Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's Catching my Eye This Week, Nonfiction Bookwise? States and Globalism and Google and Stieg Larsson.

With all my running around, I've hardly had time to eye up the new books on the shelves. One of the things I've noticed is the continuing trend of updating hardcovers.  I spotted Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World, Release 2.0 (Norton) on the Boswell's Best this week.  It's his contention that the financial crisis of 2008 and beyond has exacerbated the changes to the world order.

As Mr. Zakaria notes: "The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai.  The world's richest man is Mexican, and its largest publicly traded corporation is Chinese.  The world's biggest plane is built in Russia and Ukraine, its leading refinery is in India, and its largest factories are all in China." Oh, and Singapore has the world's largest ferris wheel.

More of a sequel than an update is How the States Got their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines, by Mark Stein (Smithsonian).  To a certain extent, it looks like the title of the book is the subtitle, especially on the title page.  Stein is a playwright and screenwriter, whose credits include Steve Martin's Housesitter.  Apparently after the first book sold well and was adapted into a History Channel series, he needed a follow up.  I thought it was very nice that he credited Mark Olshaker for the idea for How the States Got Their Shapes Too

 Not necessarily #2, but more like #59 is I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, by Douglas Edwards (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Edwards worked at Google from 1999 to 2005, when there was less concern about net neutrality and street-view data gathering, and more worries about being destroyed by Microsoft. Who knew there was so much intrigue in the search engine business?  And does anybody remember Froogle, their sort of competitor to Amazon? 

Finally, it seems like Eva Gabrielsson seems to be getting a lot of attention with There are Things I Want to Know: About Stieg Larsson and Me, by Eva Garbielsson and Marie-Francoise Colombani (Seven Stories).  The book, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale, is set up sort of like a series of memories by Gabrielsson.  Apparently Larsson was inspired by three particularly brutal crimes against women when writing the trilogy.  And you all know the original title for the first book translated to Men Who Hate Women.  What I didn't know was that the inspiration for all three titles in English came from the second, which was indeed The Girl Who Played with Fire.  The third book's Swedish title translated to The Air Castle That was Blown Up.

I used Google to find that out.


Don't forget tomorrow is bike race #1.  You'll have to park a couple extra blocks away to visit the store.  On the plus side, you can see the bike races!

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