of the new hidden Web, Pariser uncovers how this growing trend threatens to control how we consume and share information as a society-and reveals what we can do about it.
Far From The Tree: Parents, Children And The Search For Identity
574 holds / 111 copies
Summary/Review: Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.
tackles daunting questions involving nature versus nurture, illness versus identity, and how they all affect parenting in his exhaustive but not exhausting exploration of what happens when children bear little resemblance to their parents. He begins by challenging the very concept of human reproduction. We do not reproduce, he asserts, spawning clones. We produce originals. And if we're really lucky, our offspring will be enough like us or our immediate forebears that we can easily love, nurture, understand, and respect them.
Edited by RK on Mar 18, 2013 1:11 PM
Cutting God In Half - and Putting the Pieces Together
By Nicholas Maxwell
Download it for free from http://discovery.ucl....
Summary: Cutting God in Half argues that, in order to tackle climate change, world poverty, extinction of species and our other global problems rather better than we are doing at present we need to bring about a revolution in science, and in academia more generally. We need to put our problems of living – personal, social, global – at the heart of the academic enterprise. How our human world, imbued with meaning and value, can exist and best flourish embedded in the physical universe is, the book argues, our basic problem. It is our fundamental philosophical problem, problem of knowledge and understanding, and practical problem of living. It is this problem that we fail, at present, to recognize as fundamental – to our cost. It can be understood to arise as a result of cutting God in half – severing the God of Cosmic Power from the God of Value. The first is Einstein’s God, the underlying unity in the physical universe that determines how events occur. The second is what is of most value associated with human life – and sentient life more generally. Having cut God in half in this way, the problem then becomes to see how the two halves can be put together again. This book tackles outstanding aspects of this problem, and in doing so throws out original ideas about science, education, religion, evolutionary theory, free will, quantum theory, and how we should go about tackling our impending global crises. It transpires that bringing our basic problem into sharp focus has revolutionary implications. It becomes clear how and why many aspects of our social and cultural world urgently need to be transformed. Cutting God in Half is concerned with ultimate questions – the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, the future of humanity.
From Knowledge To Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the Humanities
By Nicholas Maxwell
Summary/Review: From Knowledge to Wisdom argues that there is an urgent need, for both intellectual and humanitarian reasons, to bring about a revolution in science and the humanities. The outcome would be a kind of academic inquiry rationally devoted to helping humanity learn how to create a better world. The basic intellectual aim of inquiry would be to seek and promote wisdom - wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. * "There are altogether too many symptoms of malaise in our science-based society for Nicholas Maxwell's diagnosis to be ignored." Professor Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Nature. * "a strong effort is needed if one is to stand back and clearly state the objections to the whole enormous tangle of misconceptions which surround the notion of science to-day. Maxwell has made that effort in this powerful, profound and important book." Dr. Mary Midgley, University Quarterly. * "The essential idea is really so simple, so transparently right ... It is a profound book, refreshingly unpretentious, and deserves to be read, refined and implemented." Dr. Stewart Richards, Annals of Science. This second edition is revised throughout, has additional material and three new chapters.
The God Species: How Humans Really Can Save the Planet
By Mark Lynas
Summary: The green movement has got it very wrong.
Nature no longer controls our planet – it is humanity, ‘the god species’, that must save the environment we have inflicted unprecedented damage upon. And the tools we must use are the very technologies that environmentalist have told us for years will spell disaster: nuclear power, GM food and geo-engineering.
In this blistering and urgent manifesto, Mark Lynas identifies a new future for the green movement and an entirely fresh agenda for how we will save the Earth, and ourselves.
Science/ Tech -- Suggestions by new members, June 20 to Aug 8 - collated by Helen
Member holds/copies in TPL / Author/ Title/ description
Santiago 5 20 Feynman Lectures on physics revised edition of Feynman’s legendary lectures includes 5extensive corrections
Wendy 6 25 Neil Shubin Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body; tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth
Neil T 8 33 Christopher Ryan Sex at Dawn A controversial, idea-driven book that challenges everything you know about sex, marriage, family, and society
Samantha 9 73 J. Safran Foer Eating Animals Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work,Eating Animalsexplores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting.
Hammad Din 10 26 Gary Taubes Why we get Fat? An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat,
Toby 17 36 James Gleick The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.
Beth/ Mary A 30 53 M. Pollan Omnivore's Dilemma brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America.
Edited by RK on Aug 21, 2013 4:20 PM
Economics - Suggestions by new members, June 20-Aug 8 -- collated by Helen
Member/ holds/copies in TPL/Author/Title/description
Victor 0 0 Alan Greenspan Memoirs
Kunal 5 22 Neil Irwin The Alchemists The inside story of the work of the world's most powerful central bankers, offering an unparalleled view from the cockpit of the global economy, as three men struggle to keep it from going down.
Lahanimo 23 26 David Graeber Debt: The first 5,000 years shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash
Sheri 59 123 Michael Lewis Boomerang Presents the author's darkly humorous investigation of the effects of the 2008 financial bubble on other countries before taking aim at greedy debtors
Politics/History Suggestions by new members June 20 - Aug 8 -- collated by Helen
Member/ holds/copies in TPL/Author/Title/description
Anwar Ta 0 2 Amin Maalouf The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Victor 0 11 Jeb Bush Immigration Wars The immigration debate has challenged our nation since its founding. But today, it divides Americans more stridently than ever, due to a chronic failure of national leadership by both parties. Here at last is an attainable resolution guided by two core principles: first, immigration is vital to America's future; second, any enduring resolution must adhere to the rule of law.
Abhi 0 8 Martin Sixsmith Russia - A 1000 year chronicle of the wild east
Michael Yee 0 22 Tina Lopes Dancing on Live Embers: challenging racism in org a hands-on book for people who are trying to create more equitable organizations
Monica 1 12 Carol Off The Lion, The fox and the Eagle explores the failure of peacekeeping missions in Sarajevo and Rwanda, and the international community's attempt to redeem itself by prosecuting the people responsible for the genocides
Carol 4 10 Niall Ferguson Civilization: The West and the Rest explains how by juxtaposing, we can uncover the keys, the six killer applications, of Western ascendancy.
Ann E 4 52 Simon Winchester The Meaning of Everything a readily accessible historical account of the making of the remarkable Oxford English Dictionary, leading up to the appointment of the first editor, James Murray, in 1879 through to its triumphant publication in 1928 and beyond
Stephen Ji 4 8 Ezra Vogel Deng Xiaoping and the Great Transformation of China no scholar of contemporary East Asian history and culture is better qualified than Ezra Vogel to disentangle the many contradictions embodied in the life and legacy of China’s boldest strategist.
Justin B 4 8 Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi What you hold in your hand is not an ordinary book. It is a spiritual 7treasure. To read its message of hope is to begin a great adventure
Michael A 5 13 Ian Bremmer Every Nation For Itself A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history.
Harriet 5 50 Steven Johnson The ghost map : the story of London's most terrifying epidemic brilliantly illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of viruses, rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry.
Dagmar 6 62 Barack Obama Dreams of my father an elegant and compelling biography that powerfully articulates America's racial battleground and tells of his search for his place in black America
Dagmar 6 90 Heilemann Game Change In 2008, the presidential election became blockbuster entertainment. Everyone was watching as the race for the White House unfolded like something from the realm of fiction. The meteoric rise and historic triumph of Barack Obama. The shocking fall of the House of Clinton--and the improbable resurrection of Hillary as Obamas partner...
Avatar 7 4 D. Logan Tribal Leadership show leaders how to assess their organization's tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next.
Anabel 11 96 Andre Agassi Open autobiography
Nicole C. 14 103 Stacy Schiff Cleopatra Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.
William Hand 17 46 Nicholas Kristof Half the Sky issue a call to arms against our era's most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world
Ashraf 49 20 Daron Acemoglo Why Nations Fail (on Sept poll) Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?
Tanya 209 263 Susan cain Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so
Psychology/Religion/Philosophy/etc Suggestions by new members June 20 - Aug 8 -- collated by Helen
Member/ holds/copies in TPL/Author/Title/description
JC 1 7 Melinda Blau Consequential Strangers presents the science of casual connection and chronicles the surprising impact that consequential strangers have on business, creativity, the work environment, our physical and mental health, and the strength of our communities.
Todd 2 28 Thomas More Utopia This revised rendition should introduce further generations of students to Utopia, one of the most influential books in the western philosophical and literary tradition, and one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance humanism
Victor 2 6 St. Augustine City of God No book except the Bible itself had a greater influence on the Middle Ages than Augustine's The City of God. And since medieval Europe was the cradle of modern Western society, this work is vital for understanding our world and how it came into being.
Todd 3 13 Rousseau The Social Contract (3 different editions) Rousseau's explosive cry for human liberty helped to spark the French Revolution and has haunted our discussions of how we should rule one another ever since – seen as both a blueprint for political terror and as a fundamental statement for democracy.
Andy T 4 15 Philip Zimbardo The Lucifer Effect, Understanding How Good People Turn Evil What makes good people do bad things? How can moral people be seduced to act immorally? Where is the line separating good from evil, and who is in danger of crossing it? Renowned social psychologist Philip Zimbardo has the answers (he is perhaps best known as the creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment)
Mel 4 12 Zach Wahls My Two Moms: Lessons Of Love, Strength, And What.. An advocate and son of same-gender parents recounts his famed address to the Iowa House of Representatives on civil unions, and describes his positive experiences of growing up in an alternative family in spite of prejudice.
Dagmar 5 5 M. Csikszentmihalyi Flow
Roman 5 34 Sam Harris Free Will argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.
Neil T 5 30 Alain de Botton Status Anxiety n/a
Ann 6 28 John Izzo The five secrets you must discover before you die What are the secrets to finding happiness? Why do some people live well and die happy? John Izzo asked thousands of people to identify the wisest person they knew.
Ro 7 23 Martin Lindstrom Buyology presents the astonishing findings from his groundbreaking, three-year, seven-million-dollar neuromarketing study, a cutting-edge experiment that peered inside the brains of 2,000 volunteers from all around the world as they encountered various ads, logos
Sandy 12 37 Martin Seligman Flourish The creator of one of the most influential theories of the 20th century presents for the first time a complete, new theory of the best way to live.
Neil T 15 47 Robert Greene Mastery Robert Greene, the "modern Machiavelli" debunks the prevailing mythology of success and presents a radical new way to greatness
Temachi 16 35 Rolf Dobelli The Art of Thinking Clearly In engaging prose and with practical examples and anecdotes, an eye-opening look at human reasoning and essential reading for anyone with important decisions to make.
Arvind 17 75 Dan Gilbert Stumbling on happiness (we've already read this) A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we're so lousy at predicting what will make us happy - and what we can do about it
Michael 19 117 Richard Dawkins The God Delusion (we've already read this)
Brittany 19 100 Raj Patel The Value of Nothing Examining everything from Google to TV, from love to thoughts, The Value of Nothing reveals the hidden social consequences of our global culture of "freedom."
Nicole C. 25 29 Ian McGilchrist The Master and His Emissary draws on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with case histories, to reveal that the difference is profound—not just this or that function, but two whole, coherent, but incompatible ways of experiencing the world.
Mehdi 40 11 Olivia Fox Cabane The Charisma Myth breaks charisma down into its fundamental components, revealing the secrets to how it works. Becoming more charismatic doesn't mean transforming your personality. It's about adopting a series of practices that suit you
Alex 51 13 Meg Jay Defining Decade - why your twenties matter
Nina 83 34 M. Thomas Confessions of a sociopath Who are we? We are highly successful, non-criminal sociopaths and we comprise 4% of the American population
Matt 168 209 D. Kahneman Thinking fast & slow Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking.
East York, ON
Politics/History Suggestions by new members June 20 - Aug 8 -- collated by HelenI'm voting for Cleopatra for the October poll. Thanks.
North York, ON
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
"One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.
Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius—a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.
The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson."
|A former member||
Some suggestions of books that sound interesting to me. I will return and fill in some details as I develop them them.
What is Life - Erwin Schrodinger
Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the... - Eric Maisel
Nature of Order Book 1: The Phenomenon of Life - Alexander, Christopher
Masters of the Word - WJ Bernstein
Crossing Boundaries: Selected Writings, Albert O. Hirschman
500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars - Eichenwald, Kurt
The Head Trip - Jeff Warren
Decoding Advertisements - J Williamson
The Prisoner's Dilemma - Poundstone
The Pinball Effect - James Burke
Deterring Democracy - Chomsky
Command and Control - Eric Schlosser
Obesity and the Limits of Shame - Seeman & Luciani
Feynman's Lost Lecture - Goodstein
Game Theory and the Humanities - SJ Brams
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - T Kuhn
Relativity - A Einstein
This Machine Kills Secrets - Andy Greenberg
Rational Choice in an Uncertain World - Hastie & Dawes
Flawed Giant: Lyndon B. Johnson and His Times, vol. 1 - Robert Dallek
Applied Cryptography - Scheiener
On Giants' Shoulders: Great Scientists and Their Discoveries - Melvyn Bragg
Number - Tobias Danzig
Inside the Jury - Hastie, Penrod, & Pennington
Fermat's Enigma - S Singh
Poison: An Illustrated History - Joel Levy
To Commemorate 50 years of JFK Conspiracy Theories, it might be fun to compare and contrast several books from that genre at once:
Best Evidence - Lifton
Mortal Error - Menninger
JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate the President - L Fletcher Prouty
Accessories After the Fact - Sylvia Meagher
Case Closed - G Posner
The Dark Side of Camelot - Seymour Hersh
... many many others ....
Edited by User 120,538,842 on Nov 18, 2013 8:53 PM