February 28, 2012
Michael Erard, author of BABEL NO MORE, recently posted a mash-up of people around the globe reciting a story from the book in their own native (or favorite second) tongue. Erard challenged his online followers to identify all of the languages. Today, he unveiled the winner of the contest: one Michael Chen of Cambridge, MA. Chen accurately guessed the most - but not all - of the nineteen languages used in the video (those being English, Ukrainian, Korean, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Irish, Swedish, Mandarin, Portuguese, Italian, Esperanto, Spanish, Mongolian, Dutch, Danish, Thao, German, Finnish).
For those who want to see how close they came to winning, here is the video with all languages identified: http://bit.ly/zfLcUJ.
February 15, 2012
In 1968, Jamal Joseph was a Bronx high-school student on his way to college. But it was the turbulent 1960s and, radicalized by the times, he joined the militant Black Panthers. Joseph’s new book, Panther Baby (Algonquin) tells the story of his journey from young Panther to defendant in the famous Panther 21 trial to his time in jail to his current job as chairman of Columbia University’s School of the Arts film division....
January 26, 2012
Listen in as Erard (BABEL NO MORE) and Gary Marcus (GUITAR ZERO) discuss a variety of issues related to language-learning, music and the brain. Favorite moment: Erard points out how silimar the words for "cauliflower" and "syphilis" are in Chinese, and how this has the potential to prove very embarrassing for for the novice when ordering dinner at a restaurant in Shanghai.
January 20, 2012
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman will have been on the New York Times bestseller list for twelve consecutive weeks as of this Sunday, January 29th.
“[A]n astonishingly rich book: lucid, profound, full of intellectual surprises and self-help value...[I] urge everyone to buy and read it.” – Jim Holt, New York Times Book Review
January 20, 2012
“Among the surprising qualities of “Babel No More,” Michael Erard’s globe-trekking adventure in search of the world’s virtuosos of language learning, is that a book dealing with language acquisition and polyglot linguistics can be so gripping. But indeed it is – part travelogue, part science lesson, part intellectual investigation, it is an entertaining, informative survey of some of the most fascinating polyglots of our time.”—Peter Constantine, New York Times Book Review
November 15, 2011
Jon Stewart interviews Leymah Gbowee about MIGHTY BE OUR POWERS over two stellar segments on the Daily Show 11/14. In the interview, Leymah describes the state of Liberia post-war....a pretty sober look at where war and corruption leave a country, even decades later.
November 09, 2011
Daniel Kahneman's THINKING FAST AND SLOW hits the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list at #3 the week of 11/6. And Jenny Schuessler gives the book an "Inside the List" shout out:
WRITING FAST AND SLOW: The Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” lands at No. 3 on the hardcover list this week, which isn’t bad for a book that almost didn’t get written. In a profile in the December issue of Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis describes meeting Kahneman for the first time four years ago and hearing from the man himself how bad Kahneman’s forthcoming book was going to be. After a few years of agonized writing, Kahneman — in a weird twist on a behavioral economics experiment — paid four academic experts in decision making $2,000 apiece to read his manuscript and tell him if he should just abandon the project. The reviews, unfortunately, were rapturous. “By this time it got so ridiculous to quit again,” Kahneman told Lewis. “I just finished it.”
October 15, 2011
Jim Kakalios (The Physics of Superheros and The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics) tells us all why we should care about quantum mechanics on PRI's Studio 360. Listen up for the part when he identifies the movie "Them" about giant mutated, irradiated ants by a two second audio clip. You also have to love his introduction: "I'm a physics professor and comic book nerd. Sorry ladies - I'm already married."
August 19, 2011
Beautiful review by Michael Washburn of SWEET HEAVEN WHEN I DIE in today's Washington Post:
“The book belongs to the tradition of long-form, narrative journalism best exemplified by writers such as Joan Didion, John McPhee, Norman Mailer and Sharlet’s contemporary David Samuels. Sharlet deserves a place alongside such masters, for he has emerged as a master investigative stylist and one of the shrewdest commentators on religion’s underexplored realms.”
July 08, 2011
The NY Daily News picks up Sally Jacobs' Boston Globe news story based on her research for THE OTHER BARACK and turns it into the cover.
June 21, 2011
Check out Matt Gross's review of MAN WITH A PAN: Culinary Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families by John Donohue in the May Saveur:
"Throughout the book, what comes across...is the authors' love for the joy of providing for their families in a newly satisfying way. Mario Batali explains it perfectly: 'the best reason to cook, besides its being delicious and good for you, is that it will automatically make you look good. You'll look like a hero every day.' It's a wonder, in fact, that we let women in the kitchen at all."