Adult Recommendations

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein

Great book for anyone in collaborative decision making or management situations. Understandable and actionable, this book is about groups comprised of like-minded thinkers who often amplify, rather than correct, errors in judgment. They become more polarized and adopt more extreme positions than the ones they began with. Great suggestions on how to correct “group think,” and identify vulnerabilities in existing practices.
 Anyone involved in making decisions would enjoy this book.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer

In this fascinating book, film producer Paul Fischer combines interviews, research, and first-hand investigation to tell the strange story of Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of South Korea’s leading director and his star actress ex-wife. Obsessed with film since he was a child, Kim Jong-Il used North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda to build his power within the regime, making the only movies that the isolated North Korean people were allowed to view. As Kim’s ambitions eclipsed his country’s limited filmmaking ability, he decided to recruit new talent—forcibly.

Choi Eun-Hee was South Korea’s biggest and most beloved star; Shin Sang-Ok, her director ex-husband, ran the largest film production company in South Korea. Kim kidnapped both in 1978, and after torturing Shin into compliance, the two began making films for North Korea’s captive audience. With success—their films played to packed theaters for months and won international awards—came the opportunity to escape via a chase straight out of a spy novel.

A must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Korea. 

Half-Resurrection Blues, by Daniel José Older

Carlos Delacruz is an agent of New York City’s Council of the Dead, charged with protecting the living and maintaining order among New York’s ghosts. He’s also an Inbetweener: after dying and coming back to life, Carlos gained the ability to see and speak with ghosts—and lost all memory of his past. He believes he’s the only Inbetweener in New York until the Council of the Dead orders him to hunt down a rogue sorcerer who turns out to be an Inbetweener, too. Soon, Carlos is untangling the threads of a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the walls between the dead and the living for good—and whose mastermind might be the man responsible for Carlos’s almost-death.

While the plot occasionally meanders, veteran short-story writer Older’s voice crackles with profane and hilarious life in his debut novel. A must-read for fans of urban fantasy.