Few things are as exciting—and potentially life-changing—as discovering an old letter. And while etiquette books still extol the practice, letter writing seems to be disappearing amid a flurry of e-mails, texting, and tweeting.
The recent decline in letter writing marks a cultural shift so vast that in the future historians may divide time not between BC and AD but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not. So New York Times bestselling author Simon Garfield asks: Can anything be done to revive a practice that has dictated and tracked the progress of civilization for more than five hundred years?
Society is at a crossroads. We can either continue on the path of consumption at any cost, or we can make new choices that will lead to a happier, more rewarding life, while helping to preserve the planet for future generations. Unfortunately, we can't all afford to install solar panels or buy a Prius. Does this mean we are doomed in our quest to live a truly sustainable life?
According to our next guest, collaborative consumption is a new way of living, in which access is valued over ownership, experience is valued over material possessions, and "mine" becomes "ours," and everyone's needs are met without waste.
Beth Buczynski is a freelance writer and editor who covers clean technology, sustainable design and environmental issues. Her new book is Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources through Collaborative Consumption.
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.
The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.
Over centuries, Christianity has accomplished much which is deserving of praise. Its institutions have fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, and advocated for the poor. Christian faith has sustained people through crisis and inspired many works for social justice. Although the word "christian" implicates the epitome of goodness, the actual story is much more complex.
That story is explored in Paul Kivel’s new book Living in the Shadow of the Cross- which reveals the ongoing everyday impact of Christian power and privilege on beliefs, behaviors, and public policy.
Simply utter the word "perv" and you will get snickers and perhaps nudges- describe someone as a pervert and you smear their name painting him and or her as a monster who derives enormous sexual satisfaction from harming children.
In Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us, Jesse Bering reclaims the word and delves into the subject - inviting readers to unpack the morality and sexual deviance. He argues that as a society we must stop asking what is normal and natural, and instead ask what is harmful.
A new American cuisine is forming. Animals never before considered or long since forgotten are emerging as delicacies. Parts that used to be for scrap are centerpieces. Ash and hay are fashionable ingredients, and you pay handsomely to breathe flavored air. Going out to a nice dinner now often precipitates a confrontation with a fundamental question: Is that food?
Dana Goodyear discusses all this and more in her new book, Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture.
The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain is James Fallon’s dramatic story of how his research led him to view his life and his scientific work in a new light. Part memoir, part scientific journey, his account of his discovery changes the kinds of questions we need to ask about nurture and nature; about the role of genes and the role of environment; and the long term effect of violence versus the power of supportive and nurturing parenting.
James Fallon is an award-winning neuroscientist and the Sloan, Fulbright, and National Institute of Health Scholar at the University of California, Irvine.
America’s foremost etiquette columnist Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, has partnered with her son, executive Nicholas Ivor Martin, for her seventeenth book, Miss Manners Minds Your Business. As technologies have advanced and social mores have shifted, generational gaps have widened and business manners have all but expired.