Annie Jacobsen “Area 51″

May 19th, 2011

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Just saying the name is intriguing — Area 51, the fabled patch of southern Nevada desert where, for over half a century, the U.S. has carried out its most top-secret military research and experiments.

Officially, to this day, Area 51 doesn’t exist. so, much of what circulates as fact about it is actually educated conjecture, conspiracy theory, or outright disinformation. Investigative reporter Annie Jacobsen cuts through all of that in her meticulously-sourced new book called, appropriately enough, “Area 51.”

Annie  JacobsenJacobsen

Using access to newly-declassified documents as a starting point, Jacobsen then found and interviewed dozens of men — they’re almost all men in this story — who had firsthand knowledge of some of the most jaw-dropping events at Area 51.And don’t miss Jacobsen’s last chapter. She offers an explanation for the Roswell UFO incident that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

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Donald Van de Mark “The Good Among the Great”

May 18th, 2011

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Donald  Van de Mark

How good a person can you be, and still be a successful person? Do you have to sacrifice one for the other?

Donald  Van de MarkVan de Mark

For years, in his roles as broadcast journalist and interviewer on CNN, CNBC, and other TV news shows, Donald Van de Mark has been observing and carefully noting the traits of what he calls”The Good Among the Great.” His book by that title illustrates famed psychologist Abraham Maslow’s 19 personality traits of self-actualized people. Chapter by chapter, Van de Mark provides examples of the famous and the unknown, but all of them success stories — and all of them “admirable, creative, and joyous people.”

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Olga Grushin “The Line”

May 17th, 2011

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It’s a line of people. A queue. People waiting outside a small, shabby kiosk for .. what? What are they lined up to buy? And how long are they willing to stay?

Olga  Grushin

In Olga Grushin‘s novel “The Line” there are hints about what might ultimately be for sale, but even those hardy souls who spend hours, then days, then weeks, then months in queue, are never really certain.

Olga  GrushinGrushin

Set in Russia in a vaguely defined place in time, Grushin’s story centers on one family, and how the line experience affects each of them. Part metaphor, part social commentary, part absurd comedy, Grushin’s book has been called “utterly brilliant” by the Library Journal.

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Philip Kerr “Field Gray”

May 16th, 2011

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Philip  Kerr

Life before, during, and after World War II was never easy for Berlin private detective Bernie Gunther. In Philip Kerr‘s seventh Bernie Gunther novel, “Field Gray,” Gunther himself takes the reader on a guided tour of the carnage he has witnessed, the no-way-to-win choices he has had to make, and the people who want him dead.

Philip  KerrKerr

“Field Gray” begins in 1954 Cuba, but when Bernie is arrested by the U.S. Navy, he ends up in CIA custody undergoing enhanced interrogation about his links to the Nazis — even though Bernie is the first to proclaim how much he hated Hitler. And then there’s Erich Mielke, one of the characters Philip Kerr did not invent, whose very existence may be more threatening to Bernie than anything else.

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Tina Rosenberg “Join the Club”

May 13th, 2011

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Tina  RosenbergRosenberg

Peer pressure has taken on a bad connotation. It’s something we want our children to avoid. We often blame it for our own vices and excesses. So when Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tina Rosenberg offers a book on how peer pressure can be used for good, it may be time to take note.

Tina  Rosenberg

In her book “Join the Club” Rosenberg travels the world to find examples of how behavior is being changed, for the better, through skillful use of what is rarely actually called peer pressure, even though that’s precisely what it is. From South Africa to Serbia to Chicago, Rosenberg found examples of what she has dubbed “the social cure.”

Listen to Tina Rosenberg

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