New Book Highlights

The Next American City

As Oklahoma City's first four-term mayor, Mick Cornett has used a bold, creative, and personal approach to orchestrate his city's renaissance - a crucial (and untold) story of urban reinvention. Once regarded as a 'flyover city,' Oklahoma City has become one of our nation's most dynamic places - and it is not alone. Indianapolis, Charleston, Seattle, Austin, New Orleans, Des Moines, Sacramento, Louisville, Buffalo: these cities are re-inventing themselves, and setting examples for communities of every kind-in ways that America's largest cities can t afford to do or can't figure out how to do. With LEADING FROM THE MIDDLE, Mayor Cornett translates his city's success into a vision for the future. Cities of modest size but outsized accomplishment, powered by a can-do spirit, valuing compromise over confrontation and progress over political victory - these are the cities leading America... and they're not waiting around for Washington's help. As Mayor Cornett argues, 'in the fight to grow

The Dinosaur Artist

In this 2018 New York Times Notable Book, Paige Williams "does for fossils what Susan Orlean did for orchids" (Book Riot) in her account of one Florida man's attempt to sell a dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia--a story "steeped in natural history, human nature, commerce, crime, science, and politics" (Rebecca Skloot). In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted an unusual offering: "a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton." In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in a Manhattan event space had been unearthed in Mongolia, more than 6,000 miles away. At eight-feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and when the gavel sounded the winning bid was over $1 million. Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years diving for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils fueled a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio. But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled. In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce. A story that stretches from Florida's Land O' Lakes to the Gobi Desert, The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting--a murky, sometimes risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur. In her first book, Paige Williams has given readers an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as she examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues. "Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century."--Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES AND PAMELA PAUL, KQED  How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive. In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis? Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading. "If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'"--BookPage (top pick)

The Good Neighbor

New York Times bestseller 2018 Goodreads Choice Award Winner for History & Biography Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.   The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers's personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

Shadow Play

This updated edition for the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's murder explores ignored witness accounts, coerced testimony, bullet-hole evidence, and other issues surrounding the political homicide, and is the basis for the new podcast, The RFK Tapes, which debuted at #1 on the iTunes chart, available now. On June 4, 1968, just after he had declared victory in the California presidential primary, Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Captured a few feet away, gun in hand, was a young Palestinian-American named Sirhan Sirhan. The case against Sirhan was declared "open and shut" and the court proceedings against him were billed as "the trial of the century"; American justice at its fairest and most sure. But was it? By careful examination of the policefiles, hidden for twenty years, William Klaber and Philip Melanson'sShadow Playexplores the chilling significance of altered evidence, ignored witnesses, and coerced testimony. It challenges the official assumptions and conclusions about this most troubling, and perhaps still unsolved, political murder.

Mysteries of the Mall

A deep exploration of modern life that examines our cities, public places, and homes InMysteries of the Mall, Witold Rybczynski, the author ofHow Architecture Works, casts a seasoned critical eye on the modern scene. His subject is nothing less than the broad setting of our metropolitan world. In thirty-four discerning essays, Rybczynski ranges over topics as varied as shopping malls, Central Park, the Opéra Bastille, and America's shrinking cities. Along the way, he examines our post-9/11 obsession with security, the revival of the big-city library, the rise of college towns, our fascination with vacation homes, and Disney's planned community of Celebration. By looking at contemporary architects as diverse as Frank Gehry, Moshe Safdie, and Bing Thom, revisiting old masters such as Palladio, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright, and considering such unsung innovators as Stanley H. Durwood, the inventor of the cineplex, Rybczynski ponders the role of global metropolises in an age of tourism and reflects on what kinds of places attract us in the modern city. Mysteries of the Mall is required reading for anyone curious about the contemporary world and how it came to be the way it is.

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