Rinker Buck is no stranger to grand adventures. His first travel narrative, Flight of Passage, was hailed by The New Yorker as “a funny, cocky gem of a book,” and with The Oregon Trail he brings the most important route in American history back to glorious and vibrant life.

Traveling from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Baker City, Oregon, over the course of four months, Buck is accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an “incurably filthy” Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl.

  Most people think of love and contracts as strange bedfellows, or even opposites. In Love’s Promises, however, law professor Martha Ertman shows that far from cold and calculating, contracts shape and sustain families.

Blending memoir and law, Ertman delves into the legal cases, anecdotes, and history of family law to show that love comes in different packages, each shaped by different contracts and mini-contracts she calls “deals.”

  After a decade designing technologies meant to address education, health, and global poverty, award-winning computer scientist Kentaro Toyama came to a difficult conclusion: Even in an age of amazing technology, social progress depends on human changes that gadgets can’t deliver.

He writes about it in his book, Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology .


        From birth to death, human beings are hardwired to connect to other human beings. Face-to-face contact matters: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help children learn, extend our lives, and make us happy. Looser in-person bonds matter, too, combining with our close relationships to form a personal “village” around us, one that exerts unique effects. Not just any social networks will do: we need the real, in-the-flesh encounters that tie human families, groups of friends, and communities together.

  During the course of living (mumble, mumble) years, Dave Barry has learned much of wisdom,* (*actual wisdom not guaranteed) and he is eager to pass it on—to the next generation, the generation after that, and to those idiots who make driving to the grocery store in Florida a death-defying experience.

His new book of "life lessons" is Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry.

Barry is the co-author (with Ridley Pearson) of the Peter and the Starcatchers series. The National Tour of the Broadway Play (winner of 5 Tony Awards), Peter and the Starcatcher, will be at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on March 21st. 

In 2006, Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name.

Nine years later, "To Write Love on Her Arms" is a leader in suicide prevention and serves as a source of hope, encouragement, and resources for people worldwide. Now, Jamie’s writing is available in book form.

The new book is: If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For which is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide.

   Adulthood is undergoing profound transformations. Men and women wait until their thirties to marry, have children, and establish full-time careers, occupying a prolonged period in which they are no longer adolescents but still lack the traditional emblems of adult identity.

Steven Mintz is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and Executive Director of the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning. His new book is The Prime of Life which puts today’s challenges into new perspective by exploring how past generations navigated the passage to maturity, achieved intimacy and connection, raised children, sought meaning in work, and responded to loss.

Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler embarked on an adventure that lasted more than a half-century. Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan with her Afghan bridegroom, the authorities took away her American passport, and she became the property of her husband’s family.

Peter Singer is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. His forty books have appeared in more than twenty-five languages, the most popular being Animal Liberation, written in 1975. Since 1999, he’s been the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. His new book is The Most Good You Can Do , where he explains what effective altruism is, how it is practiced, and how its followers determine which causes to support. In the book he continues his critique of traditional philanthropy and emphasizes the importance of mindful contribution.

  Burned-out after years of doing development work around the world, William Powers spent a season in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina, as recounted in his award-winning memoir Twelve by Twelve.

Could he live a similarly minimalist life in the heart of New York City? To find out, Powers and his wife jettisoned 80 percent of their stuff, left their 2,000-square-foot Queens townhouse, and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro-apartment” in Greenwich Village. Downshifting to a two-day workweek, Powers explores the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries in his new book, New Slow City: Living Simply In The World's Fastest City.