Read about the world around us.
An assassin in utopia : the true story of a nineteenth-century sex cult and a president's murder
Wels, Susan, author.
From 1848 to 1881, a small utopian colony in upstate New York, the Oneida Community, was known for its shocking sexual practices, from open marriage and free love to the sexual training of young boys by older women. And in 1881, a one-time member of the Oneida Community, Charles Julius Guiteau, assassinated President James Garfield in a brutal crime that shook America to its core. This is the first book to weave together these explosive stories in a tale of utopian experiments, political machinations, and murder.
Built to move : the ten essential habits to help you move freely and live fully
Starrett, Kelly, author
After decades spent working with pro-athletes, Olympians, and Navy Seals, mobility pioneers Kelly and Juliet Starrett began thinking about the physical well-being of the rest of us. Organized around ten assessments and ten physical practices that anyone can do, Starretts designed a plan to improve the way our body feels and boost the overall quality of life, no matter how you spend your time. Introduces a set of simple principles and practices that are undemanding enough to work into any busy schedule, lead to greater ease of movement, better health, and a happier life doing whatever it is you love to do.
Burning the books : a history of the deliberate destruction of knowledge
Ovenden, Richard, author.
The director of the famed Bodleian Libraries at Oxford narrates the global history of the willful destruction--and surprising survival--of recorded knowledge over the past three millennia. Libraries and archives have been attacked since ancient times but have been especially threatened in the modern era. Today the knowledge they safeguard faces purposeful destruction and willful neglect; deprived of funding, libraries are fighting for their very existence. Burning the Books recounts the history that brought us to this point. Richard Ovenden describes the deliberate destruction of knowledge held in libraries and archives from ancient Alexandria to contemporary Sarajevo, from smashed Assyrian tablets in Iraq to the destroyed immigration documents of the United Kingdom's Windrush generation. He examines both the motivations for these acts -- political, religious, and cultural -- and the broader themes that shape this history. He also looks at attempts to prevent and mitigate attacks on knowledge, exploring the efforts of librarians and archivists to preserve information, often risking their own lives in the process. More than simply repositories for knowledge, libraries and archives inspire and inform citizens. In preserving notions of statehood recorded in such historical documents as the Declaration of Independence, libraries support the state itself. By preserving records of citizenship and records of the rights of citizens as enshrined in legal documents such as the Magna Carta and the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, they support the rule of law. In Burning the Books, Ovenden takes a polemical stance on the social and political importance of the conservation and protection of knowledge, challenging governments in particular, but also society as a whole, to improve public policy and funding for these essential institutions. - Publisher.
Caste : the origins of our discontents
Wilkerson, Isabel, author
Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
The creative act : a way of being
Rubin, Rick, author
Legendary music producer Rick Rubin has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Creativity has a place in everyone's life, and everyone can make that place larger. This is a beautiful and generous course of study that distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime's work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments - and lifetimes - of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us.
Drama free : a guide to managing unhealthy family relationships
Tawwab, Nedra Glover, author
Every family has a story. For some of us, our family of origin is a solid foundation that feeds our confidence and helps us navigate life's challenges. For others, it's a source of pain, hurt, and conflict that can feel like a lifelong burden. In this empowering guide, licensed therapist and bestselling relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab offers clear advice for identifying dysfunctional family patterns and choosing the best path to breaking the cycle and moving forward.
The generation myth : why when you're born matters less than you think
"One of the simplest and most powerful ways we understand people is as members of a generation. Your uncle is a bit racist because he's a baby boomer; your gen x boss is not a good team player; your cousin is constantly trying to go viral because he's gen z, and his generation is obsessed with fame. We also use generations as a tool for tracking how a society's values change over time (baby boomers liberated sex; millennials made it problematic), and how to appeal to the generations that hold them. What we assume when we talk about generations is that our values and habits are fixed by the time we turn 18, and that generational conflict is inevitable: a generation matures into adulthood and takes control of our artistic, commercial, and political tastes, which then become obsolete and are replaced by succeeding generations. It's a compelling story - after all, it is natural to think you have more in common with your peers than with your parents. But it is also wrong. Bobby Duffy has spent decades studying how social values and beliefs change. In The Generation Myth, he argues that generations do not have fixed or monolithic identities, nor is one unavoidably distinct from all the rest. Rather, generational identities are fluid, forming and reforming throughout life. Gen xers aren't just a product of the Reagan years - their values have been shaped equally by the Iraq War, two financial collapses, and the simple fact that they have gotten older. A generation isn't an identity as much as a process. Duffy shows that differences between generations aren't nearly as sharp as we think. Political engagement, for example, has not declined in younger generations - younger people are always less politically active. Older generations have different expectations of their employers than younger generations simply because they entered different labor markets. Baby boomers had more sex in their youth than millennials, but millennials are actually happier with their sex lives. Young adults are no likelier to buy a product based on the company's ethics than their parents or grandparents. Through these insights, we find not only a truer picture of real generational differences, but a better way of understanding how societies change, and where ours may be headed. An analysis of breathtaking scale, based on data collected from over three million people, The Generation Myth is a vital rejoinder to alarmist books like iGen, The Coddling of the American Mind, and A Generation of Sociopaths. The kids are alright. Their parents are too"-- Provided by publisher.
In defense of witches : the legacy of the witch hunts and why women are still on trial
Chollet, Mona, 1973- author
"Centuries after the infamous witch hunts that swept through Europe and America, witches continue to hold a unique fascination for many: as fairy tale villains, practitioners of pagan religion, as well as feminist icons. Witches are both the ultimate victim and the stubborn, elusive rebel. But who were the women who were accused and often killed for witchcraft? What types of women have centuries of terror censored, eliminated, and repressed? Celebrated feminist writer Mona Chollet explores three types of women who were accused of witchcraft and persecuted: the independent woman, since widows and celibates were particularly targeted; the childless woman, since the time of the hunts marked the end of tolerance for those who claimed to control their fertility; and the elderly woman, who has always been an object of at best, pity, and at worst, horror. Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that these women continue to be harassed and oppressed."-- Provided by publisher.
Life in five senses : how exploring the senses got me out of my head and into the world
Rubin, Gretchen, author
In this journey of self-experimentation, Gretchen Rubin explores the mysteries and joys of the five senses as a path to a happier, more mindful life. Rubin investigates the profound power of tuning in to the physical world and shows us how to experience each day with depth, delight, and connection. In the rush of daily life, she finds, our five senses offer us a way to cheer up, calm down, and engage with the world around us - a layered story of discovery filled with profound insights and practical suggestions about how to heighten our senses and use our powers of perception to live richer lives.
The lives we actually have : 100 blessings for imperfect day
Bowler, Kate, author
"Warm and witty blessings found within the struggle of a shared humanity, from the New York Times bestselling authors of Good Enough. "-- Provided by publisher.
A map to your soul : using the astrology of fire, earth, air, and water to live deeply and fully
Freed, Jennifer, 1958- author.
"There are four elements-fire, earth, air, and water-that exist in nature and within us all. Each of us has a unique constellation of the four elements inside of us that manifest in distinct ways in different areas of our lives. You may be fiery when challenged at work but grounded in earthy routine when it comes to your health. Many of us are disconnected from our own natures, caught up in the digital demands of the modern world, hurtling headlong through fast-paced, busy lives. But these four elements, when used with intention, offer up indispensable wisdom for both surviving and thriving. Psychological astrologer Dr. Jennifer Freed is here to help you live a life in which you fully express your gifts, one in which you develop your strengths and make the unique contributions to your community only you can make. This book is a 12-part journey to make your most exciting possibilities a reality, guided by your distinct balance of the four elements. Each chapter will delve into the interplay of elements within a specific domain of life (at home or at work, in relationships and friendships, in parenting, health and spirituality), based on the astrological house system. If you have your birth chart handy, you can consult it for deeper understanding of the way the stars influence your destiny. But don't worry: this guide is accessible to everyone, whether you have astrological knowledge or not. By balancing the elements within us, we can find the antidote to emptiness, anxiety, and sadness and truly flourish"-- Provided by publisher.
Monsters : a fan's dilemma
Dederer, Claire, 1967-, author
"In this unflinching, deeply personal book that expands on her instantly viral Paris Review essay, "What Do We Do With the Art of Monstrous Men?" Claire Dederer asks: Can we love the work of Hemingway, Polanski, Naipaul, Miles Davis, or Picasso? Should we love it? Does genius deserve special dispensation? Is male monstrosity the same as female monstrosity? Does art have a mandate to depict the darker elements of the psyche? And what happens if the artist stares too long into the abyss? She explores the audience's relationship with artists from Woody Allen to Michael Jackson, asking: How do we balance our undeniable sense of moral outrage with our equally undeniable love of the work? In a more troubling vein, she wonders if an artist needs to be a monster in order to create something great. And if an artist is also a mother, does one identity inexorably, and fatally, interrupt the other? Highly topical, morally wise, honest to the core, Monsters is certain to incite a conversation about whether and how we can separate artists from their art"-- Provided by publisher.
Pathogenesis : a history of the world in eight plagues
Kennedy, Jonathan, author.
"A sweeping look at how the major transformations in history-from the rise of Homo sapiens to the birth of capitalism-have been shaped not by humans but by germs. According to the accepted narrative of progress, humans have thrived thanks to their brains and brawn, collectively bending the arc of history. But in this revelatory book, professor Jonathan Kennedy argues that the myth of human exceptionalism overstates the role that we play in social and political change. Instead, it is the humble microbe that wins wars and topples empires. Drawing on the latest research in fields ranging from genetics and anthropology to archaeology and economics, Pathogenesis takes us through 60,000 years of history, exploring eight major outbreaks of infectious disease that have made the modern world. Bacteria and viruses were protagonists in the demise of the Neanderthals, the growth of Islam, the transition from feudalism to capitalism, the devastation wrought by European colonialism, and the evolution of the United States from an imperial backwater to a global superpower. Even Christianity rose to prominence in the wake of a series of deadly pandemics that swept through the Roman Empire in the second and third centuries: Caring for the sick turned what was a tiny sect into one of the world's major religions. By placing disease at the center of his wide-ranging history of humankind, Kennedy challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions about our collective past-and urges us to view this moment as another disease-driven inflection point that will change the course of history. Provocative and brimming with insight, Pathogenesis transforms our understanding of the human story"-- Provided by publisher.
Stolen focus : why you can't pay attention-- and how to think deeply again
Hari, Johann, author
Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding it much harder to focus than he used to. He found that a life of constantly switching from device to device, from tab to tab, is diminishing and depressing. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions-even abandoning his phone for three months-but in the long-term, nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention and to study their scientific findings-and learned that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong. We think this inability to focus is a personal flaw, an individual failure to exert enough willpower over our devices. The truth is even more disturbing: Our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces, and the science shows that these forces have been ramping up for decades-leaving us uniquely vulnerable, when social media arrived, to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit.
The Wager : a tale of shipwreck, mutiny, and murder
Grann, David, author
On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty's Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. They were greeted as heroes. But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The first group responded with counter charges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death--for whomever the court found guilty could hang.