Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg
Will change how you think about the Internet, blogs, and what it means to be a writer. Sure, the history of blogging is interesting - and Rosenberg narrates this story beautifully. But the true value of the book lie in the authors arguments about the significance of blogging. This is the book that convinced me that the best thing we can do in higher education and learning technology is to get every student their own public blog. This is a book that helped me understand the beauty of a world where the pleasures of publishing are open to all of us. The power to self-publish, to blog, will over time be seen as important as the printing press and the mass spread of literacy.
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
A pleasure from start to finish. Why: A) Gladwell reads his essays, and Gladwell reads just about as well as he writes. B) If you love Gladwell books: Outliers, Blink, Tipping Point (as I do) then you will love this book as well. C) If you gave up your New Yorker subscription (or are just hopelessly behind) here is your chance to read Gladwell's favorite essays from the magazine. D) Gladwell basically invented (at least in my lifetime) the popularizing of social science research. As such, the world is a much better place.
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
Russo is back to form. Funny and smart book about long marriages, aging parents, academia, real estate, and the Cape. What else is there?
The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost
The narrator, Simon Vance http://bit.ly/3scvfd, moves this book from mildly diverting to something closer to wonderful. The story of the slacker boyfriend accompanying accomplished partner to remote Pacific Island is a classic of the literary form. Probably a big hit among the development economist set. Think I'll have to read the rest of the Troost/Vance oeuvre.
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society by Farhad Manjoo
Got this on a $4.95 Audible sale....happy I did. Probably would not have read otherwise because of the lack of buzz. Manjoo's big story that the diffusion of media and the disruption of the Web has eroded the enforced moderation of the Cronkite / NYT dominated mediascape will not come as a new story to anyone half-way paying attention. But he tells the story well, supports his arguments with evidence, and writes well enough to keep the reader (listener) engaged.
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler
Would have been much better if the author had not read his own book. Author read books seldom work (unless you are Malcolm Gladwell) - reading for audio is as much of an art as writing the book. The book? I recommend Connected even though it is not a great book. The essential truth of the power of networks, and the science done by the authors to tease out their salience, are both sound and ground-breaking. Methodologically strong and epistemologically important. We need to think about our worlds from the perspective of networks. Connected proves that not every good academic can write a popular book based on their work. Can't blame them for trying. Advice...buy in paper....skim through...and share the ideas.