Nice sentiment, but it scans better when the lines are broken up like this:
It is what you read
when you don’t have to
what you will be
when you can’t help it
Yet another variation on the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme:
Here’s the publisher’s blurb about the book:
In the virtual future, you must organize to survive
At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.
Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.
The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.
Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation.
The event takes place tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Merril Collection of the Lillian H. Smith building (a.k.a. “The Library”) at 239 College Street, just east of Spadina. Perhaps a post-launch visit to Caplansky’s is in order.
The blog Awful Library Books recently featured what I consider to be the world’s most terrifying children’s book: Don’t Make Me Go Back, Mommy: A Child’s Book About Satanic Ritual Abuse:
It would seem that Satanists have their own version of “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”:
Form follows function in this book, with dreadful pencil-crayon illustrations matching the dreadful prose:
Sooner or later, unless you’re going to hide in a monastery or settle for entry-level jobs for the rest of your life, you will have to speak in front of a crowd of people. It may happen in front of a small circle of peers, a boardroom meeting, online or in front of an auditorium with thousands of people.
Whether you’re like me — I enjoy public speaking; it’s one way I get my jollies — or whether the thought of standing in front of a crowd to deliver a presentation turns your blood to ice, I think you’ll find Scott Berkun’s book, Confessions of a Public Speaker, both helpful and entertaining. I’ve been reading this book for a handful of reasons:
At 240 small pages with decent-sized type and with Berkun’s storytelling style, Confessions of a Public Speaker is a pretty quick read. He provides insights, advice, tips and probably most important of all, true “road warrior” stories that come from his own 15 years of public speaking plus stories of disasters faced by other well-known public speakers. Topics covered in the book include:
Confessions of a Public Speaker is one of those rare books that’s both entertaining and immediately useful. I’m going to recommend it to my fellow evangelists, and I certainly recommend it to you as well! It’s available directly from O’Reilly in both paper and ebook formats (I went with the ebook, which is US$19.99 / CA$21.45 as of this writing) as well as from the usual suspects: Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca and Amazon.
The first was X Saves the World, Jeff Gordinier’s book inspired by his Details magazine screed Has Generation X Already Peaked? Here are the notes from the back cover:
Hi. If you’re read this far, the publisher of this book is pleased. Presumably there is something about X Saves the World that intrigues you, but you need an extra nudge. That’s what this paragraph is for. In these pages, Jeff Gordinier pursues an idea that is bold, fascinating and really entertaining. Generation X isn’t the bunch of “slackers” that you remember from way back in the early ‘90’s. Instead of squandering their hours in coffee shops and record stores for the past twenty years, Gen X has been busy…wait for it…rescuing American culture from a state of collapse! It’s true! From the way we watch moves to the way we make sense of a cracked political process to the way the whole world does business, the snarky but hardworking men and women born in the sixties and seventies are doing the quiet work of keeping America from sucking. Read the details inside this book. (Then give yourself an ironic pat on the back. You deserve it.)
The other book was The Tyranny of Dead Ideas, written by Matt Miller (who wrote The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America’s Problems in Ways Both Liberals and Conservatives Can Love).
From the book liner notes:
America is at a crossroads. In the face of global competition and rapid technological change, our economy is about to face its most severe test in nearly a century. Yet our leaders have failed to prepare us for what lies ahead because they are in the grip of a set of "dead ideas" about how a modern economy should work. They wrongly believe that
• our kids will earn more than we do
• free trade is always good, no matter who gets hurt
• employers should be responsible for health coverage
• taxes hurt the economy
• schools are a local matter
• money follows merit
These ways of thinking—dubious at best and often dead wrong—are on a collision course with economic developments that are irreversible.
Matt Miller, one of America’s most creative public-affairs thinkers, offers a unique blend of business-world acumen and public-policy vision to lay bare how this conventional wisdom holds our country back, and he introduces us to a new way of thinking—what he calls "tomorrow’s destined ideas"—that can reinvigorate our economy, our politics, and our day-to-day lives.
It is only by breaking the tyranny of dead ideas that we can move beyond the limits of today’s obsolete debates and reinvent American capitalism and democracy for the twenty-first century.
I’m going to start with X Saves the World. Have any of you read either of these books? Any comments?