Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250126658
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How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self

Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi, creator of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show, Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Bored and Brilliant builds on that experiment to show us how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter in this new digital ecosystem. Manoush explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering”—what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all—Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.

Manoush Zomorodi

© Amy Pearl

Manoush Zomorodi is the creator of WNYC’s podcast Note to Self and the co-founder of Stable Genius Productions, a media company with a mission to help people navigate personal and global change. Zomorodi gave a TED Talk about surviving information overload and the “Attention Economy” and was one of Fast Company‘s 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018. Follow her on Twitter: @manoushz.

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We Gon’ Be Alright

We Gon' Be Alright

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9780312429485
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Notes on Race and Resegregation

Jeff Chang

“There is history and analysis in these pages, and there is life and experience, too, but neither form of storytelling overpowers the other. Instead, what comes through most clearly is a versatile mind in the service of a painful and protracted story, an author who ranges widely before drawing tough conclusions and one who, despite the book’s optimistic title, appears deeply pessimistic about things getting any better, much less becoming all right . . . The limits of representation come alive in the author’s unforgettable discussion of the Asian American experience.”

The Washington Post

In these provocative, powerful essays, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

© Jeremy Keith Villaluz

Jeff Chang is also the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Who We Be. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

We Gon’ Be Alright has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

American University (DC); Rhode Island School of Design

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
320 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9780374537449
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Crime and Punishment in Black America

James Forman Jr.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Longlisted for the National Book Award

“Forman has written a masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital.”

The New York Times Book Review

In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman Jr. points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

James Forman Jr

© Harold Shapiro

James Forman Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School. He has written for The New York TimesThe Atlantic, numerous law reviews, and other publications. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he spent six years as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where he co-founded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.

Amity and Prosperity

Amity and Prosperity

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover
336 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 9780374103118
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One Family and the Fracturing of America

Eliza Griswold

“These stories, chronicled with such grace and care in Amity and Prosperity, evince a shameful reality about what we are willing to protect and what we are not.”

—Meara Sharma, The Washington Post

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbors’ mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong. Alarmed by her children’s illnesses, Haney joins with neighbors and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what’s really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that’s being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries. Soon a community that has long been suspicious of outsiders faces wrenching new questions about who is responsible for their fate, and for redressing it: The faceless corporations that are poisoning the land? The environmentalists who fail to see their economic distress? A federal government that is mandated to protect but fails on the job? Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, Griswold reveals what happens when an imperiled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.

Eliza Griswold

© Guillermo Riveros

Eliza Griswold is the author of Wideawake Field, The Tenth Parallel, and I Am the Beggar of the World—all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She has held fellowships from the New America Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Harvard University. Currently a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University, she lives in New York with her husband and son.

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist

Graywolf Press
Paperback
208 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781555977801
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Paul Kingsnorth

“This book is refreshing in both a literary respect and an environmental one . . . Kingsnorth’s is a much-needed perspective in the environmental movement, recovering or otherwise.”

The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Paul Kingsnorth was once an activist—an ardent environmentalist. He fought against rampant development and the depredations of a corporate world that seemed hell-bent on ignoring a looming climate crisis in its relentless pursuit of profit. But as the environmental movement began to focus on “sustainability” rather than the defense of wild places for their own sake, and as global conditions worsened, he grew disenchanted with the movement that he once embraced. He gave up what he saw as the false hope that residents of the first world would ever make the kind of sacrifices that might avert the severe consequences of climate change. Full of grief and fury as well as passionate, lyrical evocations of nature and the wild, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist gathers the wave-making essays that have charted the change in Kingsnorth’s thinking. In them he articulates a new vision that he calls “dark ecology,” which stands firmly in opposition to the belief that technology can save us, and he argues for a renewed balance between the human and nonhuman worlds. This iconoclastic, fearless, and ultimately hopeful book, which includes the much-discussed “Uncivilization” manifesto, asks hard questions about how we’ve lived and how we should live.

Paul Kingsnorth (c) Clare McNamee

© Clare McNamee

Paul Kingsnorth is the author of the novels Beast and The Wake, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is cofounder of the Dark Mountain Project, a global network of writers, artists, and thinkers in search of new stories for a world on the brink.

I Was Told to Come Alone

I Was Told to Come Alone

St. Martin’s Griffin 
Paperback
368 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250180575
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My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad

Souad Mekhennet

“Much more than a book of journalism, admirable as hers is: it is a remarkable record of a Muslim woman struggling to understand those who kill in the name of her religion, and to explain their actions to the uncomprehending Western world to which she belongs.”

The Economist

In this compelling and evocative memoir, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post, journeys behind the lines of jihad—starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized, the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Mekhennet’s background has given her unique access to some of the world’s most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. Mekhennet—“a brave, resourceful, canny and tireless reporter” (The Washington Post)—is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines.

© Stocks Photography

© Ben Kilb

Souad Mekhennet is a correspondent for The Washington Post’s national security desk, and she has reported on terrorism for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and NPR. She is the co-author of The Eternal Nazi, Children of Jihad, and Islam. She was a 2012 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and she is a visiting fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Policy at Harvard, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Geneva Center for Security Policy.

Notes on a Foreign Country

Notes on a Foreign Country

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Paperback
288 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 9780374537838
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An American Abroad in a Post-American World

Suzy Hansen

“A deeply honest and brave portrait of an individual sensibility reckoning with her country’s violent role in the world . . . Hansen is doing something both rare and necessary.”

—Hisham Matar, The New York Times Book Review

In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the U.S.- led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures and histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country—and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline. It would take leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world. Blending memoir, journalism, and history, and deeply attuned to the voices of those she met on her travels, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America’s place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation—a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.

© Kathy Ryan

Suzy Hansen is contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and has written for many other publications. In 2007, she was awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs to do research in Turkey. She currently lives in Istanbul.