Featured New Nonfiction for April
Plato at the Googleplex : why philosophy won't go away / Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (184 G) -- Imagine that Plato came to life in the 21st century and set out on a multi-city speaking tour: How would he handle a host on Fox News who challenges him on religion and morality? How would he mediate a debate on the best way to raise a child between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a Tiger Mom? How would he answer a neuroscientist who, about to scan Plato's brain, argues that all his philosophical problems can be solved by our new technologies? What would he make of Google, and the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out by experts? With a philosopher's depth and a novelist's imagination, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us--from sexuality and child-rearing to morality and the meaning of life--by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he encounters the modern world. By reviving the Platonic art of the dialogue for the 21st century, she demonstrates that the questions he first posed continue to confound and enlarge us.
Six women of Salem : the untold story of the accused and their accusers in the Salem Witch Trials / Marilynne K. Roach (133.43 R) -- The individuals involved are too often reduced to stock characters and stereotypes when accuracy is sacrificed to indignation. And although the flood of names and detail in the history of an extraordinary event like the Salem witch trials can swamp the individual lives involved, individuals still deserve to be remembered and, in remembering specific lives, modern readers can benefit from such historical intimacy. By examining the lives of six specific women, Marilynne Roach shows readers what it was like to be present throughout this horrific time and how it was impossible to live through it unchanged.
Overwhelmed : work, love, and play when no one has the time / Brigid Schulte (331.44 S) -- 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.
Big bang disruption : strategy in the age of devastating innovation / Larry Downes and Paul Nunes (658.4012 D) -- Free navigation apps on smartphones wreaked havoc for the makers of standalone GPS devices. Airbnb and other resource sharing services are undermining hotels. Uber, SideCar and Lyft are reinventing the heavily regulated taxi and limousine industry. These are just a few of hundreds of examples of Big Bang Disruptions-new products and services that enter the market better and cheaper than established products, seemingly overnight. Driven by falling prices for component parts, rapid experimentation with real customers, and the delivery platforms of the Internet and the cloud, they are different in kind from previous generations of innovations. Their frequency is only going to accelerate. Every industry is at risk. Big Bang Disruption presents a radical new framework for this phenomenon. Larry Downes and Paul F. Nunes offer critical insights and strategies companies are using not just to protect themselves but to create and appropriate disruptive innovations for themselves. The authors detail the four stages of big bang innovation and show leaders how to see disruptions headed their way-and take action before it's too late.
Evolution : the cutting edge guide to breaking down mental walls and building the body you've always wanted / Joe Manganiello (613.7 M) -- Everyone possesses the capability to look the way they want. Joe Manganiello learned that when he achieved the "impossible," overcoming difficult obstacles at every level by transforming himself into the ripped star of True Blood. It took nothing less than one hundred percent commitment, discipline, routine, and drive. Joe is living proof: If he can do it, so can you. EVOLVE. The evolution never ends. You'll live it every day, with an insane amount of internal confidence and absolutely no regrets. Not the struggle, the sacrifices, the sweat, and definitely not the image you see in the mirror. You'll wake up each morning to a new future. All the answers are now in your hands. How far do you want to go?
How to be the world's smartest traveler (and save time, money, and hassle) / Christopher Elliott (910.202 E) -- Consumer travel advocate Christopher Elliott gives you the inside scoop on how to travel smart in this new guide from National Geographic. Calling on practical advice accumulated from more than 20 years of experience in the field, Elliott guides you through the complexities of travel--from cruises to car rentals, travel insurance to time shares, restaurants to resorts, and airlines to agents--and arms you with all the information you need for a successful trip. Full of actionable advice and the answers to the most common--and perplexing--questions, Elliott guides readers through the new rules of travel and breaks through the virtual confusion of pricing, offers, discounts, packages, and every imaginable aspect of a trip, every step of the way. For beginning and seasoned travelers, for business and pleasure trips, this is the ultimate consumer guide to yourjourneys domestically or around the world.
Astoria : John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's lost Pacific empire : a story of wealth, ambition, and survival / Peter Stark (979.5 S) -- Six years after Lewis and Clark's began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment's leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Author and correspondent for Outside magazine Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition. Unfolding over the course of three years, from 1810 to 1813, Astoria is a tale of high adventure and incredible hardship in the wilderness and at sea. Of the more than one hundred-forty members of the two advance parties that reached the West Coast—one crossing the Rockies, the other rounding Cape Horn—nearly half perished by violence. Others went mad. Within one year, the expedition successfully established Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River. Though the colony would be short-lived, it opened provincial American eyes to the potential of the Western coast and its founders helped blaze the Oregon Trail.