Anyway, took ZB to the library this afternoon, and as I checked out a few books for him the librarian said "You have some books here waiting for you...". She proceeded to toss down three of the books that I had on my Amazon wish list. I was like....blog reader at the library?!?
Turns out my dear wife had the smarts to put holds on them online. It was a great surprise. Here's what I hauled home and why:
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Hardest Journey
Growing up in North Dakota, you hear a lot about 3 people: Sacagawea, Roosevelt and Lawrence Welk. I gravitated towards TDR for obvious reasons. The River of Doubt is about his expedition deep into the Amazon. What fascinates me is that this was after his two terms as President. I'm just having a hard time thinking of any recent president doing this. Can you imagine Bubba or W. heading off into the deep jungle? Not unless there was a Burger King or a bike trail.
Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
I'm a big Jared Diamond fan. He's a relentless researcher with a talent for great titles. I also liked his Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies. I don't buy all of his conclusions but I enjoy how he lands on them. Kelsey also reserved the audio version - all 22 cds! Three words: long road trip
Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things
I'm fascinated as to why we're pleased by the shape or feel of certain objects; why G2 gel pens, combined with moleskine journals, provide the greatest writing experience in the world, for instance. This book looks at big winners and losers in design - and more importantly, why they won or lost.
Not on the list but also picked up today:
All Too Human by George Stephanopoulos.
I grabbed this because I find Stephanopoulos interesting, and I can't quit examining the Clinton presidency, sort of like you look at a train wreck when you know you should look the other way out of respect.
Lincoln at Cooper Union by Harold Holzer.
The question that loomes over every potential political candidate is "are they electable?". There was a day when that wasn't determined by telephotogenics or sound bytes, but by ideas and persuasion. In 1860, Lincoln ratified his own electability by delivering the most important speech of his pre-presidential life at Cooper Union.
A hundred and forty years later, Larry Harvey spoke there. Late one night on the playa, while riding around in the VIP golf cart at Burning Man, he told me that the people who run the green room there tell speakers "We have two podiums. They are identical. Lincoln spoke at one of them..." but never really tell you if yours is Lincolns' or not. He said "I was ready to freak out the whole time...."