The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry - Jon Ronson

If you’re familiar with Jon Ronson (from his previous book The Men Who Stare at Goats, or his contributions to the radio show This American Life) then you know his prose is quirky, droll, and as addictive as caffeine. His latest obsession is The Psychopath Test (Riverhead, $25.95)—a diagnostic personality exam usually administered to serial killers, but which Ronson seeks to apply to political leaders and CEOs (and occasionally, to himself). What if the 99% of rational humanity is governed by the 1% of psychopaths at the top? Ronson’s quest takes him to maximum-security prisons, asylums, psychology conferences, and to Wall Street. In his hands, the macabre becomes chillingly entertaining.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry By Jon Ronson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485756
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2012

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains - Nicholas Carr

Much has been written about the Internet’s content, but is the web itself—the format of this information—actually changing the way we think? In The Shallows (W.W. Norton, $15.95), a recent finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Nicholas Carr elegantly explores how the Internet alters the physical functioning of our brains, and examines what this means for our culture. He argues that, for the first time, the “linear, literary mind” that has defined most of our history is being replaced by something else. Whether Carr is writing on neuroscience, history, or cultural criticism, The Shallows is a necessary, fascinating study.    

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains By Nicholas Carr Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393339758
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2011

A Little Book of Language - David Crystal

Have you ever wondered how many words you know? Or the record number of languages on person has mastered?  A LITTLE BOOK OF LANGUAGE (Yale Univ., $17), by linguist and author David Crystal, is an excellent introduction to linguistics.  Crystal’s discussion is clear and comprehensive, presenting each discrete concept in a concise chapter.  He begins in the womb with a baby’s first exposure to the rhythms of its native tongue, progresses to language acquisition, and by the end has covered sociolinguistics, etymology and grammar, and has explained the capricious spelling rules of the English language.  Crystal even brings linguistics into the 21st century with discussions on Internet etiquette, texting language, and slang.  A Little Book of Language offers a more complete understanding of one of the quintessentially human characteristics. (The answers, by the way, are about 40,000 and 58.)

A Little Book of Language (Little Histories) By David Crystal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300170825
Availability: Backordered
Published: Yale University Press - April 26th, 2011