Book News & New Books
By Dixon Bradshaw
Talk about surprising news! Try this: About 10 million dogs and cats will be lost or stolen this year. In Where the Lost Dogs Go, Susannah Charleson, author of “Scent of the Missing” and a trusted chronicler of the human/animal bond, dives headlong into the world of missing dogs. The mission to reunite lost pets with their families starts with Susannah’s own shelter rescue, Ace, a Maltese mix with a mysterious past who narrowly survived months wandering lost. While Susannah formally studies animal behavior, lost-pet search tactics, social media strategies, and the psychology of loss, Ace also steps up for training. Ace has a nose for the scent of lost pets, and together, they help neighbors and strangers in their searching. Houghton Mifflin, 320 pages, June 2019.
Now here is a book many grandparents need, although they probably think it would be right for other people, but not for them. Just the kind of folks Anna Quindlen seems to have written it for. Before blogs existed, Anna Quindlen was a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of Nanaville, her moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.” Eventually, a close friend provided words to live by: “Did they ask you?” This one may fall into the category “Won't hurt, might help.” After all, grandparenting is as perilous as it is delightful. From Random House, 176 pages, April 2019.
Goodnight Irene for one. Wimoeh for another. Just two in a stream of hits before the band disbanded. The first time I heard the Weavers sing Goodnight Irene, it was the summer of 1950. I was in a big family restaurant by a pool, and everyone was eating fried chicken and potato salad, etc. Someone played the song on the jukebox. By the end of it, the restaurant was rocking as customers sang along. Then they played it again and again and again, and the whole place was singing and grinning. It was an unforgettable experience for a young boy. The Weavers went on to have a string of top 10 hits, and then the government decided Communists should not entertain Americans. This book is just exploration of that era in American history, but fans of folk music, who did not understand the brouhaha then, may benefit from the story of what happened to this influential musical talent. In his new book Wasn’t That a Time, author Jesse Jarnow explores the story of the Weavers’ Blacklisting. From DeCapo Press, 320 pages, November 2018.
Remember when the teaching about computers focused on a simple “if this, then that” statement and “you only get out of a computer what goes into it?” Well, that was before Artificial Intelligence and before Chaos Theory. In his new book Everyday Chaos, David Weinberg will shake your world and make you calm down a bit. Artificial intelligence, big data, modern science, and the internet are all revealing a fundamental truth: The world is vastly more complex and unpredictable than we've allowed ourselves to see. Now that technology is enabling us to take advantage of all the chaos it's revealing, our understanding of how things happen is changing—and with it our strategies for predicting, preparing for, and managing our world. This change affects everything, from how we approach our everyday lives to how we make moral decisions and how we run our businesses. Business owners and entrepreneurs will be most interested in this one. Harvard Business Review Press, 256 pages, May 2019.