Extremely online : the untold story of fame, influence, and power on the internet book cover

Extremely online : the untold story of fame, influence, and power on the internet

Taylor Lorenz

302.231 /Lorenz
Technology, History

"For over a decade, Taylor Lorenz has been the authority on internet culture, documenting its far-reaching effects on all corners of our lives. Her reporting is serious yet entertaining and illuminates deep truths about ourselves and the lives we create online. In her debut book, Extremely Online, she reveals how online influence came to upend the world, demolishing traditional barriers and creating whole new sectors of the economy. Lorenz shows this phenomenon to be one of the most disruptive changes in modern capitalism. By tracing how the internet has changed what we want and how we go about getting it, Lorenz unearths how social platforms' power users radically altered our expectations of content, connection, purchasing, and power. Lorenz documents how moms who started blogging were among the first to monetize their personal brands online, how bored teens who began posting selfie videos reinvented fame as we know it, and how young creators on TikTok are leveraging opportunities to opt out of the traditional career pipeline. It's the real social history of the internet. Emerging seemingly out of nowhere, these shifts in how we use the internet seem easy to dismiss as fads. However, these social and economic transformations have resulted in a digital dynamic so unappreciated and insurgent that it ultimately created new approaches to work, entertainment, fame, and ambition in the 21st century. Extremely Online is the inside, untold story of what we have done to the internet, and what it has done to us." --Amazon.

Amanda's picture

This is the kind of book that will be invaluable and useful to future readers interested in the evolution of the internet as we know it. I lived through all of this, and was not fully aware of the players or the context, or even some of the apps that thrust people into the spotlight. It's a fun read now for sure, but I think it will fill a spot in the discourse we need as we develop and innovate more. -Amanda

Of all tribes : American Indians and Alcatraz book cover

Of all tribes : American Indians and Alcatraz

Bruchac, Joseph, 1942- author.

j970.5 Bruchac
Nonfiction, History

"On November 20, 1969, a group of 89 Native Americans-most of them young activists in their twenties, led by Richard Oakes, LaNada Means, and others-crossed San Francisco Bay under the cover of darkness. They called themselves the "Indians of All Tribes." Their objective was to occupy the abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island ("The Rock"), a mile and a half across the treacherous waters. Under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the U.S. and the Lakota tribe, all retired, abandoned, or out-of-use federal land was supposed to be returned to the Indigenous peoples who once occupied it. As Alcatraz penitentiary was closed by that point, activists sought to reclaim that land, and more broadly, bring greater attention to the lies and injustices of the federal government when it came to Indian policy. Their initial success resulted in international attention to Native American rights and the continuing presence of present-day Indigenous peoples, who refused to accept being treated as a "vanishing race". Over the protestors' 19-month occupation, one key way of raising awareness to issues in Native life was through Radio Free Alcatraz, which touched on: the forced loss of ancestral lands, contaminated water supply on reservations, sharp disparities in infant mortality and life expectancy among Native Americans compared to statistics in white communities, and many other inequalities. From acclaimed Abenaki children's book legend, Joseph Bruchac, this middle-grade nonfiction book tells the riveting story of that 1969 takeover, which inspired a whole generation of Native activists and ignited the modern American Indian Movement"--

Casey's picture

Engagingly written by Joseph Bruchac, Of All Tribes presents a wealth of information regarding the history of the United States government's treatment of various American Indian Nations. How this fraught history led to the eventual claiming of Alcatraz Island in 1969, and how this activism continues to ripple through current geopolitical and georestoritive movements. This would be a great gift book for middle-grade, and older, children, and families, especially those interested in US history and social justice movements. -Casey

The season : a social history of the debutante book cover

The season : a social history of the debutante

Kristen Richardson

305.409 /Richardson

"The world of debutantes opens into a revealing story of women across six centuries, their limited options, and their desires. Digging into the roots of the debutante ritual, with its ballrooms and white dresses, Kristen Richardson- herself descended from a line of debutantes- was fascinated to discover that the debutante ritual places our contemporary ideas about women and marriage in a new light. In this brilliant history of the phenomenon, Richardson shares debutantes' own words-from diaries, letters, and interviews-throughout her vivid telling, beginning in Henry VIII's era, sweeping through Queen Elizabeth I's court, crossing back and forth the Atlantic to colonial Philadelphia, African American communities, Jane Austen's England, and Mrs. Astor's parties, ultimately arriving at the contemporary New York Infirmary and International balls. Whether maligned for its archaic attitude and objectification of women or praised for raising money for charities and providing a necessary coming- of- age ritual, the debutante tradition has more to tell us in this entertaining and illuminating book"--

Amanda's picture

What a fun social history! My ideas of debutantes is very 1950s America, and I loved getting the deep dive into how the ritual developed in England, then came to the US, and then morphed into something still different today. There's loads of historical gossip and trivia and it's enjoyable to experience the debutante life through the page. -Amanda

Trees : a rooted history book cover

Trees : a rooted history

Piotr Socha

j582.16 Socha
Nature, History, Nonfiction

"Part botany, part history, part cultural anthropology--Trees goes beyond the basics to tell readers everything they might want to know about this particular branch of the plant kingdom. Trees explores the important roles trees play in our ecosystem, takes an up-close-and-personal look at the parts of trees (from roots to stumps to leaves), and unpacks the cultural impact of trees from classification systems (like family trees or data trees) to long-standing myths (like the Tree of Life)."--

Mari's picture

This book was an expired hold on the bookmobile, so I ended up "leafing" through it during a slower stop, their loss my gain! I was obsessed with the illustrations! The oversized pages offer several wonderful field guides for different types of trees, roots, seeds, endemic species, and more. I enjoyed the concise and gorgeous exploration of the use of trees as building materials throughout history. The book dives deep in the cultural significance to native trees around the world and examines religion and folklore surrounding trees. I loved the book so much I decided to buy a used copy online to enjoy again later. -Mari

Homegrown : Timothy McVeigh and the rise of right-wing extremism book cover

Homegrown : Timothy McVeigh and the rise of right-wing extremism

Jeffrey Toobin

363.325 /Toobin
History, True Crime

"Timothy McVeigh wanted to start a movement. After the Oklahoma City bombing, the Gulf War veteran expressed no regrets. Jeffrey Toobin details how McVeigh's principles and tactics have flourished in the decades since his death in 2001, reaching an apotheosis on January 6 when hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol. Based on nearly a million previously unreleased tapes, photographs, and documents, including detailed communications between McVeigh and his lawyers, as well as interviews with such key figures as Bill Clinton, Toobin reveals how the story of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing is not only a powerful retelling of one of the great outrages of our time, but a warning for our future"--

Amanda's picture

Toobin does an excellent job of giving an easy-to-follow true crime narrative, giving plenty of background information that lead to the event and some of the aftermath. An engaging read, and I could easily see Ryan Murphy wanting to turn it into a mini-series. -Amanda

How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future book cover

How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future

Maria Ressa

OverDrive eBook
Technology, Memoir, Political, History

Introduction by Amal ClooneyFrom the recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, an impassioned and inspiring memoir of a career spent holding power to account.Maria Ressa is one of the most renowned international journalists of our time. For decades, she challenged corruption and malfeasance in her native country, the Philippines, on its rocky path from an authoritarian state to a democracy. As a reporter from CNN, she transformed news coverage in her region, which led her in 2012 to create a new and innovative online news organization, Rappler. Harnessing the emerging power of social media, Rappler crowdsourced breaking news, found pivotal sources and tips, harnessed collective action for climate change, and helped increase voter knowledge and participation in elections.But by their fifth year of existence, Rappler had gone from being lauded for its ideas to being targeted by the new Philippine government, and made Ressa an enemy of her country's most powerful man: President Duterte. Still, she did not let up, tracking government seeded disinformation networks which spread lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate. Hounded by the state and its allies using the legal system to silence her, accused of numerous crimes, and charged with cyberlibel for which she was found guilty, Ressa faces years in prison and thousands in fines.There is another adversary Ressa is battling. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is also the story of how the creep towards authoritarianism, in the Philippines and around the world, has been aided and abetted by the social media companies. Ressa exposes how they have allowed their platforms to spread a virus of lies that infect each of us, pitting us against one another, igniting, even creating, our fears, anger, and hate, and how this has accelerated the rise of authoritarians and dictators around the world. She maps a network of disinformation—a heinous web of cause and effect—that has netted the globe: from Duterte's drug wars to America's Capitol Hill; Britain's Brexit to Russian and Chinese cyber-warfare; Facebook and Silicon Valley to our own clicks and votes.Democracy is fragile. How to Stand Up to a Dictator is an urgent cry for Western readers to recognize and understand the dangers to our freedoms before it is too late. It is a book for anyone who might take democracy for granted, written by someone who never would. And in telling her dramatic and turbulent and courageous story, Ressa forces readers to ask themselves the same question she and her colleagues ask every day: What are you willing to sacrifice for the truth?

Annie's picture

An inspiring, fact-filled, and necessary read from 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, journalist and co-founder of the Philippines' leading digital media company Rappler. Ressa recounts interactions with Big Tech executives and politicians that will make you feel frustrated at tech companies' prioritization of money and "growth" over stopping the spread of disinformation and misinformation. Read this to learn more about how social media can define our thoughts, actions, and feelings and how to embrace and understand our intellectual freedoms before it's too late. -Annie

The enigma of Theresa Dolezal Feldwert and the Black Angel book cover

The enigma of Theresa Dolezal Feldwert and the Black Angel

Timothy C Parrott

977.7655 /Parrott
History, Paranormal

Mykle's picture

Local History! Learn about the Black Angel statue in Oakland Cemetery. -Mykle

The lost sons of Omaha : two young men in an American tragedy book cover

The lost sons of Omaha : two young men in an American tragedy

Joe Sexton

364.1523 /Sexton
Nonfiction, Black Lives Matter, Biographies, History

"On May 30, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska, amid the protests that rocked our nation after George Floyd's death at the hands of police, thirty-eight-year-old white bar owner and Marine veteran Jake Gardner fatally shot James Scurlock, a twenty-two-year-old Black protester and young father. What followed were two investigations of Scurlock's death, one conducted by the white district attorney Don Kleine, who concluded that Gardner had legally acted in self-defense and released without a trial, and a second grand jury inquiry conducted by African American special prosecutor Fred Franklin that indicted Gardner for manslaughter and demanded he face trial. Days after the indictment, Gardner killed himself with a single bullet to the head. The deaths of both Scurlock and Gardner gave rise to a toxic brew of misinformation, false claims, and competing political agendas. The two men, each with their own complicated backgrounds, were turned into grotesque caricatures. Between the heated debates and diatribes, these twin tragedies amounted to an ugly and heartbreaking reflection of a painfully divided country. Here, Joe Sexton masterfully unpacks the whole twisting, nearly unbelievable chronicle into a meticulously reported and nuanced account of the two deaths, explaining which claims were true and which distorted or simply false. The Lost Sons of Omaha carefully examines some of the most pressing issues facing America today, including our country's dire need for gun control and mental health reform; the dangerous spread of fake news, particularly on social media; and the urgent call to band together in the collective pursuit of truth, fairness, and healing"--

Melody's picture

This is really an incredible book--the best long-form journalism I've read in a while. It's not just that the sentences are smooth, direct, and propel the story forward, it's the heart-wrenching story itself. And while technically a true crime narrative, this book goes deep into the histories of two men brought into conflict during a Black Lives Matter protest. Author Joe Sexton masterfully details the little things in these men's lives that made each of them human; a Lion King tattoo for one, war-induced PTSD for another. Both men lost their lives that night, one literally, and the tragedy extends by political factions using them as martyrs for their causes. Read this book to remember to scrutinize every "black and white" story on the internet. Given the divisiveness and tribalism of online political discourse, and the multiple lies we'll all be reading in the run-up to the 2024 election, I consider this a must-read book for the year. -Melody

The end of the world is just the beginning : mapping the collapse of globalization book cover

The end of the world is just the beginning : mapping the collapse of globalization

Peter Zeihan

338.91 /Zeihan
Political, History, Technology

"As isolationism and realism become the dominant values of a previously interconnected world, the logic that motivated international relations and global trade must be reevaluated. Zeihan uses a mixture of geographical knowledge, political history, and sharp analysis to predict the shape of the next twenty years on the world stage"--

Tom's picture

I couldn't put this book down, and the subtitle is the reason why. There is so much information here about how geography, agriculture, transport, finance, and demographics will shape the fate of nations for the worse in the very near future. China, in the author's view, is near collapse at any moment. Famine is inevitable. I guess I'll believe it when I see it. -Tom

Unmask Alice : LSD, satanic panic, and the imposter behind the world's most notorious diaries book cover

Unmask Alice : LSD, satanic panic, and the imposter behind the world's most notorious diaries

Rick Emerson

813.54 /Sparks

In 1971, the anonymously published Go ask Alice-- the supposed diary of a middle-class addict-- reinvented the young adult genre with a blistering portray of sex, psychosis, and teenage self-destruction. In 1979 Jay's journal- the posthumous memoir of an alleged teenage Satanist-- poisoned whole communities. In reality the two books were written by Beatrice Sparks, a serial con artist who betrayed a grieving family stole a dead boy's memory, and lied her way to the National Book Awards. Emerson explores this true story of contagious deception. -- adapted from jacket.

Amanda's picture

If you've ever wondered about the true story behind Go Ask Alice... this is the book for you. You'll learn all about the author behind the famous book and similar titles, and get a better grasp of the people she based them on. I really appreciated the thorough biography of the real Jay of Jay's Journal, and that was actually the highlight for me. If you read any of those "anonymous" books as a teen, you'll want to read this as well. -Amanda