Category Archives: Books

The Sum of Us

In the 1920’s and 30’s, towns and cities across the United States built large, beautiful public swimming pools for their communities. Montgomery, Alabama was one such town. Its Oak Park pool was one of the largest in the region. It … Continue reading

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How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

Around the world we humans are adding an average of fifty-one billion (51,000,000,000) tons of greenhouse gasses to Earth’s atmosphere every year. To avoid a climate disaster, we need to get to zero. 51 billion to zero. That’s how Microsoft … Continue reading

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The Good Ancestor

We were warned. Lots of people warned us about the possibility of a global pandemic years before the outbreak of COVID-19. But we didn’t listen and we didn’t prepare. We’ve known for decades about the catastrophic effects of greenhouse gas … Continue reading

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Always Day One

Always Day One: How the Tech Titans Plan to Stay on Top Forever by Alex Kantrowitz takes its title from an Amazon corporate motto. “It’s always Day 1” is designed to inspire Amazon employees with a startup mentality; lean, fast, … Continue reading

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A History of Future Cities

People make cities, but cities also make people. That’s one of the key messages from Daniel Brook’s 2013 book A History of Future Cities. The book tells the stories of four cities, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai. All four … Continue reading

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Meditations, written nearly two thousand years ago by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, is one of the most influential books in Western philosophy. It deserves years of study. I’ve read it just once. So I won’t be “reviewing” this book … Continue reading

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Measure What Matters

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It’s only mid-January 2021 so there’s still time.  On the other hand, it’s mid-January and plenty of people have already abandoned theirs. Maybe New Year’s resolutions are broken so often because they’re so vague, … Continue reading

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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Reading, and writing about what I read, helped me stay sane this awful year. I’m glad to wrap up 2020 with Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents By Isabel Wilkerson … Continue reading

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What would it mean to “restore” Earth’s environment?  Scientists are warning us that climate change, deforestation, mass extinctions and a host of other environmental problems are driving the biosphere to a tipping point. How do we pull back from the … Continue reading

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A Promised Land

I don’t often read biographies, and I almost never read memoirs, but I made an exception for Barack Obama. His presidential memoir, A Promised Land, covers his early life and career through the first two years of his presidency, up … Continue reading

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