What We Are Reading Today: Watching Darkness Fall

What We Are Reading Today: Watching Darkness Fall
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Updated 15 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Watching Darkness Fall

What We Are Reading Today: Watching Darkness Fall

Author: David Mckean

A gripping and groundbreaking account of how all but one of FDR’s ambassadors in Europe misjudged Hitler and his intentions.
As German tanks rolled toward Paris in late May 1940, the US Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, was determined to stay put, holed up in the Chateau St. Firmin in Chantilly, his country residence. Bullitt told the president that he would neither evacuate the embassy nor his chateau, an 18th Renaissance manse with a wine cellar of over 18,000 bottles, even though “we have only two revolvers in this entire mission with only 40 bullets.”
As German forces closed in on the French capital, Bullitt wrote the president, “In case I should get blown up before I see you again, I want you to know that it has been marvelous to work for you.” As the fighting raged in France, across the English Channel, ambassador to Great Britain Joseph P. Kennedy wrote to his wife Rose, “The situation is more than critical. It means a terrible finish for the allies.”
Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals―London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow―in the years prior to World War II.


What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock
Updated 22 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

What We Are Reading Today: The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock

Author: Richard F. Katz

Magma genesis and segregation have shaped Earth since its formation more than 4.5 billion years ago. Now, for the first time, the mathematical theory describing the physics of magmatism is presented in a single volume. The Dynamics of Partially Molten Rock offers a detailed overview that emphasizes the fundamental physical insights gained through an analysis of simplified problems. This textbook brings together such topics as fluid dynamics, rock mechanics, thermodynamics and petrology, geochemical transport, plate tectonics, and numerical modeling. End-of-chapter exercises and solutions as well as online Python notebooks provide material for courses at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level.
This book focuses on the partial melting of Earth’s asthenosphere, but the theory presented is also more broadly relevant to natural systems where partial melting occurs, including ice sheets and the deep crust.

 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Quiet’

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Quiet’
Updated 22 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Quiet’

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Quiet’

Author: Susan Cain

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is a nonfiction book written by American author and lecturer Susan Cain.
The book discusses our attitude as a species towards introversion, and how in underestimating introverted individuals we miss out on the valuable qualities they can offer.
Cain presents us with the Extrovert Ideal, a phrase denoting a social value system that rewards and praises extroverted over introverted tendencies.
The book goes on to highlight the untapped potential of introverts; how by shedding light on these qualities we can utilize the advantage they hold in formulating thoughts and opinions away from social affirmation.
It is bolstered with examples from famous introverted individuals from past and present with great contributions to humankind, such as Rosa Parks, Chopin and Dr. Seuss.
The book has been in The New York Times bestseller list for eight years, and is translated into 40 languages.

 


What We Are Reading Today: Maria Theresa: The Habsburg Empress in Her Time

What We Are Reading Today: Maria Theresa: The Habsburg Empress in Her Time
Updated 21 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: Maria Theresa: The Habsburg Empress in Her Time

What We Are Reading Today: Maria Theresa: The Habsburg Empress in Her Time

Author: Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger

Maria Theresa (1717–1780) was once the most powerful woman in Europe.

At the age of 23, she ascended to the throne of the Habsburg Empire, a far-flung realm composed of diverse ethnicities and languages, beset on all sides by enemies and rivals.

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger provides the definitive biography of Maria Theresa, situating this exceptional empress within her time while dispelling the myths surrounding her.

Drawing on a wealth of archival evidence, Stollberg-Rilinger examines all facets of 18th-century society, from piety and patronage to sexuality and childcare, ceremonial life at court, diplomacy, and the everyday indignities of warfare.

She challenges the idealized image of Maria Theresa as an enlightened reformer and mother of her lands who embodied both feminine beauty and virile bellicosity, showing how she despised the ideas of the Enlightenment.


What We Are Reading Today: The Process of Animal Domestication by Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra

What We Are Reading Today: The Process of Animal Domestication by Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra
Updated 19 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Process of Animal Domestication by Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra

What We Are Reading Today: The Process of Animal Domestication by Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra

Across the globe and at different times in the past millennia, the evolutionary history of domesticated animals has been greatly affected by the myriad, complex, and diverse interactions humans have had with the animals closest to them. 

The Process of Animal Domestication presents a broad synthesis of this subject, from the rich biology behind the initial stages of domestication to how the creation of breeds reflects cultural and societal transformations that have impacted the biosphere.

Marcelo Sanchez-Villagra draws from a wide range of fields, including evolutionary biology, zooarchaeology, ethnology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary morphology to provide a fresh perspective to this classic topic.

Relying on various conceptual and technical tools, he examines the natural history of phenotypes and their developmental origins.

He presents case studies involving mammals, birds, fish, and insect species, and he highlights the importance of domestication for the comprehension of evolution, anatomy, ontogeny, and dozens of fundamental biological processes.


What We Are Reading Today: The Psychology of Money

What We Are Reading Today: The Psychology of Money
Updated 18 January 2022

What We Are Reading Today: The Psychology of Money

What We Are Reading Today: The Psychology of Money

Author: Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Money is a book written by award-winning author Morgan Housel, teaching its readers about the behavioral aspect of money management.
The book presents us with nineteen short stories about the different ways in which individuals think about finances, but without the dense business jargon and math-based approach.
In the book, the author makes an argument that finances-related decision-making happens mostly in social setting such as meetings or dinner, hence, making the reader look deeper into behavioral psychology of money and the way we think about it rather than mere numbers.
He also argues that much more goes into the way we look at finances such as personal greed, history, and ego.
Housel was a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, won the Best Business award from the Society of American business Editors and Writers twice, with his book becoming an international bestseller with over one million copies sold worldwide.