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The Fireman

The Fireman cover

By Joe Hill, 2016

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory

The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory cover

By Hugh LaFollette, 2000

Ranging from moral realism to virtue ethics, this volume presents a survey of ethical theory. Written by an international assembly of leading moral philosophers, each of the 21 newly-commissioned papers develop the main tenets, arguments, themes, and problems of the main normative and meta-ethical philosophical outlooks. Contributors are Michael Smith, Simon Blackburn, Philip L. Quinn, James Rachels, Jeff McMahan, John D. Caputo, Elliott Sober, Laurence Thomas, R. G. Frey, Brad Hooker, F. M. Kamm, Thomas E. Hill, Jr., Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, David McNaughton, L. W. Sumner, Jan Narveson, Michael Slote, Alison Jagger, William R. Schroeder, Hugh LaFollette, and James P. Sterba.

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable cover

By Patrick Lencioni, 2002

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future cover

By Pete Buttigieg, 2019

Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.

Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.

Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw cover

By Henry James, 1898

A very young woman's first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate...An estate haunted by a beckoning evil. Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows- silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children, seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls... But worse-much worse- the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil. For they want the walking dead as badly as the dead want them.

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me cover

By Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
 
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
 
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Horror and Religion: New literary approaches to Theology, Race and Sexuality

Horror and Religion: New literary approaches to Theology, Race and Sexuality cover

By Eleanor Beal,

Horror and Religion is an edited collection of essays offering structured discussions of spiritual and theological conflicts in horror from the late-sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Contributors explore the various ways that horror and religion have interacted over themes of race and sexuality.

A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations

A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations cover

By David Harris,

A high school honors student with no police record encounters the police outside his home. He emerges from the confrontation bruised and beaten. The police charge him with serious crimes; he swears he did nothing wrong. When the story becomes public, an American city faces protests, deep division and a long quest for justice.

"A City Divided" tells the story of the case involving 18-year-old Jordan Miles and three Pittsburgh Police officers. The book takes an in-depth look at the opposing stories, and at race and the fear it incites, to find answers. What happened between the police and the teen, and what went wrong? Can the courts respond in a way that finds a just solution? And how can we prevent these tragedies in the future?

David Harris, a resident of Pittsburgh and the Sally Ann Semenko Chair at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, describes what happened, explaining how a case that began with a young black man walking around the block in his own neighborhood turned Pittsburgh inside out, resulted in two investigations of the police officers and two federal trials. Harris, who has written, published and conducted research at the intersection of race, criminal justice and the law for almost thirty years, explains not just what happened but why, what the stakes are and, most importantly, what we must do differently to avoid these public safety catastrophes.

Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind The Secret Plan To Steal America's Democracy

Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind The Secret Plan To Steal America's Democracy cover

By David Daley, 2016

With Barack Obama’s historic election in 2008, pundits proclaimed the Republicans as dead as the Whigs of yesteryear. Yet even as Democrats swooned, a small cadre of Republican operatives, including Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and Chris Jankowski began plotting their comeback with a simple yet ingenious plan. These men had devised a way to take a tradition of dirty tricks—known to political insiders as “ratf**king”—to a whole new, unprecedented level. Flooding state races with a gold rush of dark money made possible by Citizens United, the Republicans reshaped state legislatures, where the power to redistrict is held. Reconstructing this never- told-before story, David Daley examines the far-reaching effects of this so-called REDMAP program, which has radically altered America’s electoral map and created a firewall in the House, insulating the party and its wealthy donors from popular democracy. Ratf**ked pulls back the curtain on one of the greatest heists in American political history.

Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)

Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1) cover

By Michael Crichton, 1990

An alternate cover edition can be found here.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price. Until something goes wrong. . . .--back cover

Solaris Rising 1.5: An Exclusive ebook of New Science Fiction

Solaris Rising 1.5: An Exclusive ebook of New Science Fiction cover

By Ian Whates, 2012

Solaris Rising 1.5 continues the exciting new series of SF anthologies from Solaris and editor Ian Whates, with an exclusive ebook! An anthology of nine short stories from some of the most exciting names in science fiction today. From both sides of the Atlantic - and further afield - these nine great writers offer you everything from a mystery about the nature of the universe to an inexplicable transmission to everyone on Earth, and from engineered giant spiders to Venetian palaces in space.

So settle in, and enjoy yet more proof of the extraordinary breadth and depth of contemporary SF. Featuring Adam Roberts, Aliette de Bodard, Gareth L. Powell, Mike Resnick, Sarah Lotz, Phillip Vine, Tanith Lee, Paul Cornell, Paul di Filippo

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America cover

By Barbara Ehrenreich, 2001

The bestselling, landmark work of undercover reportage, now updated

Acclaimed as an instant classic upon publication, Nickel and Dimed has sold more than 1.5 million copies and become a staple of classroom reading. Chosen for “one book” initiatives across the country, it has fueled nationwide campaigns for a living wage. Funny, poignant, and passionate, this revelatory firsthand account of life in low-wage America—the story of Barbara Ehrenreich’s attempts to eke out a living while working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart associate—has become an essential part of the nation’s political discourse.

Now, in a new afterword, Ehrenreich shows that the plight of the underpaid has in no way eased: with fewer jobs available, deteriorating work conditions, and no pay increase in sight, Nickel and Dimed is more relevant than ever.

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