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Bookshelf

America: Hope for Change

By Governor Robert Ehrlich (November 22, 2013) We have reached a fork-in-the-road in America. If we continue down our current path, we will diminish beyond repair our quality of life and culture, and that which we leave to future generations. If, however, we take another routethe more commonsense one that Im prescribingwe can create security for our culture, our government, our health, our jobs, our retirement, our defense, and ourselves. We can dig ourselves out of the ditch that the progressives and Obama-ites have driven us into. Make no mistake: The time for action is now. Inaction, or just staying the course, presents us with dire consequences. Excerpt from America: Hope for Change (Post Hill Press)


American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics

By Dan Savage (November 22, 2013) "On the heels of his Emmy-winning It Gets Better campaign, columnist and provocateur Dan Savage weighs in on such diverse issues as healthcare, gun control, and marriage equality with characteristic straight talk and humor. Dan Savage has always had a loyal audience, thanks to his syndicated sex-advice column "Savage Love," but since the incredible global success of his It Gets Better project--his book of the same name was a New York Times bestseller--his profile has skyrocketed. In addition, he's written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Onion, GQ, The Guardian, Salon.com, and countless other widely read publications. Savage is recognized as someone whose opinions about our culture, politics, and society should not only be listened to but taken seriously. Now, in American Savage, he writes on topics ranging from marriage, parenting, and the gay agenda to the Catholic Church and sex education." (Dutton Adult)


Out of the Furnace

A film by Scott Cooper, with Casey Affleck (November 15, 2013) "From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night.  When Russell's brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so - with nothing left to lose - Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother.  The impressive cast of Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson are rounded out by Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard." (Relativity Media)


Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of Americas Police Forces

By Radley Balko (November 15, 2013) "The American approach to law enforcement was forged by the experience of revolution. Emerging as they did from the shadow of British rule, the country's founders would likely have viewed police, as they exist today, as a standing army, and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive force and disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in today's world. According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of a generation-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguably unconstitutional policing-one that would have shocked the conscience of America's founders. Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of U.S. law enforcement from the constables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams and riot cops. Today, relentless "war on drugs" and "war on terror" pronouncements from politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machine guns have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko's fascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionary policies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the values of a free society." (Public Affairs)


Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism

By Maajid Nawaz (October 25, 2013) - "Maajid Nawaz spent his teenage years listening to American hip-hop and learning about the radical Islamist movement spreading throughout Europe and Asia in the 1980s and 90s. At 16, he was already a ranking member in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Islamist group. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a top recruiter, a charismatic spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam's political power across the world. Nawaz was setting up satellite groups in Pakistan, Denmark, and Egypt when he was rounded up in the aftermath of 9/11 along with many other radical Muslims. He was sent to an Egyptian prison where he was, fortuitously, jailed along with the assassins of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The 20 years in prison had changed the assassins' views on Islam and violence; Maajid went into prison preaching to them about the Islamist cause, but the lessons ended up going the other way. He came out of prison four years later completely changed, convinced that his entire belief system had been wrong, and determined to do something about it. He met with activists and heads of state, built a network, and started a foundation, Quilliam, funded by the British government, to combat the rising Islamist tide in Europe and elsewhere. He began an activist group in Pakistan as well, using his intimate knowledge of recruitment tactics in order to reverse extremism and persuade Muslims that the 'narrative' used to recruit them (that the West is evil and the cause of all of Muslim suffering), is false. Radical, first published in the UK, is a fascinating and important look into one man's journey out of extremism and into something else entirely." (Lyons Press)


The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership

By Al Sharpton (October 25, 2013) - "Lord knows, Reverend Al has had his personal and very public ups and downs -- but he's come out bigger and better than ever. Though the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation is as fiery and outspoken as ever about the events and issues that matter most, he's learned that the only way we can get right as a nation is by getting right from within.

In this, his first book in over a decade, Reverend Al will take you behind the scenes of some unexpected places -- from officiating Michael Jackson's funeral, hanging out with Jay-Z and President Barack Obama at the White House, to taking charge of the Trayvon Martin case. And he will discuss how he came to his unexpected conclusions in such areas as immigration, gay rights, religion and the family. But the heart of this book is an intimate discussion of his own personal evolution from street activist, pulpit provocateur and civil rights leader to the man he is today -- one hundred pounds slim-mer, and according to the New York Observer, "the most thoughtful voice on cable." No, the Reverend Al you met ten years ago isn't the same man you'll meet today. And he has a simple promise. We can transform this nation and we can all lead better lives if we're willing to transform our hearts and transform our minds." (Cash Money Content)


An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

By Richard Dawkins (October 25, 2013) - "In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight. Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century." (Harper Collins Press)


Blowback

By Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett (October 25, 2013) - "Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson is finally close to capturing the world's most dangerous international nuclear arms dealer: Bhoot, alias the ghost. One of her assets has information about Bhoot's upcoming visit to a secret underground nuclear weapons facility in Iran -- in only a few days. But just as Pierson's informant is about to give her the location, they're ambushed by an expert sniper. Pierson narrowly escapes. Her asset: dead. Desperate to capture Bhoot and the sniper before they inflict more damage, Pierson enlists all of the Agency's resources to find them. But with each day, the pressure of the manhunt mounts, causing her to push her forbidden romance with a fellow ops officer to its limit when she asks him to do the impossible. Despite the risks, she refuses to halt her pursuit of the terrorists, and she puts her cover and her career -- and her life -- at risk. With rapid-cut shifts from European capitals to Washington to the Near East, and with insider detail that only a former spy could provide, Blowback marks the explosive beginning of the hunt for Bhoot, the villain whom Vanessa Pierson devotes her life to capturing, dead or alive." (Penguin)


Tip and the Gipper

By Chris Matthews (October 11, 2013) - "Tip and the Gipper is a magnificent personal history of a time when two great political opponents served together for the benefit of the country. Chris Matthews was an eyewitness to this story as a top aide to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, who waged a principled war of political ideals with President Reagan from 1980 to 1986. Together, the two men forged compromises that shaped America's future and became one of history's most celebrated political pairings--the epitome of how ideological opposites can get things done. Together, the two leaders fought over the major issues of the day--welfare, taxes, covert military operations, and Social Security--but found their way to agreements that reformed taxes, saved Social Security, and achieved their common cause of bringing peace to Northern Ireland. O'Neill's quiet behind-the-scenes support helped Reagan forge his historic Cold War-ending bond with Mikhail Gor­bachev. They each won some and lost some, and through it all they maintained respect for each other's positions and worked to advance the country rather than obstruct progress. As Matthews notes, "There is more than one sort of heroic behavior, and they don't all look the same." Tip and the Gipper is the story of the kind of heroism we need today." (Simon & Schuster)


he Entrepreneur Equation

By Carol Roth (October 11, 2013) - "It's time to drop the rose-colored glasses and face the facts: most new businesses fail, with often devastating consequences for the would-be entrepreneur. The Entrepreneur Equation helps you do the math before you set down the entrepreneurial path so that you can answer more than just "Could I be an entrepreneur?" but rather "Should I be an entrepreneur?" By understanding what it takes to build a valuable business as well as how to assess the risks and rewards of business ownership based on your personal circumstances, you can learn how to stack the odds of success in your favor and ultimately decide if business ownership is the best possible path for you, now or ever. Through illustrative examples and personalized exercises, tell-it-like-it-is Carol Roth helps you create and evaluate your own personal Entrepreneur Equation as you:

Learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in today's competitive environment. Save money, time and effort by avoiding business ownership when the time isn't right for you. Identify and evaluate the risks and rewards of a new business based on your goals and circumstances. Evaluate whether your dreams are best served by a hobby, job or business. Gain the tools that you need to maximize your business success.

The Entrepreneur Equation is essential reading for the aspiring entrepreneur. Before you invest your life savings, invest in this book!" (Benbella Books)


The Untold History of the United States

By Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick (October 11, 2013) - "In this riveting companion to their astonishing documentary series, which the Washington Post declared is "grounded in indisputable fact," Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and renowned historian Peter Kuznick challenge prevailing orthodoxies to reveal the dark truth about the rise and fall of American imperialism." (Simon & Schuster)


High Price

By Dr. Carl Hart (September 27, 2013) - "High Price is the harrowing and inspiring memoir of neuroscientist Carl Hart, a man who grew up in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods and, determined to make a difference as an adult, tirelessly applies his scientific training to help save real lives. Young Carl didn't see the value of school, studying just enough to keep him on the basketball team. Today, he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist--Columbia Universitys first tenured African American professor in the sciences--whose landmark, controversial research is redefining our understanding of addiction. In this provocative and eye-opening memoir, Dr. Carl Hart recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies. Interweaving past and present, Hart goes beyond the hype as he examines the relationship between drugs and pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs, and explain why current policies are failing." (Harper Collins)


Inequality for All

With Robert Reich (September 27, 2013) - "We're in the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, and we can't seem to get out of it. Why? Because, exactly as in the 1920s, so much of the nation's income and wealth are going to the top, that the vast middle class doesn't have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. I've spent most of my working life concerned about what's happening to American workers -- their jobs, their wages, their hopes and fears. My father sold clothing to the wives of factory workers in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. I watched as the factories began to close, and as those families struggled with a new economy. Households kept their living standards by sending those wives and mothers into paid work -- a strategy that did the trick for a time. But when it no longer generated enough income, American families went deeper and deeper into debt -- and that's been the vicious cycle most middle class Americans have been in ever since. People are stressed. They're angry and frustrated, and the tide is only rising on that front. Their debt obligations are staggering, yet (if lucky enough to have a job), they're working harder and longer than ever before. People need to understand what's happening to them -- because from their perspective, the picture looks pretty bleak. Until we can take a step back and understand the big picture, we can't do anything to get ourselves out of this mess. Our democracy as we know it depends on it. I'm an educator. I love the classroom. But I also write books, appear on television and on the radio, and do everything else I can do to help people understand the economic truth. It's my life's work and it's more important than ever. One of the best ways to help people understand the challenges we face, is with a movie that can grab an audience and move them to action. And this movie will do exactly that."


The Entrepreneurial Instinct

By Monica Mehta (September 27, 2013) - "The dropout that makes billions seems to have caught lightning in a bottle--a triumph relying more on luck than skill and never to be repeated. In real life, successful entrepreneurs take classes, write business plans, and map out responses to every contingency. But if the story is such a fluke, why do we keep hearing ones like it over and over again?

The Entrepreneurial Instinct looks past the rags to riches stories of self-made entrepreneurs to explore how our mind, behavior, and brain chemistry impact our ability to be enterprising in the absence of formal training. Interviews with dozens of entrepreneurs reveal the traits and habits that allow them to take rewarding risks, overcome fear and failure, and thrive in the face of ambiguity. Conversations with experts in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral psychology expose the scientific explanation behind their seemingly innate knack and shed light on how the rest of us who may not be naturally gifted entrepreneurs can use brain chemistry to find success. The Entrepreneurial Instinct weaves together stories from entrepreneurs, pop culture figures and thought leaders (including the founders of CLIF Bar, Carol's Daughter, Marquis Jet, Skip Hop, Dogfish Head Beer, KIPP Charter School, J Brand Jeans, writers of Grey's Anatomy, rock journalist Neil Strauss, Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill) to reveal cutting edge insight on using brain chemistry to work in ways to create a cycle of productivity, take risks that pay and tap into our creative mind to realize professional success.

In a time where millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed or aspire for better opportunities, The Entrepreneurial Instinct offers much needed techniques for using our innate capabilities to make more with less." (McGraw-Hill)


Still Foolin' 'Em

By Billy Crystal (September 20, 2013) - "Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like "Buying the Plot" and "Nodding Off," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live,When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac"), grand parenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived." (Henry Holt and Co.)


GMO OMG

A film by Jeremy Seifert (September 20, 2013) - "'GMO OMG' director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can't gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?"


Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

By Edwin Lyman, David Lochbaum, and Susan Q. Stranahan (September 13, 2013) - "On March 11, 2011, an earthquake large enough to knock the earth from its axis sent a massive tsunami speeding toward the Japanese coast and the aging and vulnerable Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Over the following weeks, the world watched in horror as a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe: fail-safes failed, cooling systems shut down, nuclear rods melted. In the first definitive account of the Fukushima disaster, two leading experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists, David Lochbaum and Edwin Lyman, team up with journalist Susan Q. Stranahan, the lead reporter of the Philadelphia Inquirer's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Three Mile Island accident, to tell this harrowing story. Fukushima combines a fast-paced, riveting account of the tsunami and the nuclear emergency it created with an explanation of the science and technology behind the meltdown as it unfolded in real time. Bolstered by photographs, explanatory diagrams, and a comprehensive glossary, the narrative also extends to other severe nuclear accidents to address both the terrifying question of whether it could happen here and how such a crisis can be averted." (The New Press)


Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

By Reza Aslan (July 26, 2013) - "Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was the age of zealotry--a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Aslan describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction; a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret; and ultimately the seditious "King of the Jews" whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime. Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary. And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself, the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity. Zealot yields a fresh perspective on one of the greatest stories ever told even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of Jesus of Nazareth's life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion." (Random House)


Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of The Hit Men of Capitol Hill

By Bob Ney (July 26, 2013) - "Ohio Congressman Bob Ney plead guilty to federal charges of corruption and falsification of federal documents in connection with Jack Abramoff, a Washington super lobbyist-turned criminal. As a six-term member of congress, Bob found himself caught up in a culture of greed, backstabbing, and corruption that eventually destroyed his career. In his new book, Bob recounts the events leading up to his resignation, his own guilt, and how a powerful member of congress and the Bush Administration officials played leading roles in both the Abramoff scandal and Bob's own downfall."


On God's Side

By Jim Wallis (July 26, 2013) - "Lincoln led America through one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history. Reading his words today, it is clear we still have much to learn concerning what it means to be on God's side. Bestselling author, public theologian, and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis speaks directly into our current context, revealing the spiritual compass we need to effect lasting change in our society. He explains how the good news of Jesus transforms not only our individual lives but also our public lives. Jesus's gospel of the kingdom of God helps us recover a personal and social commitment to the common good and shows us--in concrete ways--how to be both personally responsible and socially just. Working together, we can reshape our churches, society, politics, and economy.

Releasing in the wake of the 2012 election cycle, this book seeks to move beyond the current media and political warfare and bring together a divided country. Wallis explores how Jesus's agenda can serve the common good, what it takes to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice, and how reading the Bible as well as the culture can shape our lives for genuine transformation." (Brazos Press)


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