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Category Archives: Recommended Books

Times Literary Supplement review – how emojis are moving us away from written communications

Times Literary Supplement: “…Both Evans [The Emoji Code, Vyvyan Evans] and Danesi [Marcel Danesi, The Semiotics of Emoji] set out to explain why emoji are an important development, why it is interesting to study them, and why we can ignore naysayers who cite them as another example of the erosion of standards. For Evans they tell us something about the psychology of language, the pragmatics of communication, and the human ability to innovate and adapt. For Danesi emoji represent how eager we are to influence the emotions of others, to signal our communicative intent, and to resolve ambiguity in language….By the penultimate chapter, Wolf has built to her “greatest fear” and “highest hope”: that the deterioration of deep reading capacities will have grave consequences for present generations and the next, but that new dimensions of cognition and perception alongside the new availability of literacy and learning to those who do not currently have it will unleash a great new human potential – a “third revolution in the brain” (the first being the development of reading, the second being its recession). It is on this note that the book is turned on its head, and Wolf goes on to describe an experiment in Ethiopia: tablet devices pre-loaded with educational software were distributed among illiterate children in remote villages to allow them to learn English independently. The question was whether the children would be able to work the devices and whether they would learn to learn, having been exposed to little formal teaching and almost no English beforehand…”

When Women Didn’t Count The Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics

Robert Lopresti: “Erroneous government-generated “data” is more problematic than it would appear. This book demonstrates how women’s history has consistently been hidden and distorted by 200 years of official government statistics. Much of women’s history has been hidden and filtered through unrealistic expectations and assumptions. Because U.S. government data about women’s lives and occupations has… Continue Reading

Books Analyzes How America’s Top 20 Percent Perpetuates Inequality

Boston Review – This essay is excerpted with permission from Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It by Richard Reeves, Brookings Institution Press, 2017. “In January 2015, Barack Obama suffered an acute political embarrassment. A proposal from the… Continue Reading

New Book Pays Tribute To The Library Card Catalog

I worked in college and special library technical services for quite a few years before I completed both college and my Master’s program. I was a cataloger, and my tools were dedicated OCLC terminals and hand typed catalog cards (the IBM Selectric was also indispensable in those days). I created my catalog cards, filed my… Continue Reading

Map shows US really has 11 separate ‘nations’ with entirely different cultures

Business Insider – “In his fourth book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America, award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US. “The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty,” Woodard, a Maine native who… Continue Reading

The Secret Life of Trees: The Astonishing Science of What Trees Feel and How They Communicate

Brain Pickings: “Trees dominate the world’s the oldest living organisms. Since the dawn of our species, they have been our silent companions, permeating our most enduring tales and never ceasing to inspire fantastical cosmogonies. Hermann Hesse called them “the most penetrating of preachers.” A forgotten seventeenth-century English gardener wrote of how they “speak to the… Continue Reading

Agility in US national security

McKinsey – Book Excerpt – March 2017  -“The shift continues from the manufacturing economy of the industrial age to the digital economy of the information age, US national-security organizations need to transform as well. American military forces have been, and continue to be, the most capable in the world, but the national-security infrastructure, refined and… Continue Reading

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The King Library and Archives in Atlanta is the largest repository of primary source materials on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement in the world. The collection consists of the papers of Dr. King and those of the organization he co-founded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as well as the… Continue Reading

Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics

Jochnowitz, Leona Deborah and Ford, Julia A., Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (December 27, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2890524 “The 71st and 72nd 2015 and 2016 annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans focused on themes of… Continue Reading

Book Review – The Politics of Gender Justice at the ICC: Legacies and Legitimacy

December 19, 2016 – Louise Chappell “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court provides the most advanced articulation ever of gender justice under international law. In designing this aspect of the Rome Statute, states were influenced by the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice, a dynamic international feminist advocacy network who used the creation of… Continue Reading

Hope in the Dark – Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

Free ebook – Hope in the Dark – Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit “With Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural,… Continue Reading

Insights from new book – How Achieving Emotional Agility Can Help You – at Work and in Life

“Just like physical agility, emotional agility is important to overall health, well-being and successful relationships at work. But in a fast-paced world fraught with so much stress and upheaval, how do you achieve it? Psychologist Susan David, a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, offers insights in a new book titled Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change,… Continue Reading