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Aric's reviews

Aric Sleeper is a bookseller and journalist who is always looking for the next great story. You may recognize his work from local publications like Good Times and Santa Cruz Waves, among others.

 

Noise A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony & Cass R. Sunstein

From the author of one of Barack Obama’s favorite books about decision making, Thinking Fast and Slow, comes another book to help you strengthen your resolve. In Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, Daniel Kahneman teams up with two fellow professors to examine not how bias affects choices, but how noise, or the seemingly irrelevant factors influencing us, does. Noise can be anything from hunger to fatigue, from time of day to the role of the first speaker in a conversation. No matter your field, Noise will have you thinking twice the next time you make a decision.  —Aric

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Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316451390
Availability: Not Yet Published - Available for Pre-Order; Please See Publication Date Below Before Ordering
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 31st, 2022

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

Walter Issacson, bestselling biographer of geniuses like Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Steve Jobs, turns his attention to one of the smartest humans currently living, Jennifer Doudna. Enthralled by the mysteries of DNA from a young age, Doudna grew up to become a pioneer of the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Chronicling her work during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Code Breaker is the only biography I know of that sometimes seems like science fiction. —Aric

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The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781982115869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 3rd, 2022

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

This enthralling debut by Grace D. Li will steal your attention from the first line. Following the fates of five young Chinese American art thieves as they pilfer priceless Chinese art from Western museums, and written in a lyrical, fast-paced style, Portrait of a Thief is part heist novel and part character study. Inspired by classics of cinema like Ocean's 11 and the Fast & Furious franchise, Li’s page-turning debut will no doubt lead you to reconsider what it means to be a criminal.  —Aric

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Portrait of a Thief: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593184738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tiny Reparations Books - April 5th, 2022

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo

 

This book is part of our Spring Reading Challenge. Read more here.

Written by the legendary actor himself, Danny Trejo reveals an origin story that reads like a Hollywood epic. Growing up steeped in crime and drug use, Trejo finds meaning in life after a decade in prison, and transforms himself. Told with heart, humor, and the wisdom of a life lived, Trejo shows readers that you don’t have to be mean to be tough, and in the end, leaves you hoping for a sequel.—Aric

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Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781982150839
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2022

Rationality by Steven Pinker

Arguably one of the most enlightened people alive, psychologist, linguist, and award-winning author Steven Pinker is back to examine the roots of common sense and the growing popularity of irrational thought. Pinker frames logic and rationality as disparate yet connected concepts and outlines the way our mind can trick us into seeing patterns and coincidences that don’t have a basis in reality. In an age of spiraling conspiracy theories, Rationality serves as both a guide and a call to arms to the intellectual world.—Aric

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Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780525561996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 28th, 2021

God, Human, Animal, Machine by Meghan O'Gieblyn

From the author of Interior States, an award-winning essay collection about the intricacies of religion and identity, comes a meditation on what it means to be human in an age of almost inexplicable technology like artificial intelligence. O’Gieblyn draws on her own experiences growing up in a religious family to frame the highly intellectual concepts, unpacked in a journalistic style that is light and easy to understand. By the end, you’ll no doubt be on the fence about whether to either move off the grid or save up for a $3000 robotic dog. —Aric

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God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385543828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - August 24th, 2021

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries 2003-2020 by David Sedaris

Starting where Theft by Finding left off, the sultan of subtle humor, David Sedaris, presents the last 15 years of his personal diaries. Walking the line between silly and serious, Sedaris’s series of short, memorable pieces focus on the important things in life, like secret planets, thieving monkeys, and voyeuristic spiders. Reading the punchy entries not only gives insight into Sedaris’s mind; it also shows aspiring writers of creative nonfiction the discipline it takes to become an icon. —Aric

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A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020) Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316558792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 5th, 2021

The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku

Classicist Brian Muraresku tried to move on from his obsession with dead languages and became a lawyer, but couldn’t stop his mind from wandering back to the ancient world. He became fixated on the Eleusian Mysteries of the Greeks, and a psychoactive concoction imbibed in the chthonic ceremony called the kykeon. Told with a conversational tone, and using years of extensive research, Muraresku’s narrative sheds new light on the origins of religious experience. - Aric

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The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name Cover Image
By Brian C. Muraresku, Graham Hancock (Contributions by), Graham Hancock (Foreword by)
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250207142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 29th, 2020

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

When it comes to the classics, none is more lighthearted and clever than the tome of all tomes, Don Quixote. However, many readers are turned off by the first modern novel’s incredible girth. Fortunately, its intimidating length is balanced by its short, digestible chapters, which are perfect for today’s social-media-addled attention spans. - Aric

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Don Quixote Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780142437230
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - February 25th, 2003

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

Like Kundera, this novel originated in the Czech Republic and migrated to France. Twice translated, this version of Kundera’s first international hit is superior to the original according to the author himself (every edit counts). The seven fantastic yet grounded tales are told with the skill of a linguistic master and leave the reader feeling like they’ve lived seven lives. - Aric

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The Book of Laughter and Forgetting: A Novel (Perennial Classics) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060932145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - April 7th, 1999

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