View your shopping cart.

Aaron's Staff Picks

ARCADIA

ARCADIA

$16.00
More Info
"It is a defect of God's humor that he directs our hearts everywhere but to those who have a right to them."--Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

In a large country house in Derbyshire in April 1809 sits Lady Thomasina Coverly, aged thirteen, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge. Through the window may be seen some of the "five hundred acres inclusive of lake" where Capability Brown's idealized landscape is about to give way to the Gothic style: "everything but vampires," as the garden historian Hannah Jarvis remarks to Bernard Nightingale when they stand in the same room 180 years later. Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park. Tom Stoppard's masterful play takes us back and forth between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperament, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life--"the attraction," as Hannah says, "which Newton left out."

A play about sex and entropy!

This play is a witty reflection on relationships mixed masterfully with philosophical reflections on epistemology and disorder.

-Aaron

CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ

CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ

$16.99
More Info
"This book was originally published in 1959 by Lippincott and in trade paperback editions in 1961 and 1997 by Bantam, and in 1986 by Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers"--T.p. verso.
CATS CRADLE

CATS CRADLE

$17.00
More Info
"A free-wheeling vehicle . . . an unforgettable ride!"--The New York Times

Cat's Cradle
is Kurt Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist, a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer, and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. A book that left an indelible mark on an entire generation of readers, Cat's Cradle is one of the twentieth century's most important works--and Vonnegut at his very best.

"[Vonnegut is] an unimitative and inimitable social satirist."--Harper's Magazine

"Our finest black-humorist . . . We laugh in self-defense."--Atlantic Monthly

CLOUD ATLAS

CLOUD ATLAS

$18.00
More Info
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.

Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history.

But the story doesn't end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Praise for Cloud Atlas

"[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel's every page."--The New York Times Book Review

"One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is--and should be--read by any student of contemporary literature."--Dave Eggers

"Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative."--People

"The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet--not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I've never read anything quite like it, and I'm grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds."--Michael Chabon

"Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent."--The Washington Post Book World

"Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step."--Boston Sunday Globe

"Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate."--Los Angeles Times

This is a great book for countering burnout or staving off existential dread.

This novel is a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes triumphant relay-race toward and backwards in time.

The six interwoven stories of this book demonstrate that in every epoch, the structure of evil always transforms and always commands vast resources, but each time-trancending seed of goodness planted by every individual ultimately undermines that evil -- even if it takes centuries.

-Aaron

CRISIS CARAVAN: WHAT'S WRONG W

CRISIS CARAVAN: WHAT'S WRONG W

$19.00
More Info

In her controversial, no-holds-barred exposé Linda Polman shows how a vast industry has grown up around humanitarian aid. The Crisis Caravan takes us to war zones around the globe, showing how aid operations and the humanitarian world have become a feature of military strategy. Impassioned, gripping, and even darkly absurd, journalist Linda Polman "gives some powerful examples of unconscionable assistance...a world where aid workers have become enablers of the atrocities they seek to relieve" (The Boston Globe).

DAYTRIPPER

DAYTRIPPER

$24.99
More Info
The acclaimed Daytripper follows Bras de Olivias Dominguez during different periods in his life, each with the same ending: his death.

Daytripper follows the life of one man, Bras de Olivias Dominguez. Every chapter features an important period in Bras' life in exotic Brazil, and each story ends the same way: with his death. And then, the following story starts up at a different point in his life, oblivious to his death in the previous issue--and then also ends with him dying again. In every chapter, Bras dies at different moments in his life, as the story follows him through his entire existence--one filled with possibilities of happiness and sorrow, good and bad, love and loneliness. Each issue rediscovers the many varieties of daily life, in a story about living life to its fullest--because any of us can die at any moment.

Poignant, heartfelt and thoughtful, this comics landmark is one of the most transcendent pieces of graphic storytelling ever to hit the printed page. Brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba truly compose one of the industry's masterworks.

FOOD LAB: BETTER HOME COOKING

FOOD LAB: BETTER HOME COOKING

$49.95
More Info

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac 'n' cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)--and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don't work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new--but simple--techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.

FULL SPECTRUM RESISTANCE, VOLU

FULL SPECTRUM RESISTANCE, VOLUME 1

$18.95
More Info
A guide to direct action for those disillusioned with the posturing of liberal "activism."

The radical left is losing, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here is the radical's guide to activist work--the manual we need at this crucial moment to organize for universal human rights, a habitable earth, and a more egalitarian society.

Thoroughly exploring the achievements and failures of radical movements throughout history--from 19th-century anti-colonial rebellions in China and the environmental actions of First Nations and Native American tribes throughout the 20th century, to Black Lives Matter and the fight for Gay Liberation--the two volumes of Full Spectrum Resistance candidly advocate for direct action, not just risk-averse models of protest marches and call-ins. With in-depth histories and case studies of social justice and environmental movements, noted writer, activist, and farmer Aric McBay explains why passive resistance alone cannot work, and how we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to create substantial social change.

In Volume 1: Building Movements and Fighting to Win, McBay describes the need for resistance movements, and paints a portrait of what a thriving resistance movement might look like today. Citing successful movements such as the Deacons of Defense of the American Civil Rights Movement, the anti-colonial revolutions in Guinea and Cape Verde, and activist groups like Act-UP, McBay deftly illustrates how to organize activist groups and encourage enlistment, while also noting the necessary precautions one must take to secure these radical circles from infiltration and collapse.

FULL SPECTRUM RESISTANCE, VOLU

FULL SPECTRUM RESISTANCE, VOLUME 2

$18.95
More Info
A guide to direct action for those disillusioned with the posturing of liberal "activism."

The radical left is losing, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here is the radical's guide to activist work--the manual we need at this crucial moment to organize for universal human rights, a habitable earth, and a more egalitarian society.

Thoroughly exploring the achievements and failures of radical movements throughout history--from 19th-century anti-colonial rebellions in China and the environmental actions of First Nations and Native American tribes throughout the 20th century, to Black Lives Matter and the fight for Gay Liberation--the two volumes of Full Spectrum Resistance candidly advocate for direct action, not just risk-averse models of protest marches and call-ins. With in-depth histories and case studies of social justice and environmental movements, noted writer, activist, and farmer Aric McBay explains why passive resistance alone cannot work, and how we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to create substantial social change.

In Volume 2: Actions and Strategies for Change, McBay uses the successful strategies of various actions, such as the Greek Resisters of the 2008 Greek Television Takeover, to articulate the best practices for inter-activist coordination and communication with mass media to effectively spread message. Covering reconnaissance methods and other forms of intelligence-gathering, Volume 2 guides the reader in smart decision-making and damage control, such as how to recover from both covert and overt adversarial attacks, such as COINTELPRO (1971). Moreover, this manual clearly articulates the best strategies and practices for the financial, logistical, and tactical organization necessary to all successful radical movements in the long term.

GALAPAGOS

GALAPAGOS

$17.00
More Info
"Galapagos" takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galapagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave new, and totally different human race. Here, America's master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry -- and all that is worth saving.

"Vonnegut is a postmodern Mark Twain... "Galapagos" is a madcap genealogical adventure." -- "The New York Times Book Review"

. "Beautiful.... Provocative, arresting reading." -- "USA Today"

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN SEVEN

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN SEVEN

$24.95
More Info
Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, governed, and devastated Earth. In A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore present a new approach to analyzing today's planetary emergencies. Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, Patel and Moore demonstrate that throughout history, crises have always prompted fresh strategies to make the world cheap and safe for capitalism. At a time of crisis in all seven cheap things, innovative and systemic thinking is urgently required. This book proposes a radical new way of understanding--and reclaiming--the planet in the turbulent twenty-first century.
RIGHTEOUS MIND

RIGHTEOUS MIND

$17.00
More Info

The bestseller that challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike--a "landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself" (The New York Times Book Review).

Drawing on his twenty-five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns.

In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you're ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.

This book outlines one of the most insightful theories into why liberals and conservatives almost literally speak different languages, and will help you understand and appeal to the "moral tastes" of those you're least likely to agree with politically so you can get through to them. Drawing from research across psychology (and specifically from moral psychology) the startling, fascinating, and often terrifying insights from studies outlined in this book justify the idea -- sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill -- that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

-Aaron

SANDWORM: A NEW ERA OF CYBERWA

SANDWORM: A NEW ERA OF CYBERWA

$17.00
More Info
From Wired senior writer Andy Greenberg comes the true story of the most devastating cyberattack in history and the desperate hunt to identify and track the elite Russian agents behind it.

Much more than a true-life techno-thriller ... a tour through a realm that is both invisible and critical to the daily lives of every person alive in the 21st century.
--Los Angeles Times


In 2014, the world witnessed the start of a mysterious series of cyberattacks. Targeting American utility companies, NATO, and electric grids in Eastern Europe, the strikes grew ever more brazen. They culminated in the summer of 2017, when the malware known as NotPetya was unleashed, penetrating, disrupting, and paralyzing some of the world's largest businesses--from drug manufacturers to software developers to shipping companies. At the attack's epicenter in Ukraine, ATMs froze. The railway and postal systems shut down. Hospitals went dark. NotPetya spread around the world, inflicting an unprecedented ten billion dollars in damage--the largest, most destructive cyberattack the world had ever seen.

The hackers behind these attacks are quickly gaining a reputation as the most dangerous team of cyberwarriors in history: a group known as Sandworm. Working in the service of Russia's military intelligence agency, they represent a persistent, highly skilled force, one whose talents are matched by their willingness to launch broad, unrestrained attacks on the most critical infrastructure of their adversaries. They target government and private sector, military and civilians alike.

A chilling, globe-spanning detective story, Sandworm considers the danger this force poses to our national security and stability. As the Kremlin's role in foreign government manipulation comes into greater focus, Sandworm exposes the realities not just of Russia's global digital offensive, but of an era where warfare ceases to be waged on the battlefield. It reveals how the lines between digital and physical conflict, between wartime and peacetime, have begun to blur--with world-shaking implications.

THIS IS NOT PROPAGANDA: ADVENT

THIS IS NOT PROPAGANDA: ADVENTURES IN THE WAR AGAINST REALITY

$16.99
More Info

When information is a weapon, every opinion is an act of war.

We live in a world of influence operations run amok, where dark ads, psyops, hacks, bots, soft facts, ISIS, Putin, trolls, and Trump seek to shape our very reality. In this surreal atmosphere created to disorient us and undermine our sense of truth, we've lost not only our grip on peace and democracy--but our very notion of what those words even mean.

Peter Pomerantsev takes us to the front lines of the disinformation age, where he meets Twitter revolutionaries and pop-up populists, "behavioral change" salesmen, Jihadi fanboys, Identitarians, truth cops, and many others. Forty years after his dissident parents were pursued by the KGB, Pomerantsev finds the Kremlin re-emerging as a great propaganda power. His research takes him back to Russia--but the answers he finds there are not what he expected.

Blending reportage, family history, and intellectual adventure, This Is Not Propaganda explores how we can reimagine our politics and ourselves when reality seems to be coming apart.

From troll farms and Facebook groups toying with the cognitive biases of the masses to win elections to cyber attacks and information warfare, I found this book very easy to get through. Luckily, while allowing me to see snahpshots of those at the center of each of these individual areas of the mad world of the media today.

-Aaron

UBIK

UBIK

$15.99
More Info
"From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you'll never be sure you've woken up from."--Lev Grossman, Time

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business--deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all.

"More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo."--Roberto Bolaño

We See It All: Liberty and Justice in an Age of Perpetual Surveillance

We See It All: Liberty and Justice in an Age of Perpetual Surveillance

$28.00
More Info

This investigation into the legal, political, and moral issues surrounding how the police and justice system use surveillance technology asks the question: what are citizens of a free country willing to tolerate in the name of public safety?

As we rethink the scope of police power, Jon Fasman's chilling examination of how the police and the justice system use the unparalleled power of surveillance technology--how it affects privacy, liberty, and civil rights--becomes more urgent by the day. Embedding himself within police departments on both coasts, Fasman explores the moral, legal, and political questions posed by these techniques and tools.

By zeroing in on how facial recognition, automatic license-plate readers, drones, predictive algorithms, and encryption affect us personally, Fasman vividly illustrates what is at stake and explains how to think through issues of privacy rights, civil liberties, and public safety. How do these technologies impact how police operate in our society? How should archaic privacy laws written for an obsolete era--that of the landline and postbox--be updated?

Fasman looks closely at what can happen when surveillance technologies are combined and put in the hands of governments with scant regard for citizens' civil liberties, pushing us to ask: Is our democratic culture strong enough to stop us from turning into China, with its architecture of control?

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: WHY THE WE

WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: WHY THE WE

$19.00
More Info
From one of the world's best-known development economists--an excoriating attack on the tragic hubris of the West's efforts to improve the lot of the so-called developing world

In his previous book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, William Easterly criticized the utter ineffectiveness of Western organizations to mitigate global poverty, and he was promptly fired by his then-employer, the World Bank. The White Man's Burden is his widely anticipated counterpunch--a brilliant and blistering indictment of the West's economic policies for the world's poor. Sometimes angry, sometimes irreverent, but always clear-eyed and rigorous, Easterly argues that we in the West need to face our own history of ineptitude and draw the proper conclusions, especially at a time when the question of our ability to transplant Western institutions has become one of the most pressing issues we face.

WINNERS TAKE ALL: THE ELITE CH

WINNERS TAKE ALL: THE ELITE CH

$16.00
More Info
The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to change the world preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today's news.

Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can--except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. They rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; they lavishly reward "thought leaders" who redefine "change" in ways that preserve the status quo; and they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm.

Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? His groundbreaking investigation has already forced a great, sorely needed reckoning among the world's wealthiest and those they hover above, and it points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world--a call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

This is a well-defended, scathing polemic on how those who brand themselves as the problem-solving good guys and have the marketing budgets to dominate the media with those brands are the ones benefiting from social failures in the first place. Giridharadas analyses specific examples of how these “winners” will do anything except address the root causes of inequality because doing so would undermine the power and privilege they love. If you’re looking for intellectual ammunition to debate against those who believe the downtrodden will be empowered by corporate messiahs like Bezos, Gates, or Musk, this is the book for you!

-Aaron