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Books of the Month - Nov

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Every other month, everyone at Lunstrum Electric has the opportunity to suggest a book recommendation that they think others in the company might be interested in reading. After this list is compiled, everyone gets to choose one of the books from the list of suggestions and the company purchases that book for them. November's picks are listed below.



Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence

By Dr. Anna Lembke

This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting....

The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption. In Dopamine Nation, Dr. Anna Lembke, psychiatrist and author, explores the exciting new scientific discoveries that explain why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain…and what to do about it. Condensing complex neuroscience into easy-to-understand metaphors, Lembke illustrates how finding contentment and connectedness means keeping dopamine in check. The lived experiences of her patients are the gripping fabric of her narrative. Their riveting stories of suffering and redemption give us all hope for managing our consumption and transforming our lives. In essence, Dopamine Nation shows that the secret to finding balance is combining the science of desire with the wisdom of recovery.



Underland: A Deep Time Journey

By Robert Macfarlane

In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through “deep time”―the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present―he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane’s own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls “the awful darkness within the world.” Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: “Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?” Underland marks a new turn in Macfarlane’s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart.



Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty

By Mark Robert Rank, Lawrence M. Eppard & Heather E. Bullock

Few topics have as many myths, stereotypes, and misperceptions surrounding them as that of poverty in America. The poor have been badly misunderstood since the beginnings of the country, with the rhetoric only ratcheting up in recent times. Our current era of fake news, alternative facts, and media partisanship has led to a breeding ground for all types of myths and misinformation to gain traction and legitimacy. Poorly Understood is the first book to systematically address and confront many of the most widespread myths pertaining to poverty. Mark Robert Rank, Lawrence M. Eppard, and Heather E. Bullock powerfully demonstrate that the realities of poverty are much different than the myths; indeed in many ways they are more disturbing. The idealized image of American society is one of abundant opportunities, with hard work being rewarded by economic prosperity. But what if this picture is wrong? What if poverty is an experience that touches the majority of Americans? What if hard work does not necessarily lead to economic well-being? What if the reasons for poverty are largely beyond the control of individuals? And if all of the evidence necessary to disprove these myths has been readily available for years, why do they remain so stubbornly pervasive? These are much more disturbing realities to consider because they call into question the very core of America's identity. Armed with the latest research, Poorly Understood not only challenges the myths of poverty and inequality, but it explains why these myths continue to exist, providing an innovative blueprint for how the nation can move forward to effectively alleviate American poverty.



The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Time's Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History

By Ashley Rindsberg

As flagship of the American news media, the New York Times is the world's most powerful news outlet. With thousands of reporters covering events from all corners of the globe, the Times has the power to influence wars, foment revolution, shape economies and change the very nature of our culture. It doesn't just cover the news: it creates it. The Gray Lady Winked pulls back the curtain on this illustrious institution to reveal a quintessentially human organization where ideology, ego, power and politics compete with the more humble need to present the facts. In its 10 gripping chapters, The Gray Lady Winked offers readers an eye-opening, often shocking, look at the New York Times's greatest journalistic failures, so devastating they changed the course of history.

  • How its World War II Berlin bureau chief, a known Nazi collaborator, skewed coverage in favor of the Third Reich for over a decade.

  • Its notorious coverup of the Ukraine Famine, a genocide committed by Stalin, showing that it was the newspaper's owners who directed the coverup in order to advance their own financial and ideological interests.

  • The "1619 Project," a cynical, ideologically driven attempt to revise American history by rooting the nation's birth in slavery instead of liberty.

The result is an essential look at the tangled relationship between media, power and politics in a post-truth world told with novelistic flair to reveal a uniquely powerful institution's tortured relationship with the truth. Most importantly of all, The Gray Lady Winked presents a cautionary tale that shows what happens when the guardians of the truth abandon that sacred value in favor of self-interest and ideology-and what this means for our future as much as for our past.



What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

By Shad Helmstetter

We talk to ourselves all of the time, usually without realizing it. And most of what we tell ourselves is negative, counterproductive, and damaging, preventing us from enjoying a fulfilled and successful life. But with Shad Helmsetter’s Five Levels of Self-Talk (Negative Acceptance, Recognition and Need to Change, Decision to Change, The Better You, and Universal Affirmation), you can take back control of your life via this accessible yet profound technique. Now filled with new and updated information perfect for the twenty-first century psyche, you can learn how to talk to your self in new ways, and jump-start a dramatic improvement in all areas of your life. So stop telling your self you can’t, and turn no into a resounding yes with What to Say When You Talk to Your Self!

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