Brown Baggers’ Book Picks

openbook_218939077The Brown Baggers Book Group skipped their usual discussion in December and instead spent the hour deciding what titles the group will read in the upcoming months (and eating delicious snacks).

Many current and classic titles were suggested by members, but after several rounds of voting we had some clear winners. Upcoming titles that the group will read include both fiction and nonfiction books as well as some award winners.

Here are the upcoming titles for June 2017 through May 2018:

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

1984 by George Orwell

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

If you would like to join the Brown Baggers Book Group, you’re welcome to come to the Central Library on the third Thursday of the month from 12-1pm and participate in our lively discussion. You can call us at 434.979.7151 ext. 4 for more information or send us an email. Also, check out JMRL’s wiki for the books that weren’t picked this time as well as book club selections from previous years.

 

Inspiration for the New Year

fieldguidetolies.jpgAnother fresh slate of 365 days has arrived. You may already have a few personal goals for this year in mind, but if you’re just looking for a little inspiration on how to improve upon your day-to-day life, try one of these books on for size:

A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age by Daniel J. Levitin – Outlines recommendations for critical thinking practices that meet the challenges of the digital age’s misinformation, demonstrating the role of science in information literacy while explaining the importance of skeptical reasoning in making decisions based on online information.

The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel – Discusses whether willpower can be taught and offers strategies for improving and mastering self-control and applying it to everyday challenges like losing weight, quitting smoking, and overcoming heartbreak.

Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That, and Go Here by Mark Di Vincenzo – Suggests the best times of the day, week, month, and life to do a variety of things–from getting married to scheduling a surgery, from visiting Rome to walking one’s dog–in a resource that offers health and travel tips, money-saving ideas, and more.

Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less by S.J. Scott – Suggests quick habits that can instantly improve your life in addition to helping you create a simple routine (managed by a checklist) that you repeat on a daily basis, with tools that will keep you motivated and consistent.

Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change by Timothy D. Wilson – A psychologist proposes techniques to tweak and reframe internal self-narratives to lead healthy, more productive lives and discusses the best way to recover from trauma and explains why self-help books may make you feel less happy after reading them.

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You by Deepak Chopra – Explains how the body is a reflection of the mind, inviting readers to satisfy their desires in a life rich with joy and meaning, and guiding them step-by-step through their renewal process.

Do Less, Get More: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Sháá Wasmund – Offers advice on using time more effectively, including how to stop putting things off, nurture support networks, and schedule for value.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero – Offers a blunt and irreverent guide to achieving the money, relationships, career, and happiness that one desires through recognizing and doing away with self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors.

Stay Safe (Online) in the New Year

With all the talk about hacking and internet security recently, we thought we’d highlight some products designed to keep you safe online.

1280px-tor-logo-2011-flat-svgThe Tor Browser is an internet browser that lets you explore the internet without tracking your activity (sites you visit, searches you perform, login information, files you download). Easy to install, this program can be kept on and run from a portable USB drive. It works on all major operating systems and is pre-configured for ease of use.


ddg-icon_256x256DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t keep track of any search that you perform or the location you are searching from. It won’t follow you across sites with ads or remember any personal information. You don’t have to install anything, just go to their website before you search.


signal_blue_iconSignal app (available for iOS and Android devices) is a free messenger app that allows you to send private messages,  photos, and video to your current contacts without a separate login. You can also place calls. All calls and messaging are encrypted and completely protected from Signal as well as outside parties. No call or message logs are maintained by the company.


Go ahead and give any of these a try for a more secure web presence in 2017.