Monday, November 24, 2014

Currently Reading:

The Resiliency rEvolution: Your Stress Solution for Life - 60 Seconds at a Time
by Jenny C. Evans
Wise Ink
Trade Paperback

From the book jacket:

What if, despite the ever-increasing stress in your professional and personal lives, you were able to live resiliently? You eat healthy, sleep well, and have the time and energy to exercise. You perform well in a demanding work environment, are the best possible version of yourself for your loved ones, and are becoming healthier every day.
Much of our physiological hardwiring still dates back to when we were cave people. The human body hasn't evolved to our twenty-first century, stress-filled lifestyles and we're paying the price -- we dEvolving. 
The Resiliency rEvolution is your stress solution. Rather than letting stress diminish your life, you can become more resilient to it. Using your primitive hardwiring to your advantage, you can learn how to recover from stress more quickly and raise your threshold for it. Utilizing realistic and manageable tactics, you'll soon be on your way toward a more resilient life 
It's time to join the rEvolution! Work with your body to realize your full potential and to perform at your absolute best -- professionally and personally -- in the face of stress.

Friday, November 21, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

Autobiography
by Morrissey
Penguin
Trade Paperback

From the publisher's website:

Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day.

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982–1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades.

Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others.

An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv.


It has been said “Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On My Radar:

Life Hacks: Any Procedure or Action That Solves a Problem, Simplifies a Task, Reduces Frustration, etc. in One's Everyday Life
by Keith Bradford
Adams Media
Trade Paperback

From the book publicity:

Simple solutions to everyday problems!
Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to make life easier? With Life Hacks, you'll find hundreds of methods that you can start using right now to simplify your life. From folding a fitted sheet to removing scuffs from furniture, this book offers simple solutions to a variety of everyday problems. Each informative entry helps you discover quicker, more efficient techniques for completing ordinary tasks around the home, at the office, and just about anywhere. You'll also learn how to make the most out of any situation with fun, problem-solving tricks like creating an impromptu iPod speaker from toilet paper rolls or snagging a free doughnut at your local Krispy Kreme shop.

Filled with 1,000 valuable life hacks, this book proves that you don't have to search very far for the perfect solution to everyday problems.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On My Radar:

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime - From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
by Brian Krebs
Source Books
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:

There is a Threat Lurking Online with the Power to Destroy Your Finances, Steal Your Personal Data, and Endanger Your Life.

In Spam Nation, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs unmasks the criminal masterminds driving some of the biggest spam and hacker operations targeting Americans and their bank accounts. Tracing the rise, fall, and alarming resurrection of the digital mafia behind the two largest spam pharmacies—and countless viruses, phishing, and spyware attacks—he delivers the first definitive narrative of the global spam problem and its threat to consumers everywhere.

Blending cutting-edge research, investigative reporting, and firsthand interviews, this terrifying true story reveals how we unwittingly invite these digital thieves into our lives every day. From unassuming computer programmers right next door to digital mobsters like “Cosma”—who unleashed a massive malware attack that has stolen thousands of Americans’ logins and passwords—Krebs uncovers the shocking lengths to which these people will go to profit from our data and our wallets.

Not only are hundreds of thousands of Americans exposing themselves to fraud and dangerously toxic products from rogue online pharmacies, but even those who never open junk messages are at risk. As Krebs notes, spammers can—and do—hack into accounts through these emails, harvest personal information like usernames and passwords, and sell them on the digital black market. The fallout from this global epidemic doesn’t just cost consumers and companies billions, it costs lives too.

Fast-paced and utterly gripping, Spam Nation ultimately proposes concrete solutions for protecting ourselves online and stemming this tidal wave of cybercrime—before it’s too late.



“Krebs’s talent for exposing the weaknesses in online security has earned him respect in the IT business and loathing among cybercriminals… His track record of scoops...has helped him become the rare blogger who supports himself on the strength of his reputation for hard-nosed reporting.” —Bloomberg Businessweek

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America
by Donald L. Miller
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:

While F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, Manhattan was transformed by jazz, night clubs, radio, skyscrapers, movies, and the ferocious energy of the 1920s, as this illuminating cultural history brilliantly demonstrates.

In four words—“the capital of everything”—Duke Ellington captured Manhattan during one of the most exciting and celebrated eras in our history: the Jazz Age. Radio, tabloid newspapers, and movies with sound appeared. The silver screen took over Times Square as Broadway became America's movie mecca. Tremendous new skyscrapers were built in Midtown in one of the greatest building booms in history. 

Supreme City is the story of Manhattan’s growth and transformation in the 1920s and the brilliant people behind it. Nearly all of the makers of modern Manhattan came from elsewhere: Walter Chrysler from the Kansas prairie; entertainment entrepreneur Florenz Ziegfeld from Chicago. William Paley, founder of the CBS radio network, was from Philadelphia, while his rival David Sarnoff, founder of NBC, was a Russian immigrant. Cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden was Canadian and her rival, Helena Rubenstein, Polish. All of them had in common vaulting ambition and a desire to fulfill their dreams in New York. As mass communication emerged, the city moved from downtown to midtown through a series of engineering triumphs—Grand Central Terminal and the new and newly chic Park Avenue it created, the Holland Tunnel, and the modern skyscraper. In less than ten years Manhattan became the social, cultural, and commercial hub of the country. The 1920s was the Age of Jazz and the Age of Ambition.


Original in concept, deeply researched, and utterly fascinating, Supreme City transports readers to that time and to the city which outsiders embraced, in E.B. White’s words, “with the intense excitement of first love.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

Decomposition: A Music Manifesto
by Andrew Durkin
Pantheon Books
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:

Decomposition is a bracing, revisionary, and provocative inquiry into music—from Beethoven to Duke Ellington, from Conlon Nancarrow to Evelyn Glennie—as a personal and cultural experience: how it is composed, how it is idiosyncratically perceived by critics and reviewers, and why we listen to it the way we do. 

Andrew Durkin, best known as the leader of the West Coast–based Industrial Jazz Group, is singular for his insistence on asking tough questions about the complexity of our presumptions about music and about listening, especially in the digital age. In this winning and lucid study he explodes the age-old concept of musical composition as the work of individual genius, arguing instead that in both its composition and reception music is fundamentally a collaborative enterprise that comes into being only through mediation.


Drawing on a rich variety of examples—Big Jay McNeely’s “Deacon’s Hop,” Biz Markie’s “Alone Again,” George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique, Frank Zappa’s “While You Were Art,” and Pauline Oliveros’s “Tuning Meditation,” to name only a few—Durkin makes clear that our appreciation of any piece of music is always informed by neuroscientific, psychological, technological, and cultural factors. How we listen to music, he maintains, might have as much power to change it as music might have to change how we listen.

Friday, November 14, 2014

On My Radar:

Elvis Presley: A Southern Life
by Joel Williamson
Oxford University Press
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:


In Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, one of the most admired Southern historians of our time takes on one of the greatest cultural icons of all time. The result is a masterpiece: a vivid, gripping biography, set against the rich backdrop of Southern society--indeed, American society--in the second half of the twentieth century.

Author of The Crucible of Race and William Faulkner and Southern History, Joel Williamson is a renowned historian known for his inimitable and compelling narrative style. In this tour de force biography, he captures the drama of Presley's career set against the popular culture of the post-World War II South. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley was a contradiction, flamboyant in pegged black pants with pink stripes, yet soft-spoken, respectfully courting a decent girl from church. Then he wandered into Sun Records, and everything changed. "I was scared stiff," Elvis recalled about his first time performing on stage. "Everyone was hollering and I didn't know what they were hollering at." Girls did the hollering--at his snarl and swagger. Williamson calls it "the revolution of the Elvis girls." His fans lived in an intense moment, this generation raised by their mothers while their fathers were away at war, whose lives were transformed by an exodus from the countryside to Southern cities, a postwar culture of consumption, and a striving for upward mobility. They came of age in the era of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, which turned high schools into battlegrounds of race. Explosively, white girls went wild for a white man inspired by and singing black music while "wiggling" erotically. Elvis, Williamson argues, gave his female fans an opportunity to break free from straitlaced Southern society and express themselves sexually, if only for a few hours at a time.

Rather than focusing on Elvis's music and the music industry, Elvis Presley: A Southern Life illuminates the zenith of his career, his period of deepest creativity, which captured a legion of fans and kept them fervently loyal for decades. Williamson shows how Elvis himself changed--and didn't. In the latter part of his career, when he performed regular gigs in Las Vegas and toured second-tier cities, he moved beyond the South to a national audience who had bought his albums and watched his movies. Yet the makeup of his fan base did not substantially change, nor did Elvis himself ever move up the Southern class ladder despite his wealth. Even as he aged and his life was cut short, he maintained his iconic status, becoming arguably larger in death than in life as droves of fans continue to pay homage to him at Graceland.

Appreciative and unsparing, culturally attuned and socially revealing, Williamson's Elvis Presley will deepen our understanding of the man and his times.