What We Are Reading Today: Breaking and Entering

Updated 19 January 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Breaking and Entering

Author: Jeremy N. Smith

In Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called Alien, Jeremy N. Smith tells a tale of computer intrigue, but not through the eyes of the black hats whose misdeeds have dominated recent political news.
Instead, Smith wants readers to meet the people behind the help desk — the tech gurus and security consultants standing between us and digital carnage.
This true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker — a woman known only as Alien.
Reviewing the book for New York Times, Matt Apuzzo said: “If there’s one lesson to be learned from Alien’s story, it is this: As Russian hackers challenge democracies and criminal attacks turn our personaldata into commodities, we cannot turn to technology to save us. Security is only as strong as the employee who tapes his passwords to his cubicle, the overworked guard at the front desk and, yes, the person on the other end of the line when you call the help desk.”


What We Are Reading Today: Notes on a Shipwreck by Davide Enia

Updated 22 February 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Notes on a Shipwreck by Davide Enia

The book is a moving firsthand account of migrant landings on the island of Lampedusa that gives voice to refugees, locals, and volunteers while also exploring a deeply personal father-son relationship. 

“The island of Lampedusa, as the Italian playwright and journalist Davide Enia explains in this quiet yet urgent memoir, is territorially European but belongs tectonically to nearby Africa,” states Steven Heighton in a review published in The New York Times. 

For some 20 years, migrants and refugees launching from Africa have been arriving on this remote, treeless outpost, hoping to travel on to the European mainland. 

“Structurally, the book attests that a sincere engagement with global crises can grow only from a soil of sympathy that’s local and personal,” Heighton added.

A reviewer commented on goodreads.com: “Enia reawakens our sense of wonder at the existential nature, the true terror and dangerousness inherent in the refugee journey by sea. And in the process, he reawakens our compassion.”