📚 The Reading Journal #064
Clear Thinking, Misbelief, Killers of the Flower Moon, Pain Hustlers
George Orwell, best known for his classic novels "1984" and "Animal Farm," was actually a pseudonym. His real name was Eric Arthur Blair. He chose to write under a pen name for personal and professional reasons, including the desire to separate his writing career from his day-to-day life as well as to avoid embarrassing his family with some of his more controversial works. The name "George Orwell" was derived from the River Orwell in East Anglia, England, which he loved, and the surname of a small village in Suffolk, England, called Orwell. This pseudonym has since become synonymous with thought-provoking and dystopian literature.
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📚️ Staff Pick of the Week
Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments into Extraordinary Results by Shane Parrish
In life and business, the power of clear thinking is often underestimated. Many of us fail to recognize the moments where thoughtful reflection can significantly impact our trajectory. When faced with pressure, our ability to think clearly tends to diminish, leading us away from our desired goals like love, success, or wealth. Shane Parrish, the founder of Farnam Street, emphasizes the importance of identifying these critical thinking opportunities and utilizing our cognitive abilities to shape the life we desire. "Clear Thinking" equips us with the tools to pinpoint these transformational moments and navigate the space between stimulus and response effectively. Parrish asserts that we often operate on autopilot, influenced by biology, evolution, and culture, unless we actively intervene. By applying reasoning and rationality to these moments, we can optimize decision-making, gain a competitive edge, and lead a more intentional life, bridging the gap between behavioral science and real-world outcomes.
🎥 Reading Talk's
📈 Rising Quickly - Week of October 2, 2023
Misbelief: What Makes Rational People Believe Irrational Things
In "Misbelief," social scientist Dan Ariely delves into the widespread issue of misinformation, exploring why otherwise rational individuals are drawn to irrational beliefs. Ariely argues that to combat misinformation effectively, we must first understand the psychology of "misbelief" – the journey that leads people to doubt established truths, entertain alternative facts, and embrace conspiracy theories. He reveals that misinformation appeals to innate aspects of human psychology, transcending political divides, and outlines the emotional, cognitive, personality, and social factors that drive individuals toward false information and mistrust. While advanced technology has amplified the problem, Ariely offers hope by emphasizing that awareness and empathy can make us more resilient to misinformation's allure. Ultimately, he calls for a solution rooted in empathy, recognizing that misbelief is a human problem that we can collectively address.
🪄Most Talked About Fiction - Week of October 2, 2023
Starter Villain by John Scalzi
Inheriting your uncle's supervillain business is more complicated than you might think. Particularly when you discover who's running the place.
Charlie's life is going nowhere fast. A divorced substitute teacher living with his cat in a house his siblings want to sell, all he wants is to open a pub downtown, if only the bank will approve his loan.
Then his long-lost uncle Jake dies and leaves his supervillain business (complete with island volcano lair) to Charlie.
But becoming a supervillain isn't all giant laser death rays and lava pits. Jake had enemies, and now they're coming after Charlie. His uncle might have been a stand-up, old-fashioned kind of villain, but these are the real thing: rich, soulless predators backed by multinational corporations and venture capital.
It's up to Charlie to win the war his uncle started against a league of supervillains. But with unionized dolphins, hyper-intelligent talking spy cats, and a terrifying henchperson at his side, going bad is starting to look pretty good.
In a dog-eat-dog world...be a cat.
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📚️ Most Talked About Non-Fiction - Week of October 2, 2023
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
In the 1920s, the Osage Nation in Oklahoma became the world's wealthiest per capita due to oil discovered on their land, leading to prosperity, opulence, and European education for their children. However, a series of mysterious deaths plagued the Osage, with one family, led by Mollie Burkhart, being particularly targeted, with shootings and poisonings. As the death toll grew, the FBI, led by J. Edgar Hoover, enlisted former Texas Ranger Tom White to investigate. White assembled an undercover team, including a Native American agent, to infiltrate the region and uncover a chilling conspiracy that would become one of the darkest chapters in American history.
🆕 New and Noteworthy
Pain Hustlers: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup
"Pain Hustlers" unravels the gripping tale of entrepreneurial individuals who reaped fortunes by selling painkillers, only for their scheme to crumble, leading to a groundbreaking criminal trial. John Kapoor, an immigrant scientist with keen business acumen, harnessed the opioid boom of the early 2000s, developing a potent formulation of fentanyl. Alongside a team of ambitious lieutenants, including a persuasive but unstable head of sales, Kapoor aggressively marketed the drug beyond its intended use, turning Insys Therapeutics into a Wall Street sensation. However, the relentless pursuit of profit led to whistleblowers within the company, triggering a wide-ranging investigation. Evan Hughes, a National Magazine Award finalist, unveils the pharma industry's tactics by drawing on unprecedented access to insiders, presenting a suspenseful narrative that sheds light on the opioid crisis, particularly how these drugs are marketed within doctor's offices, making "Pain Hustlers" an enthralling expose of the Insys saga and the larger issue of opioid distribution.
✍️ Quote of the Week
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