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A friendly little book with a big and actionable message helps readers come to recognize programming as the new literacy of the digital age.

The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: It’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”

In this spirited, accessible guide to poetics of new media, Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off to create a template through which to see beyond the social conventions and power structures that have vexed us for centuries. In ten chapters, composed of ten “commands” accompanied by original illustrations from comic artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff provides cyber enthusiasts and technophobes alike with the guidelines to navigate this new universe.

Product Categories: Current Events, Essays, and Nonfiction.  Book Author: Douglas Rushkoff and Leland Purvis.

In the ten years since 9/11, a grassroots truth movement has sprung up that unites the best elements of the right and left. The call to resist the secrecy, imperialism, and the manipulation of the elite has been heard by a wide spectrum of people, across religious and political lines. This is a revolutionary moment that has lacked a clarifying manifesto.

Until now.

Pulling from his personal confrontations with the FBI, Rudolph Giuliani, Eliot Spitzer, and Dick Cheney, activist, maverick, and investigative reporter Sander Hicks reaches for a broader understanding of who was behind the 9/11 attacks. He reports the mysterious murder of Dr. David M. Graham, a Shreveport dentist who met two of the 9/11 hijackers but was then harassed by the FBI and poisoned. Scientific evidence leads him to take a hard, critical stance against Bush, Cheney, and the 9/11 “Official Story.”

Weaving evidence with anecdote, Slingshot to the Juggernaut is an inspiring ride into the 9/11 cover-up and the revolutionary possibilities it inadvertently created. Provocative and unyielding, Hicks examines the evidence, draws conclusions, and offers a vision for the future of the United States.

Product Categories: Current Events, History, Nonfiction, and Politics.  Book Author: Sander Hicks.

For nearly 30 years, Madonna has been at the center of the media spotlight. She has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, launched her own record label, headlined an Oscar-award-winning film, authored bestselling books for both adults and children, inspired global street-fashion trends, and instigated international debates over a range of feminist issues from sexual fetish to adoption ethics. Masterfully harnessing her talent and power to navigate her ascent to stardom, she has become the very definition of iconic.

She has also been a constant companion. In Madonna and Me, more than forty women write about Madonna’s influence on their lives. No subject goes unexplored—from sex and money to fashion and identity, the stories are just as brazen, bold, and balls-to-the-wall as Madonna. They explore the evolution of her chameleonlike personas—material girl and “boy-toy” tartlet, kooky Kabbalist and savvy businesswoman, siren and mother—and her impact on culture as a groundbreaking feminist.

Of course, not all women worship at her altar, and likewise the essays in Madonna and Me are brutally honest, funny, engaging, and real. They delve into the hearts, souls, memories, and moments of contemporary women, celebrating the ways in which Madonna has inspired us and challenged us, pushing us to be bolder, edgier, braver versions of ourselves.

Product Categories: Anthology, Collection, Essays, Music, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Jessica Valenti and Laura Barcella.

The Russian River Valley—laid-back, marijuana-steeped, and off-the-grid—is the backdrop for Bart Schneider’s new mystery featuring the tough and dogged detective Augie Boyer.

Augie takes a break from the bite of another Minnesota winter by visiting the California homestead of his longtime friend Bobby Sabbatini, who is celebrating the opening of his poetry-infused tavern, Ginsberg’s Galley. But Augie’s notoriety precedes him, and his arrival is met with a trip to a murder scene. Ruthie Rosenberg, a local who has fallen into a life of drugs and dependence, has been found at The Last Judgment Campground, shot twice in the head.

At the request of the Deputy Jesse Coolican, who’s loved Ruthie for years, Augie promises to investigate the case himself. No sooner than he starts to ask questions, Augie discovers the trail leading to Ruthie’s killer—or killers—is tangled with politics, religion, bold-faced lies, and suspicious double-lives. Even his closest friends are part of the fray.

Is Ruthie’s murder the work of a copycat? An escalated statement by the religious right? Only an outsider can discover the painful truth—and Augie must work quickly before the insular community buries the truth deep among its ever-growing secrets.

Product Categories: Fiction and Mystery/Thriller/Noir.  Book Author: Bart Schneider.

Ecstasy did for house music what LSD did for psychedelic rock. Now, in Energy Flash, journalist Simon Reynolds offers a revved-up and passionate inside chronicle of how MDMA (“ecstasy”) and MIDI (the basis for electronica) together spawned the unique rave culture of the 1990s.

England, Germany, and Holland began tinkering with imported Detroit techno and Chicago house music in the late 1980s, and when ecstasy was added to the mix in British clubs, a new music subculture was born. A longtime writer on the music beat, Reynolds started watching—and partaking in—the rave scene early on, observing firsthand ecstasy’s sense-heightening and serotonin-surging effects on the music and the scene. In telling the story, Reynolds goes way beyond straight music history, mixing social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers, and his own analysis of the sounds with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes, and artists. He delves deep into the panoply of rave-worthy drugs and proper rave attitude and etiquette, exposing a nuanced musical phenomenon.

Read on, and learn why is nitrous oxide is called “hippy crack.”

Product Categories: Music, Nonfiction, Popular Culture, and Sport & Recreation.  Book Author: Simon Reynolds.

“A family’s world is irrevocably rocked when an old female lover from Mom’s past reappears” in this “sexy, audacious, politically charged” novel (Vanity Fair).

Eager to escape her damaging past, Alison Rose is drawn to Zoe, a free-spirited artist who offers emotional stability and a love outside the norm. They spend a number of happy years together—until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake deepens fissures in their relationship, and Alison leaves Zoe for a “normal” life with a man.

But Alison’s son is born in the midst of these complications and shifting emotional bonds, and ultimately the three adults must strive to create a life together that will test the boundaries and balance the needs of all. A story spanning two decades, set against the social, political, and geological upheavals of the Bay Area, A Theory of Small Earthquakes “explores the vagaries of love and the true nature of family” (People).

“[An] inventive, addictive novel [that] teaches us something new about love and sex, jealousy and loyalty, and also, and perhaps most importantly, motherhood.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother and Red Hook Road

“Call it “Two Women, One Man and a Baby.” Maran’s take on the modern family is at once unexpected and totally relatable.” —MORE

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Meredith Maran.

This “book that strips off the traditional trappings of Islamic womanhood to expose the special strengths and vulnerabilities that lie beneath” (The Washington Post) affirms the reality of the romantic lives of Muslim women.

Romance, dating, sex and—Muslim women? In this groundbreaking collection, twenty-five American Muslim writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their search for love openly for the first time, showing just how varied the search for love can be—from singles’ events and online dating, to college flirtations and arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.

These stories are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing: A quintessential blonde California girl travels abroad to escape suffocating responsibilities at home, only to fall in love with a handsome Brazilian stranger she may never see again. An orthodox African-American woman must face her growing attraction to her female friend. A young girl defies her South Asian parents’ cultural expectations with an interracial relationship. And a Southern woman agrees to consider an arranged marriage, with surprising results.

These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable.

“A beautiful collection that reminds us all not only of the diversity of the American Muslim community, but the universality of the human condition, especially when it comes to something as magical and complicated as love.” —Reza Aslan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of God: A Human History

“Portraits of private lives that expose a group in some cases kept literally veiled, yet that also illustrate that American Muslim women grapple with universal issues.” —The New York Times

Product Categories: Anthology, Collection, Essays, Family & Relationships, Gender/Sexuality, Nonfiction, and Religion/Spirituality.  Book Author: Ayesha Mattu, Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi, and Nura Maznavi.

Menace both real and imagined haunt two Dubliners in this “unsettling . . . seductive” modern Gothic “that ultimately leaves one gasping” (Irish Times).

“Vampires, secrets, the mysteries of identity: the obsessions that run through the director Neil Jordan’s films are at the center of his beautifully enigmatic novel . . . of two look-alike men who feed off each other’s souls all their crisscrossed lives” (The New York Times).

Kevin Thunder and Gerald Spain have grown up on opposite sides of the Dublin economic divide. Kevin’s father is a bookie and his mother takes in lodgers on the city’s impoverished northside. Gerald, a lawyer’s son, is afforded a more well-heeled upbringing. Yet they share a growing awareness of each other through episodes of mistaken identity. At first, innocent enough—one approached by the other’s confused girlfriend, or being called out to in the street. But Kevin is unnerved by more than a doppelganger. He lives next door to the one-time home of Bram Stoker. And the shadows of the author’s evil creation, as well as those cast by a lookalike stranger, stretch far across his early years. It’s only when a tragic death sends both young men down a darker path, that Kevin and Gerald are destined to meet.

A “beautifully enigmatic . . . darkly luminous” (The New York Times Book Review) thriller, Mistaken is also “the best novel I’ve read about Dublin in years” (The Independent).

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Neil Jordan.

Three generations of women struggle with oppression in this prize-winning historical saga from “a natural born storyteller” (Julia Alvarez).

When I remember Russia, I ache with longing for the village of my birth, where the beloved grandparents magically produced candy in a handshake and told stories of long ago when God spoke to humans and enchantments filled the world . . .

Two Jewish sisters, born in Russia shortly before the Communist Revolution, are forced to flee the pogroms and persecution and travel with their parents to British-occupied Palestine. The girls’ parents befriend a widower with two children and join forces, creating a blended family. When the girls are teenagers, World War II tears the family apart, sending the girls separately to France and America. Their lives unfold in tandem: babies are born, friendships forged, and cherry pies baked—despite the brutal backdrop of the Holocaust. As the family grows into the next generation, one of the daughters, an artist drawn to a bohemian lifestyle, surrounds herself with a multicultural circle of friends the likes of which her ancestors could not have imagined. Subsequently, the artist’s turns her passion to providing aid to Salvadoran refugees fleeing the death squads in their homeland, just as her own grandmother once fled the pogroms of Russia. As she follows her vocation of reversing the damage that torturers inflict on their victims, she must also overcome a past-life trauma that haunts her very core.

A winner of the Fabri Literary Prize, Memories from Cherry Harvest spans seventy years and five continents, explores the physics of memory, and shows how the tenacity of good can ultimately withstand and overcome the memory of tragedy.

“Like Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies and Doris Lessing’s Martha Quest novels, this story about fighting the injustices of the 20th century will engage readers of politically charged fiction.” —Library Journal

Product Categories: Fiction, History, and Literary.  Book Author: Amy Wachspress.

Get ready for the most outrageous, unapologetically hedonistic rock-and-roll book ever. Combing the best nuggets of drug- andsex-related exploits from the lives of Mötley Cru¨e, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, Keith Richards, Michael Jackson, and dozens more of infamous rock-and-roll animals, sexpert Judy McGuire has compiled the mother lode of all books of lists. Beginning with health tips from Ozzy Osbourne and weeding its way through every possible vice, The Official Book of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll Lists leaves no Rolling Stone unturned in its quest for cheap laughs and mind-blowing trivia, especially when it comes to the debauchery of rock-star lives and the songs that make parents crazy. It’s all here, and lavishly illustrated by comic book hero Cliff Mott, the genius behind the outrageous drawings in the punk rock and heavy metal volumes in this series. The Official Book of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Lists is the ultimate trip for all rock-and-roll fans living life vicariously from the comfort of their armchair or toilet. But be careful . . . after reading this book, you just may just wind up in rehab!

Product Categories: Art, Gender/Sexuality, Memoir, Music, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Cliff Mott and Judy McGuire.

Cry Wolf saved Andrea’s life, or that’s how she likes to tell it. Forever in search of spiritual fulfillment, Andrea has rejected everything from religion to eating disorders, in favor of “I’m-with-the-band” style fanaticism, all centered on Cry Wolf, a brother-sister folk/rock duo with an eccentric hodgepodge of followers. When Andrea meets fellow groupie Jordan outside a concert, their connection is undeniable: Jordan is powerfully seductive, and Andrea is intrigued by Jordan’s lawless ways. Their romance escalates as they follow Cry Wolf around the country, but as Jordan becomes increasingly manipulative and unreliable, Andrea begins to realize that her passion for Jordan has turned into yet another addiction. The first time Jordan leaves her, Andrea flees Los Angeles for Chicago, almost relieved, and almost ready to start fresh. But when Jordan arrives unannounced on Andrea’s doorstep, Andrea can’t help it; she’s thrilled.

Meet Andrea: tightly wound, mid-20s, teacher, hotter than she gives herself credit for, less clever than she believes.

Meet Jordan: LA-skinny, ocean eyes, early-40s, perpetual undergraduate student, a liar who believes her own lies.

Post-modern in form (lists, 3×5 cards, even the occasional screenplay), but classical in theme: a tale of a girl desperate for something like, but not quite love.

Product Categories: Fiction and Literary.  Book Author: Sarah Terez Rosenblum.

The pieces in Pot Stories for the Soul are funny, whimsical, bizarre, poignant, informational, shocking, and, yeah, soulful. They are about love, hate, escape, reality, the paranormal, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Michelle Phillips, Hunter Thompson, Abbie Hoffman, Wavy Gravy and peanut butter. Ultimately, these stories reveal the wide, weird, and wonderful subculture of stoners, where the reefers are mad, the joints are fat, and the buzz lasts for six-and-a-half days.

Mainstream America has had an uneasy relationship with marijuana. Once a legal substance, the 1930s saw a massive campaign against the “Devil’s Harvest” that led to pot being rendered illegal. In the 1960s, marijuana became one of the defining elements of the counterculture before once again being shunted to the sidelines. Over the last decade, however, marijuana has gone mainstream and has been the topic of seminars, expos, concerts, comedy routines, movies, TV shows, and college courses across the country.

Originally published by High Times in 1999, Pot Stories for the Soul won the Firecracker Alternative Book Award and also became a Quality Paperback Book Club selection. This brand-new edition includes several new essays by Paul Krassner, plus his foreword, his afterword, and the evolution of cannabis sanity in between.

Product Categories: Current Events, Essays, Humor, Nonfiction, and Popular Culture.  Book Author: Paul Krassner.

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