Wednesday, January 23, 2013

More bestsellers are waiting for you!



Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck with Harriet Parke

From the Publisher –

“I was just a baby when we were relocated and I don’t remember much. Everybody has that black hole at the beginning of their life. That time you can’t remember. Your first step. Your first taste of table food. My real memories begin in our assigned living area in Compound 14.”
Just a generation ago, this place was called America. Now, after the worldwide implementation of a UN-led program called Agenda 21, it’s simply known as “the Republic.” There is no president. No Congress. No Supreme Court. No freedom.
There are only the Authorities.




Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publishers Weekly –

In this overstuffed, idiosyncratic theory of everything we don’t know, financial adviser and epistemologist Taleb amplifies his megaselling The Black Swan with further musings on the upside of unpredictable upheavals. Ranging haphazardly across probability theory, classical philosophy, government, medicine, and other topics, he contrasts large, complex, “fragile” systems that try to minimize risk but collapse under unforeseen volatility with small, untethered, “antifragile” systems structured to reap advantages from disorder. Taleb’s accessible, stimulating exposition of these ideas yields cogent insights, particularly in finance—his specialty. (He essentially inflates a hedging strategy into a philosophy of life.) Often, however, his far-flung polymathic digressions on everything from weight-lifting regimens to the Fukushima meltdown or the unnaturalness of toothpaste feel tossed-off and unconvincing, given his dilettantish contempt for expert “knowledge-shknowledge.” Taleb’s vigorous, blustery prose drips with Nietzschean scorn for academics, bankers, and bourgeois “sissies” who crave comfort and moderation: “If you take risks and face your fate with dignity,” he intones, “insults by half-men (small men, those who don’t risk)” are no more rankling than “barks by non-human animals.” More worldview than rigorous argument, Taleb’s ramblings may strike readers with knowledge-shknowledge as ill-considered; still, he presents a rich—and often telling—critique of modern civilization’s obsession with security. 

The Black Box (Harry Bosch Series #18) by Michael Connelly

Kirkus Reviews –

Harry Bosch (The Drop, 2011, etc.) returns to yet another cold case--one that was taken out of his hand 20 years ago when it was still red hot. Assigned to an emergency rotation in South-Central LA during the Rodney King riots, Harry's sent out to an alley off Crenshaw Boulevard, where National Guard troops have found a body. The victim turns out to be Copenhagen journalist Anneke Jespersen, executed by a bullet to the head. With the city in the throes of a violent crisis, there's no time to work this case or any other, and the death gets tossed into the deep freeze till it's defrosted 20 years later by the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit. Now, however, some remarkable developments are waiting to be discovered. The Beretta handgun used in the crime has been traced to long-imprisoned gangbanger Rufus Coleman, whose brief off-the-record statement allows Harry to link the gun to at least two other murders in the intervening years. If the search for information about the weapon, mostly carried out by Harry's long-suffering partner David Chu, seems almost too easy, the questions that stymied Harry back in 1992--what brought a Danish reporter to America, to riot-torn LA and to the alley where she met her death, and why was she killed?--prove just as hard to answer, especially since Harry's new boss, Lt. Cliff O'Toole, makes it clear that on the 20th anniversary of the LAPD's darkest hour, he doesn't want the only case from that sorry chapter cleared to be the one that involved a white woman. Harry naturally meets O'Toole's opposition by raising the stakes. The resulting tension lifts this sturdy but uninspired procedural above most of its competition, though nowhere close to the top of Connelly's own storied output.



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