What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Updated 14 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

In Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell investigates what goes wrong when we interact with people we don’t know, using dramatic scenarios ripped from the headlines, history, psychology, and criminology.

“No one shows us who we are like Gladwell. Here he sets out to understand why we act the way we do, and how we all might know a little more about those we don’t,” said a review in goodreads.com.

Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath.

The new book likely to be his most controversial yet, both in terms of his chosen subject matter and the examples he uses to illustrate his points. 

“Summarizing the lessons to be learned from the diverse tales in his book, Gladwell’s main conclusions are that it would be disastrous if we stopped trusting people, that we should ‘accept the limits of our ability to decipher strangers,’ and that it behooves us to be thoughtful, humble and mindful of context when trying to understand people’s actions,” Anthony Gottlieb said in a review for The New York Times.

What We Are Reading Today: New Guinea

Updated 25 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: New Guinea

Authors: Bruce M. Beehler and Tim Laman

In this beautiful book, Bruce Beehler, a renowned author and expert on New Guinea, and award-winning National Geographic photographer Tim Laman take the reader on an unforgettable journey through the natural and cultural wonders of the world’s grandest island. 

Skillfully combining a wealth of information, a descriptive and story-filled narrative, and more than 200 stunning color photographs, the book unlocks New Guinea’s remarkable secrets like never before.

Lying between the Equator and Australia’s north coast, and surrounded by the richest coral reefs on Earth, New Guinea is the world’s largest, highest, and most environmentally complex tropical island—home to rainforests with showy rhododendrons, strange and colorful orchids, tree-kangaroos, spiny anteaters, ingenious bowerbirds, and spectacular birds of paradise. New Guinea is also home to more than a thousand traditional human societies, each with its own language and lifestyle, and many of these tribes still live in isolated villages and serve as stewards of the rainforests they inhabit.

Accessible and authoritative, New Guinea provides a comprehensive introduction to the island’s environment, animals, plants, and traditional rainforest cultures. Individual chapters cover the island’s history of exploration; geology; climate and weather; biogeography; plantlife; insects, spiders, and other invertebrates; freshwater fishes; snakes, lizards, and frogs; birdlife; mammals; paleontology; paleoanthropology; cultural and linguistic diversity; surrounding islands and reefs; the pristine forest of the Foja Mountains; village life; and future sustainability.