Staff Picks

On commando parenting, singularity and being a bad***

Learning is fun. I love to find and share information wherever I can, whenever I can, and it's probally why I like being DPPL's head of public information services. Knowing a little about a ton of stuff suits me to a T.  I pick up my knowledge in all sorts of ways, but today I’m sharing one of my favorites:

Browsing the New Non Fiction shelves up on the library’s 4th floor.

I know. That sounds super-sexy and fun, doesn’t it?  But bear with me.

My secret is to browse and skim non-fiction, not read it cover-to-cover. I've about 37 minutes a day for straight out reading, generally between 11:22 and 11:59 pm.  So I mostly reserve cover-to-cover reading for my first love, fiction. Skimming non-fiction I do on the fly: in line at the bank, waiting to pick up the kids, while eating my lunch, that kind of thing.

If you've never ventured up to the library's 4th floor - and visiting the public computers doesn't count -  this post is for you. Today we are going to take a walk through Dewey Decimal systems 001 - 399 and when we are done, you will see that cool, useful, and even entertaining reading can be found in places you never thought to look.  OK, here we go:  

What Should We Be Worried About?
Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night

edited by John Brockman

How it's Billed:

Today's leading thinkers reveal the hidden threats nobody is talking about – and expose the false fears everyone else is distracted by.

What i skimmed:

  • Whoa, this isn’t easily skimmable stuff.  I'm going to need my thinking cap ….
  • MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)! Click that link, I dare you.
  • Click this one too while you are at it:  Singularity.  
  • A catastrophic breakdown of the Internet  - or it going dark for just a few weeks - would cause world-wide mayhem!
  • Children will grow up to be adults unable to tell reality from imagination in just one or two generations!
  • Unmitigated Arrogance! Global Graying!  The Anthropocebo Effect! 

OK, I'll stop now. You're welcome.

You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

by Jen Sincero

How it’s billed:

For people who desperately want to improve their lives but don’t want to get busted doing it.   

What I skimmed:

  • Yes! A book for those of us who never get in trouble because we are - well - afraid to get in trouble.
  • You will need to be a badass if any of the scenarios in the book above come true.   
  • Oh, being a badass helps you live a great life, too. “This is about getting mighty clear about what makes you happy and makes you feel most alive and then creating it, rather than pretending you can’t have it.” Amen sista!
  • “Love the one you is.” Amen, again!
  • My very favorite piece of advice:  “Just see what you can get away with”.  Just don't tell my kids.
  • “Notice where you stop.”  If you can pinpoint the precise moment that you say ‘screw it – I’m outta here,’ you can prepare yourself for hitting the oil slick next time and overcome the barrier.

I noticed that I stopped skimming at Chapter 4: How to Get Over Your B.S. I’m going to set this to the side for further reading.

The Rise of Millennial Parents: Parenting Yesterday and Today

by James M. Pedersen

How it’s billed: 

Categorizes some of the parenting styles that are currently employed and briefly explains some of the more popular titles.

What I skimmed:

  • You know that old song, “kids, what’s a matter with kids today?”  According to this book, the "matter" is parents!  
  • We've all heard of Helicopter Parents and Tiger Moms, but have you heard of  Blackhawk, Commando, Groupie, Dry Cleaner, Butterfly, Karaoke, American Dreamer or Investment Parents? This book exposes them and alarmingly more.
  • Hyper-parenting = bad! Hypo-parenting = bad! Traditional/Neo-parenting = bad! Millennial parenting = bad! Divergent parenting = really bad!  Lots of bad parents out there.
  • The good news: this book has specific strategies for reasoning and working with these kind of parents. Or identifying yourself as a parent in need of reform. I could have used this in my PTO days, and it reminds me of another awesome book on this topic, Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Difficult Parents in Your Child's Life.

I spent the whole book assigning labels to my family and friends. Butterfly Parent - you know who you are - check this book out stat!

Unmasking the Social Engineer: The Human Element of Security

by Christopher Hadnagy

How it’s billed: 

The step-by-step instructions in this book will put you in a place to get what you want by understanding what people aren’t telling you....

What I skimmed: 

  • Never buy from someone who cold calls you on the phone. Don’t trust anyone knocking on your door selling stuff, either. Except Girl Scouts. They are OK.
  • Small children ARE natural social engineers. Just saying. How else could they sell all those cookies?
  • If you are looking for a few highly plausible scripts to run a scam social engineer someone, this is the book for you.
  • Beware the dreaded "Genital Framing":  that guy's almost certainly a Commando Parent. This books has tons of hilarious photo illustrations, just like this one. It's worth checking out for laughs alone.

and finally, last but not least....

A Denim Story: Inspirations from Bellbottoms to Boyfriends

by Emily Current, Meritt Elliott, Hilary Walsh

How its billed: 

“Every pair of jeans has a story and tells a story”. 

What I skimmed:

Why this book as been assigned  a dewey 391 call number and is living on a shelf between parenting and religion, I do not know know. It's a pleasant find. A dose of fashion after contemplating Armageddon and Commando parents is just what the doctor ordered! 

  • Marilyn!
  • Cindy!
  • Farrah!

Ahhh, that's better.

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