Diana Berlin is a product designer and coach based in San Francisco. She works at Quip as a product manager and runs a podcast called Should We.

  • American Ground

    Selected as one of the best books of 2002 by ,, ,, ,, ,, and ,.,Within days after September 11, 2001, William Langewiesche had secured unique, unrestricted, round-the-clock access to the World Trade Center site. ,is a tour of this intense, ephemeral world and those who improvised the recovery effort day by day, and in the process reinvented themselves, discovering unknown strengths and weaknesses. In all of its aspects–emotionalism, impulsiveness, opportunism, territoriality, resourcefulness, and fundamental, cacophonous democracy–Langewiesche reveals the unbuilding to be uniquely American and oddly inspiring, a portrait of resilience and ingenuity in the face of disaster.

  • Both Flesh and Not

    Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by “one of America’s most daring and talented writers.” (,)., gathers fifteen of Wallace’s seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.,Never has Wallace’s seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; , and ,; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language’s most irksome misused words; and much more., restores Wallace’s essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.

  • Close to the Machine

    Here is a candid account of the life of a software engineer who runs her own computer consulting business out of a live-work loft in San Francisco’s Multimedia Gulch. Immersed in the abstract world of information, algorithms, and networks, she would like to give in to the seductions of the programmer’s world, where “weird logic dreamers” like herself live “close to the machine.” Still, she is keenly aware that body and soul are not mechanical: desire, love, and the need to communicate face to face don’t easily fit into lines of code or clicks in a Web browser. At every turn, she finds she cannot ignore the social and philosophical repercussions of her work. As Ullman sees it, the cool world of cyberculture is neither the death of civilization nor its salvation – it is the vulnerable creation of people who are not so sure of just where they’re taking us all.

  • Ghetto at the Center of the World

    There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong???s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home; Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there???even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet.,But as , shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world???s people. Gordon Mathews???s intimate portrayal of the building???s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto???which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong???s other residents, despite its low crime rate???is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope.,Gordon Mathews???s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making, not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.

  • H is for Hawk

    Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.,When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer???Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood???she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White’s chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of Macdonald’s humanity and changed her life.,Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer’s eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.

  • It???s Always Personal

    How often have we heard ???It???s nothing against you, it???s not personal???,? But in fact, at work it???s never just business???it???s , personal.,In this groundbreaking look at what???s really going on from 9 to 5???the crying, yelling, and bullying, as well as the friendship and laughter borne of creative collaboration???journalist and former corporate executive Anne Kreamer shows us how to get rational about our emotions, and provides the necessary new tools to flourish in an emotionally charged workplace. ,With women now the majority of the workforce and the lines between office and personal life blurring as never before, the dynamics of work have shifted profoundly. ,combines the latest information on the intricacies of the human brain, candid stories from employees, and the surprising results of two new national surveys, reported here for the first time, which reached out to workers from all walks of life about their emotions on the job.,An innovative study of gender, emotion, and power, ,is an essential companion for everyone???managers and employees alike???navigating the often confusing and challenging realities of the contemporary workplace.

  • Living Contradictions

    Some people believe that feminist ethics is little more than a series of dogmatic positions on issues such as abortion rights, pornography, and affirmative action.This caricature was never true, but Alison Jaggar???s , is the first book to demonstrate just how rich and complex feminist ethics has become. Beginning with the modest assumption that feminism demands an examination of moral issues with a commitment to ending women???s subordination, this anthology shows that one can no longer divide social issues into those that are feminist and those that are not., does address many of the traditionally ???feminist??? issues. But it also includes issues not generally recognized as gendered, such as militarism, environmentalism, and the treatment of animals, demonstrating the value of a feminist perspective in these cases. And, far from reflecting any monolithic orthodoxy, the book shows that there is a rich diversity of views on many moral issues among those who share a feminist commitment.,Readers can sample a varied selection of papers and essays from books, journals, newspapers, and grassroots newsletters. Covering a wide range of moral issues, this collection refuses to offer simple solutions, choosing instead to reflect the complexities and contradictions facing anyone attempting to live up to feminist ideals in a painfully pre-feminist world.Based on years of the editor???s work in the field, imaginatively edited, and including generous introductions for students, this is the ideal text for introducing feminist perspectives into courses in ethics, social ethics, and public policy.

  • Magic and Loss

    Just as Susan Sontag did for photography and Marshall McLuhan did for television, Virginia Heffernan (called one of the ???best living writers of English prose???) reveals the logic and aesthetics behind the Internet.,Since its inception, the Internet has morphed from merely an extension of traditional media into its own full-fledged civilization. It is among mankind???s great masterpieces???a massive work of art. As an idea, it rivals monotheism. We all inhabit this fascinating place. But its deep logic, its cultural potential, and its societal impact often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book, Virginia Heffernan presents an original and far-reaching analysis of what the Internet is and does.,Life online, in the highly visual, social, portable, and global incarnation rewards certain virtues. The new medium favors speed, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and versatility, and its form and functions are changing how we perceive, experience, and understand the world.

  • Mindstorms

    The book that started the computer revolution in schools.,Computers have completely changed the way we teach children. We have Mindstorms to thank for that. In this book, pioneering computer scientist Seymour Papert uses the invention of LOGO, the first child-friendly programming language, to make the case for the value of teaching children with computers. Papert argues that children are more than capable of mastering computers, and that teaching computational processes like de-bugging in the classroom can change the way we learn everything else. He also shows that schools saturated with technology can actually improve socialization and interaction among students and between students and teachers.,Technology changes every day, but the basic ways that computers can help us learn remain. For thousands of teachers and parents who have sought creative ways to help children learn with computers, Mindstorms is their bible.

  • Mr. Penumbra???s 24-Hour Bookstore

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

  • Musashi

    The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely.

  • Personal History

    In lieu of an unrevealing Famous-People-I-Have-Known autobiography, the owner of the , has chosen to be remarkably candid about the insecurities prompted by remote parents and a difficult marriage to the charismatic, manic-depressive Phil Graham, who ran the newspaper her father acquired. Katharine’s account of her years as subservient daughter and wife is so painful that by the time she finally asserts herself at the , following Phil’s suicide in 1963 (more than halfway through the book), readers will want to cheer. After that, Watergate is practically an anticlimax.

  • Tenth of December

    One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.,In the taut opener, ???Victory Lap,??? a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In ???Home,??? a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill???the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders???s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.,Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.,Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December???through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit???not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov???s dictum that art should ???prepare us for tenderness.???

  • The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

    Why would a smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock???s drip painting ,sell for $140 million?,Intriguing and entertaining, , is a , approach to the economics and psychology of the contemporary art world. Why were record prices achieved at auction for works by 131 contemporary artists in 2006 alone, with astonishing new heights reached in 2007? Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored.,This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on ??interviews with both past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art. Surprising, passionate, gossipy, revelatory, , reveals a great deal that even experienced ??auction purchasers do not know.

  • The Folded Clock

    Like many young people, Heidi Julavits kept a diary. Decades later she found her old diaries in a storage bin, and hoped to discover the early evidence of the person (and writer) she???d since become. Instead, ???The actual diaries revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor.???,Thus was born a desire to try again, to chronicle her daily life as a fortysomething woman, wife, mother, and writer. The dazzling result is ,, in which the diary form becomes a meditation on time and self, youth and aging, betrayal and loyalty, friendship and romance, faith and fate, marriage and family, desire and death, gossip and secrets, art and ambition.,is as playful as it is brilliant, a tour de force by one of the most gifted prose stylists in American letters.

  • The Last Samurai

    Helen DeWitt’s extraordinary debut, ,, centers on the relationship between Sibylla, a single mother of precocious and rigorous intelligence, and her son, who, owing to his mother’s singular attitude to education, develops into a prodigy of learning. Ludo reads Homer in the original Greek at 4 before moving on to Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, and Inuit; studying advanced mathematical techniques (Fourier analysis and Laplace transformations); and, as the title hints, endlessly watching and analyzing Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece, ,. But the one question that eludes an answer is that of the name of his father: Sibylla believes the film obliquely provides the male role models that Ludo’s genetic father cannot, and refuses to be drawn on the question of paternal identity.,The child thinks differently, however, and eventually sets out on a search, one that leads him beyond the certainties of acquired knowledge into the complex and messy world of adults.The novel draws on themes topical and perennial–the hothousing of children, the familiar literary trope of the quest for the (absent) father–and as such, divides itself into two halves: the first describes Ludo’s education, the second follows him in his search for his father and father figures. The first stresses a sacred, Apollonian pursuit of logic, precise (if wayward) erudition, and the erratic and endlessly fascinating architecture of languages, while the second moves this knowledge into the world of emotion, human ambitions, and their attendant frustrations and failures, is about the pleasure of ideas, the rich varieties of human thought, the possibilities that life offers us, and, ultimately, the balance between the structures we make of the world and the chaos that it proffers in return. Stylistically, the novel mirrors this ambivalence: DeWitt’s remarkable prose follows the shifts and breaks of human consciousness and memory, capturing the intrusions of unspoken thought that punctuate conversation while providing tantalizing disquisitions on, for example, Japanese grammar or the physics of aerodynamics. It is remarkable, profound, and often very funny. Arigato DeWitt-sensei.

  • The Power of Glamour

    In provocative detail with more than one hundred illustrations, critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz, revealing what qualities make a person, an object, a setting, or an experience glamorous.,What is it that creates that pleasurable pang of desire???the feeling of ???if only???? If only I could wear those clothes, belong to that group, drive that car, live in that house, be (or be with) that person? Postrel identifies the three essential elements in all forms of glamour and explains how they work to create a distinctive sensation of projection and yearning., is the very first book to explain what glamour really is???not just style or a personal quality but a phenomenon that reveals our inner lives and shapes our decisions, large and small. By embodying the promise of a different and better self in different and better circumstances, glamour stokes ambition and nurtures hope, even as it fosters sometimes-dangerous illusions.,From vacation brochures to military recruiting ads, from the Chrysler Building to the iPad, from political utopias to action heroines, Postrel argues that glamour is a seductive cultural force. Its magic stretches beyond the stereotypical spheres of fashion or film, influencing our decisions about what to buy, where to live, which careers to pursue, where to invest, and how to vote.,The result is myth shattering: a revelatory theory that explains how glamour became a powerful form of nonverbal persuasion, one that taps into our most secret dreams and deepest yearnings to influence our everyday choices.

  • The Remains of the Day

    From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, here is the universally acclaimed novel???winner of the Booker Prize and the basis for an award-winning film. ,This is Kazuo Ishiguro’s profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the “great gentleman,” Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness,” and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life.

  • Things Fall Apart

    Things Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a ???strong man??? of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society. The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

  • This Child Will Be Great

    In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Africa’s “Iron Lady” was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation.,In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the inside story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. This compelling tale of survival reveals Sirleaf’s determination to succeed in multiple worlds: from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive to her election campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is also the story of an outspoken political and social reformer who, despite danger, fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By sharing her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power, and gives us all hope that, with perseverance, we can change the world.