The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff MackÂ Â CT 275 .M146 A3 2011
An explosive, heartbreaking memoir from the widow of Mark Madoff and daughter-in-law of Bernard Madoff, the first genuine inside story from a family member who has lived through- and survived-both the public crisis and her own deeply personal tragedy.
When the news of Bernard Madoff ‘s Ponzi scheme broke, Americans were shocked and outraged, perhaps none more so than the unsuspecting members of his own family. After learning that their father’s legendarily successful wealth management company was “all just one big lie,” Mark and Andrew Madoff turned their father in and cut off all communication with both parents. Mark and his wife, Stephanie, strove to make a fresh start for the sake of their two young children, but Mark could not overcome his sense of betrayal and shame-he and other family members were sued for $200 million in October of 2009. He hung himself on the two-year anniversary of his father’s arrest. Left to raise her children as a single mother, Stephanie wrote this memoir to give them a sense of who their father really was, defend his innocence, and put her personal statement on record once and for all. In this candid insider account, she talks about her idyllic wedding to Mark on Nantucket, what it was really like to be a part of the Madoff family, the build-up to Bernard’s confession, and the media frenzy that followed. It is about the loss of the fairytale life she knew, adjusting to life with a man she hardly recognized anymore, and the tragic and final loss of her husband.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker Â Â Â HM 1116 .P57 2011Â
The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.
Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’s existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?
This groundbreaking book continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.
The Litigators by John Grisham Â Â Â PS 3557 .R5355 L58 2011
And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that heâ€™s suddenly unemployed, any jobâ€”even one with Finley & Figgâ€”looks okay to him.
With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.
A little online research confirms Wallyâ€™s suspicionsâ€”a huge plaintiffsâ€™ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they wonâ€™t even have to enter a courtroom!
It almost seems too good to be true.
And it is.
Â Â Â Â Â The Litigators is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham Americaâ€™s favorite storyteller.
Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? by Patrick J. Buchanan Â Â Â E 169.12 .B7818 2011
The â€œone Nation under God, indivisibleâ€ of the Pledge of Allegiance is passing away. In a few decades, that America will be gone forever. In its place will arise a country unrecognizable to our parents.
This is the thrust of Pat Buchananâ€™s Suicide of a Superpower.
Â Â Â Â The author of six New York Times bestsellers traces the disintegration to three historic changes: Americaâ€™s loss of her cradle faith, Christianity; the moral, social, and cultural collapse that have followed from that loss; and the slow death of the people who created and ruled the nation.
America was born a Western Christian republic, writes Buchanan, but is being transformed into a multiracial, multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic stew of a nation that has no successful precedent in the history of the world.
Where once we celebrated the unity, the melting pot and shared experience, that the Depression and World War gave us, our elites today proclaim, â€œOur diversity is our greatest strength!â€â€”even as racial, religious, and ethnic diversity are tearing nations to pieces.
Rejecting the commitment to a God-given equality of rights for all as inadequate, our government is engaged in the manic pursuit of equality of rewards, as it seeks to erect an egalitarian utopia that has never before existed. Less and less do we Americans have in common. More and more do we fight over religion, morality, politics, history, and heroes. And as our nation disintegrates, our government is failing in its fundamental duties, unable to defend our borders, balance our budgets, or win our wars.
How Americans are killing the country they profess to love, and the fate that awaits us if we do not turn around, is what Suicide of a Superpower is all about.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami Â Â – LOST
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driverâ€™s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 â€”â€œQ is for â€˜question mark.â€™ A world that bears a question.â€ Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
As Aomameâ€™s and Tengoâ€™s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwellâ€™sâ€”1Q84 is Haruki Murakamiâ€™s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.