Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:47 PM
Several of you sent in some intriguing suggestions for our next title, and many of you voiced preferences for a couple of the titles in the discussion forum. Now there is a tie between 2 in the lead and a close runner-up...I am presenting these 3 most popular for everyone to vote to make our final selection. Actually, these 3 are the same initial 3 that were first proposed...please help us decide. Read the synopsis and let me know what you'd like to read. I will be starting the count from scratch here so please do Vote again even if you already expressed interest in the discussion forum, just so we have a single consistent count from an official vote.
Thanks to all for participating, sharing your ideas and feedback. Hope to get to some of the other titles you offered in the future--such as Evelyn's contribution, Common As Air, when it is released in paperback.
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robinson
If one looked at only Robison's impish sense of humor (he once ordered a blow-up sex doll to be delivered to his junior-high-school teacher?at school), or his success as a classic-car restorer, it might be impossible to believe he has the high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's syndrome. Clues abound, however, in his account of a youth encompassing serious inability to make and keep friends; early genius at pyrotechnics, electronics, and math; and pet names such as Poodle for his dog and Snort and Varmint for his baby brother. Much later, he calls his wife Unit Two. It is easy to recognize these telltale traits today, but Robison went undiagnosed until he was 40. In the 1960s, he was variously labeled lazy, weird, and, worse, sociopathic. Consequently, his childhood memories too often read like a kid's worst nightmares. Not only did his parents fail to understand the root of his socialization problems but they were also virtually as dysfunctional as the pair Augusten Burroughs portrays in Running with Scissors (2002). 'Nough said? Not nearly. Robison's memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him.
China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford
National Public Radio China correspondent Gifford journeyed for six weeks on China's Mother Road, Route 312, from its beginning in Shanghai for nearly 3,000 miles to a tiny town in what used to be known as Turkestan. The route picks up the old Silk Road, which runs through the Gobi Desert to Central Asia to Persia and on to Europe. Along the way, Gifford meets entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on China's growing economy, citizens angry and frustrated with government corruption, older people alarmed at changes in Chinese culture and morality, and young people uncertain and excited about the future. Gifford profiles ordinary Chinese people coping with tumultuous change as development and commerce shrink a vast geography, bringing teeming cities and tiny towns into closer commercial and cultural proximity; the lure of wealth is changing the Chinese character and sense of shared experience, even if it was common poverty. Gifford notes an aggressive sense of competition in the man-eat-man atmosphere of a nation that is likely to be the next global superpower.
Waffle Street: The Confession and Rehabilitation of a Financier by James Adams
no page number indicated...
from Book description on dust jacket:
In the wake of the worst financial turmoil since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have spent the past year asking how the economy actually works. The answers have finally arrived--in a most unconventional form. After spending two years in the midst of the housing market hurricane, Jimmy Adams was laid off from a hedge fund in early 2009. Wearied by eight years in the bond market and disillusioned by the financial services profession, he decides to get an "honest job" for a change. Before he knows what hit him, Jimmy finds himself waiting on tables of barflies at his local Waffle House. Many colorful characters soon emerge: man-hungry female patrons, a stonemason who carves his own teeth, and a man seeking refuge from the ghost in his apartment. Amidst the glorious chaos of the night shift, the 24-hour diner affords a bevy of comedic experiences as the author struggles to ingratiate himself with a motley crew of waiters and cooks. Unexpectedly, the restaurant also becomes a font of insight into financial markets and the human condition. In a uniquely hilarious and thought-provoking narrative, Waffle Street unravels the enigmas of money, banking, economics, and grits once and for all. As they laugh heartily at the author's expense, readers will develop a profound appreciation for the first principle of economics: there really is no such thing as a free lunch.