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Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

Caitlin's picture

Do Equal Opportunity Employers really hire without discrimination? Is Twitter destroying our capacity to write, or improving it? Can Facebook predict if your marriage will last? How is Google fighting the flu?

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, leverages the company’s massive collection of data as a starting point for this examination of human nature. Rudder keeps the text light and readable, skipping wonky details while being sure to note when his conclusions are limited by his data. His insights range from quirky factoids—white men are most likely to read Robert Heinlein while drinking a home-brewed beer, while Asian women would rather snack on macarons and read Norwegian Wood—to sobering insights about racism, sexism, and homophobia. A must-read for anyone interested in social media and what it reveals about our personalities and communities.

Dark Sparkler, by Amber Tamblyn

Caitlin's picture

Poet and actress Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men; House, MD; 127 Hours) takes on the subjects of fame, death, and memory in thirty poems inspired by the lives of actresses both famous and obscure. From Brittany Murphy (“They say good things about the body. / How bold her eyes were, bigger than Hepburn’s.”) to Jayne Mansfield (“Your neck was a study of the asterisk, / the silken shape of Sanskrit, / the sucker punch of succulents.”), she turns an unflinching eye on the pressures and perils faced by women who make careers on camera. Raw, haunting, and powerful.

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