Staff picks from Beckett

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Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780691169446
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Published: Princeton University Press - April 19th, 2016

If you're looking for some understanding of why the U.S. government "works" the way it does, check out this book. It has nothing to do with the recent election nor politicians in general, but it proves (yes, proves) that all politics is identity politics. Voters, even the well-informed, don't vote on issues—they vote based on identity. It's an academic text, heavy on the footnotes so it's easy to get bogged down, but it's worth reading at least the first several chapter and conclusion. The authors don't advocate for some alternative form of government, rather they show that our current understanding of democracy is flawed. It's provocative, no doubt, but it's a must read for any civic-minded person, whether you're liberal, conservative, or something else.

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The Second World War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316023757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - May 7th, 2013

Renowned WWII historian and student of John Keegan, Beevor has written a historical masterpiece. This book covers the entirety of WWII, from Africa to the Russian Far East. Full of primary sources and first-hand accounts, Beevor gives a human perspective of this great and utterly devastating war.

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Ready Player One: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307887443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - June 5th, 2012

This is nerd-lit at its finest. Dystopia has never seemed so fun. In the near future, humanity lives in a digital universe - a giant MMORPG, to be exact. A team of young avatars are pitted against a giant corporation for control of the digital universe. Packed with 1980's music, games, and pop culture, this is a great read. TL;DR: Just buy the book. -Beckett

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Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393329124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 17th, 2006

What happens when we die? One day we'll find out, but until then, Mary Roach can fill you in on the various and wildly entertaining scientific endeavors that attempted to answer the question. From ectoplasm weilding mediums, to weighing the soul, to the man so curious he killed himself in order to find out, this book is guaranteed to entertain.

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Be Here Now Cover Image
ISBN: 9780517543054
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harmony - October 12th, 1971

At first glance this book seems like hippie-dippy nonsense, but under the surface lies a profound and enlightening read. A biography, spiritual guide, and yoga manual, this book has been emjoyed for over 40 years by everybody from jobless stoners to Steve Jobs and George Harrison.

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League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780770437565
Availability: Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Three Rivers Press - August 26th, 2014

The yera is 2034 and the United States just won its first World Cup in soccer, all thanks to this book. Make no mistake, this is the book that will kill football. We all knew it was dangerous, deadly even, but the extent of the damage is more extreme than we though, thanks in part ot the NFL's concreted efforts to deny and cover-up.

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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393343441
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 4th, 2012

Former Wall Street fat-cat Lewis takes a look at the global fallout of the 2008 financial crisis and examines the social and cultural climates of three hard-hit nations: Iceland, Greece, and Ireland. Combines reporting, history, and economics into a fascinating story.

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Parasites Like Us: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142004777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 26th, 2004

Johnson won the 2013 Pulitzer for his 2nd novel, The Orphan Master's Son, but this debut novel is equally genius. Set in Johnson's home of South Dakota, the novel chronicles the end of society as we know it. Wonderfully imaginative and unique from the first page. It's easy to see the brilliance and promise of Johnson before his work was highly regarded.