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Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

Caitlin's picture

Do Equal Opportunity Employers really hire without discrimination? Is Twitter destroying our capacity to write, or improving it? Can Facebook predict if your marriage will last? How is Google fighting the flu?

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, leverages the company’s massive collection of data as a starting point for this examination of human nature. Rudder keeps the text light and readable, skipping wonky details while being sure to note when his conclusions are limited by his data. His insights range from quirky factoids—white men are most likely to read Robert Heinlein while drinking a home-brewed beer, while Asian women would rather snack on macarons and read Norwegian Wood—to sobering insights about racism, sexism, and homophobia. A must-read for anyone interested in social media and what it reveals about our personalities and communities.

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

Colleen's picture

This is the time of year when I start lamenting the fact that I didn't get to go on an extravagant trip to an exotic location, leading me to find books that allow me to escape (even if just for a little bit!). Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett helped me to do just that. Bonnett visited floating islands, hidden cities, and places not recorded on maps, reminding readers that there are still uncharted territories out there. Even if you don't get to travel outside of your hometown this summer, this book is a great reminder to put down distractions and realize that there is so much more to be seen and learned in our world. 

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Hari's picture

Tanya Pitts Dubois’ marriage to Frank ends when he lies dead at the bottom of the staircase in their home. This is also when Tanya Pitts Dubois ceases to exist and becomes Amelia Keen—after placing a phone call to a mysterious Mr. Oliver. With $5,000 and a new identification as Amelia from Mr. Oliver, the former Tanya Pitts begins her off-the-grid journey from Wisconsin to Austin, Texas, where she meets a bartender named Blue (Debra Maze). Blue recognizes the look of a fellow fugitive, offers her a place to stay, and switches identities with her. The hunted/haunted Tanya-turned-Amelia-turned-Debra leaves town and ping-pongs from one location to another, trying on and discarding one identity after another—sometimes in the matter of minutes—with a terrified intensity. Added to this fascinating scramble to fly below the radar are some old emails between “Ryan” and “Jo” that begin to create a picture—but a picture of what?  All is revealed by the end of this satisfying, intense, and intriguing psychological thriller. 

Picture Book Selection: The Boy and the Moon

A young boy has a nighttime adventure dancing under the moon with his animal friends. They play, they dance, they howl. But, when the moon gets stuck in a tree the boy must find a way to help the moon return to the sky. A beautiful, dreamy, magical story reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. (Recommended ages 4 to 6 years)

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