📚 The Reading Journal #044
Indistractable, Viral Internet and the Empire of Pain
Did you know that George Orwell, the British author famous for his dystopian novels "Animal Farm" and "1984," adopted his pen name as a tribute to England and its cultural heritage? Born Eric Arthur Blair, he chose the pen name George Orwell to separate his personal and professional lives. The name George was chosen in honor of King George V, who was the reigning monarch at the time, while Orwell was inspired by the River Orwell, a picturesque river in East Anglia. The combination of the two names created a strong English identity for the author, who was known for his critical views on politics, social injustice, and the misuse of language.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal
Indistractable, by international bestselling author and behavioral design expert Nir Eyal, explores the psychology behind our distractions and offers a groundbreaking four-step model to regain focus and control in our lives. Going beyond simply abstaining from devices, Eyal provides research-backed insights on improving work culture, managing time effectively, and fostering strong relationships in our increasingly distracting world. Empowering and optimistic, Indistractable equips readers with practical techniques to take charge of their time and attention, ultimately allowing them to live the lives they truly desire.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of May 1, 2023
Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral by Ben Smith
Traffic, by Ben Smith, delves into the early days of viral internet media, capturing the rise of Gawker and HuffPost in New York City's Soho. Smith, a witness to this transformative period, shares a witty and candid account of the characters and ideologies that shaped digital news, with the initial promise of spreading truth and empowering progressive movements. However, the book exposes the great irony of the internet's impact, as it has instead become a driving force for right-wing populism. Featuring key players like Steve Bannon and Andrew Breitbart, Traffic provides an essential and captivating insight into the evolution of online media and its unexpected consequences.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of May 1, 2023
The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller
The Memory of Animals is a gripping novel that follows Neffy, a young woman haunted by grief and guilt, as she joins a controlled vaccine trial to repay her debts and find redemption. When communication with the outside world is lost and resources dwindle, Neffy and four other volunteers are left with unanswered questions and growing suspicions. As she wrestles with her choices, Neffy discovers a controversial technology that allows her to relive memories, becoming increasingly drawn to her past. In a world where survival hinges on trust, Neffy must decide if she can save others before saving herself. This emotionally charged tale explores themes of freedom, captivity, survival, and sacrifice.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of May 1, 2023
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe
Empire of Pain delves into the dramatic history of the Sackler dynasty, a wealthy family whose fortune was obscured until their role in creating and marketing the painkiller OxyContin, a catalyst for the opioid crisis, came to light. The book explores the family's rise to prominence, from early twentieth-century Brooklyn to their influence in global institutions and politics, detailing their ruthless business tactics, manipulation of medical professionals and regulatory agencies, and their efforts to evade accountability. As a masterful narrative, Empire of Pain serves as a compelling portrait of America's second Gilded Age and a thorough examination of the unchecked greed that established one of the world's greatest fortunes.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
The Daily Dad by Ryan Holiday
The Daily Dad by Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of The Daily Stoic, offers 366 timeless meditations on parenting in digestible daily paragraphs. Drawing from personal experiences and the lives of notable figures like Theodore Roosevelt and Toni Morrison, this daily devotional imparts wisdom and guidance on being a role model for your child. Catering to parents and grandparents of all stages, The Daily Dad provides encouragement, perspective, and practical advice to navigate the lifelong commitment of parenthood.
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