20 Booklist September 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
Paris, then moving to British WWI propaganda campaigns, the emergence of Madison
Avenue in newspaper and magazine advertising, Hitler’s theories of persuasion (“[the
masses] will lend their memories only to the
thousandthfold repetition of the most simple
idea”), the almost accidental development of
commercial TV and radio in America, the
parsing of geographical clusters for advertising specificity, computer games, commercially
successful search engines such as AOL, and
the growth of the “celebrity-industrial complex,” clickbait, and, of course, Facebook,
Google, BuzzFeed, and the smartphone. Wu
also covers our history of pushback, from
government truth-in-advertising laws to the
TV remote and Apple’s adblockers, ending
with a call for reclaiming that most precious
of natural resources, our undivided attention.
The end result is a serious and timely study,
delivered in layperson’s language, that will
add depth to an ongoing, urgently needed national and global conversation. —Alan Moores
Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and
the World’s Most Alluring Fish.
By Chris Dombrowski.
Oct. 2016. 215p. Milkweed, $24 (9781571313522).
Fly-fishing guide and poet Dombrowski’s
delightfully elegant book about bone fishing
in the Bahamas hits all the right points in
content and language. His narrative includes
gorgeous descriptions of the landscape, the
fish, and the work of the legendary guide, David Pinder. In heartfelt passages, Dombrowski
writes of his own deep love for the rod and
reel and his quest to build a relationship with
Pinder, a reticent and self-assured man who
is credited with knowing more about the fish
than anyone alive. In waters frequented by literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Zane
Grey, Dombrowski is in heady company tackling this subject, but he proves himself more
than up to the challenge, effectively not only
conveying his passion for the sport but also
giving readers a peek into the area’s history
and Pinder’s place within it. This is the stuff of
men and boats and saltwater and meditations
on what it means to take to the sea in search
of one great catch. Have no doubt—fishing
literature has a new star. —Colleen Mondor
Designing Your Life: How to Build a
Well-Lived, Joyful Life.
By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.
Sept. 2016. 304p. illus. Knopf, $26.95 (9781101875322).
Burnett and Evans myth-bust their way
through common career and life challenges by
presenting dysfunctional beliefs and reframes.
As an example, “You start out thinking you
are designing a product (a new coffee blend
and a new kind of coffee machine) and
reframe when you realize you are actually re-
designing the coffee experience (Starbucks).”
Why do this? “Because here’s the big truth:
there are many versions of you and they are all
‘right.’ And life design will help you live into
whatever version of you is playing at the Cin-
eplex.” The authors, both Stanford professors,
have taught a course by the same name for
the past 15 years. Now, through well-designed
exercises, helpful explanations, and examples,
the reader is given the opportunity to use
these tools to design his or her own life. It will
take hard work, but as the authors point out,
no one has failed their course. Library patrons
may prefer this over the perennial updates to
What Color Is Your Parachute?, and with wide-
spread promotion, this title may fly off the
shelves of public libraries. —Joyce McIntosh
Free to Make: How the Maker Movement
Is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and
By Dale Dougherty and Ariane Conrad.
Sept. 2016. 352p. North Atlantic, paper, $17.95
Inspired by the hacker’s mentality of early
computer enthusiasts, Dougherty founded
Make: magazine as a way to bridge the worlds
of old-school hackers and modern crafters
and DIYers, who all desire to “remake the
world and adapt it to their own ideas.” The
book’s first half profiles many of these people, amateurs and professionals, along with
the subgroups formed from their common
interests and the innovative creations they
have spawned. The second half delves into
the maker mind-set, which values being active, playful, resourceful, industrious, and
collaborative. Whether touring a makerspace,
discussing the learning tools for kids masquerading as toys (like Little Bits, Raspberry
Pi, and Makey Makey), or promoting the
science-based Maker Faire he started, Dougherty performs chiefly as booster for the Maker
Movement, and he emphasizes its personal
and social benefits over the economic ones.
Part manifesto, part guidebook, the book is
a good primer for beginners and interested
DIY types and might offer some new ideas for
those already involved in the current boom of
makerspaces in libraries, schools, and other
community centers. —Chad Comello
Hidden Figures: The American
Dream and the Untold Story of the
Black Women Mathematicians Who
Helped Win the Space Race.
By Margot Lee Shetterly.
Sept. 2016. 368p. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062363596).
On a trip home to Hampton, Virginia,
Shetterly stumbled upon an overlooked aspect
of American history that is almost mythic in
scope. As the daughter of
an engineer who became a
highly respected scientist,
she was aware of the town’s
close ties to NASA’s nearby
Langley Research Center
and also of the high number of African Americans,
like him, who worked there.
What she did not know was that many of
the women, particularly African American
women, were employed not as secretaries but
as “computers”: individuals capable of mak-
ing accurate mathematical calculations at
staggering speed who ultimately contributed
to the agency’s aerodynamic and space proj-
ects on an impressive scale. Shetterly does an
outstanding job of weaving the nearly unbe-
lievable stories of these women into the saga
of NASA’s history (as well as its WWII-era
precursor) while simultaneously keeping an
eye on the battle for civil rights that swirled
around them. This is an incredibly powerful
and complex story, and Shetterly has it down
cold. The breadth of her well-documented re-
search is immense, and her narrative compels
on every level. With a major movie due out
in January, this book-club natural will be in
demand. —Colleen Mondor
YA: Shetterly’s groundbreaking history
has wide subject appeal, from civil rights,
women’s rights, technology, and NASA,
and offers teens inspiring stories they won’t
soon forget. CM.
How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of
Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth
of Private Spaceflight.
By Julian Guthrie.
Sept. 2016. 400p. Penguin, $28 (9781594206726). 623.
In 2004, the aerospace world was abuzz
when a private company, Scaled Composites,
launched a person into space for a few suborbital minutes. Sponsors hailed the success as
the beginning of commercial space tourism,
though that hasn’t yet happened. Nevertheless,
the company perseveres with backing from
business mogul Richard Branson, who provides an upbeat introduction to Guthrie’s (The
Billionaire and the Mechanic, 2013) account,
which features the life story of the project’s
instigator, Peter Diamandis. In college, he
designed spacecraft gadgets and organized
spaceflight clubs. In business, he created four
companies, whose fickle fortunes Guthrie
describes, before hitting upon his golden entrepreneurial idea, replicating for the space age
the inducement that launched Charles Lindbergh: a monetary prize for flying the Atlantic.
Diamandis offered the XPRIZE for a successful non-NASA space mission. Even though
he did not initially have the announced $10
million for the prize, his persuasiveness filled
the coffers, attracted contestants, and, most
importantly, secured support from the likes of
Branson and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen.
Guthrie well captures the high-risk, buccaneering spirit of privately financed spaceflight.
Modern Dog Parenting: Raising Your Dog
or Puppy to Be a Loving Member of Your
By Sarah Hodgson.
Sept. 2016. 320p. illus. St. Martin’s/Griffin, paper, $16.99
According to animal-behavior consultant
Hodgson, a dog and a two- to three-year-old child have a lot in common: both learn
best from positive reinforcement. She begins