On NBC's Today Show (Jan 24) and on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS (Feb 6):
Revolution 2.0, by Wael Ghonim. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print Length: 329 p. Amazon customer rating: 5 stars (9 reviews). Kindle edition $11.69. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"...one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds. Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement. The youth of Egypt made history: they used social media to schedule a revolution. The call went out to more than a million Egyptians online, and on January 25, 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone. The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us." - Publisher.
On NPR's Fresh Air (Jan 24):
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, by Paul M. Barrett. Crown, 2012. Print Length: 306 p. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (43 reviews). Kindle edition $12.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun. Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. Created in 1982 by Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian curtain-rod manufacturer, and swiftly adopted by the Austrian army, the Glock pistol, with its lightweight plastic frame and large-capacity spring-action magazine, arrived in America at a fortuitous time. Law enforcement agencies had concluded that their agents and officers, armed with standard six-round revolvers, were getting 'outgunned' by drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a new gun. Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering, Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs—and an attempt on Gaston Glock’s life by a former lieutenant—Glock is at once the inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in America." - Publisher.
On NPR's Fresh Air (Jan 26):
Money Well Spent?: The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History, by Michael Grabell. Public Affairs, 2012. Print Length: 416 p. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (3 reviews). Kindle edition $13.49. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"The 2012 presidential campaign will, above all else, be a referendum on the Obama administration’s handling of the financial crisis, recalling the period when Obama’s 'audacity of hope' met the austerity of reality. Central to this is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - the largest economic recovery plan in American history. Senator Mitch McConnell gave a taste of the enormity of the money committed: if you had spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, it still would not add up to the price tag of the stimulus package. A nearly entirely partisan piece of legislation - Democrats voted for it, Republicans against - the story of how the bill was passed and, more importantly, how the money was spent and to what effect, is known barely at all. Stepping outside the political fray, ProPublica’s Michael Grabell offers a perceptive, balanced, and dramatic story of what happened to the tax payers’ money, pursuing the big question through behind-the-scenes interviews and on-the-ground reporting in more than a dozen states across the country." - Publisher.
On NPR's Morning Edition (Feb 2):
The Fear Index, by Robert Harris. Knopf, 2012. Print Length: 340 p. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (31 reviews). Kindle edition $12.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Dr. Alex Hoffmann’s name is carefully guarded from the general public, but within the secretive inner circles of the ultrarich he is a legend. He has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But one morning before dawn, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside mansion, and so begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him. Fiendishly smart and suspenseful, The Fear Index gives us a searing glimpse into an all-too-recognizable world of greed and panic. It is a novel that forces us to confront the question of what it means to be human - and it is Robert Harris’s most spellbinding and audacious novel to date." - from the hardcover edition.
On CSPAN2's BookTV (Feb 4):
Wanted Women: Faith, by Deborah Scroggins. Harper, 2012. Print Length: 560 p. Amazon customer rating: 3 1/2 stars (5 reviews). Kindle edition $14.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born former member of the Dutch Parliament and the author of the international bestseller Infidel, was raised as a Muslim fundamentalist in Kenya. A feminist, political analyst, writer, and fierce critic of her former religion, she champions the West in what she insists must be a war against Islam. Aafia Siddiqui, a native of Pakistan, moved to the United States to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience. A decade later, she returned to Pakistan, where her involvement with al-Qaeda, including her marriage to one of the 9/11 plotters, led the CIA to regard her as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Reconstructing the histories of these two women, award-winning author and journalist Deborah Scroggins weaves a provocative true-life thriller from two separate but strangely parallel lives in a time of bitter battle. Based on remarkable original research and reporting, Wanted Women traces their origins to explain why they chose opposite paths and how each has risen to become revered and reviled as an international symbol of her beliefs." - Publisher.
On NPR's Diane Rehm Show (Feb 6):
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, by Eric Klinenberg. The Penguin Press, 2012. Print Length: 288 p. Amazon customer rating: none yet. Kindle edition $14.99. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Renowned sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg explores the dramatic rise of solo living and examines the seismic impact it's having on our culture, business, and politics. Conventional wisdom tells us that living by oneself leads to loneliness and isolation, but, as Klinenberg shows, most solo dwellers are deeply engaged in social and civic life. In fact, compared with their married counterparts, they are more likely to eat out and exercise, go to art and music classes, attend public events and lectures, and volunteer. There's even evidence that people who live alone enjoy better mental health than unmarried people who live with others and have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles than families, since they favor urban apartments over large suburban homes. Drawing on over three hundred interviews with men and women of all ages and every class who live alone, Klinenberg reaches a startling conclusion: In a world of ubiquitous media and hyperconnectivity, this way of life helps us discover ourselves and appreciate the pleasure of good company." - Publisher.
Note to readers: The book prices quoted here are the Amazon.com prices in effect at the time of the blog posting. Please follow the links to the individual book to check the current price.
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