What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets
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Updated 08 February 2023

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

What We Are Reading Today: We Are All Targets

Author: Matt Potter

Matt Potter’s “We Are All Targets” tells  the incredible untold origin story of cyberwar and the hackers who unleashed it on the world, tracing their journey from the ashes of the Cold War to the criminal underworld, governments, and even Silicon Valley.

Two years before 9/11, the US was attacked by an unknown enemy. No advance warning was given, and it didn’t target civilians. Instead, tomahawk missiles started missing their targets, US agents were swept up by hostile governments, and America’s enemies seemed to know its every move in advance. A new phase of warfare — cyberwar — had arrived. 

Never before told, this is the riveting secret history of cyberwar not as governments want it to be — controlled, military-directed, discreet, and sophisticated — but as it really is: anarchic, chaotic, dangerous, and often thrilling.


What We Are Reading Today: College

What We Are Reading Today: College
Updated 01 June 2023

What We Are Reading Today: College

What We Are Reading Today: College

Author: Andrew Delbanco

As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential.

The traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

In “College,” prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich.


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Volcanoes’

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Volcanoes’
Updated 31 May 2023

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Volcanoes’

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Volcanoes’

Authors: Richard V. Fisher, Grant Heiken, And Jeffrey Hulen

Whenever a volcano threatens to erupt, scientists and adventurers from around the world flock to the site in response to the irresistible allure of one of nature’s most dangerous and unpredictable phenomena.

In a unique book probing the science and mystery of these fiery features, the authors chronicle not only their geologic behavior but also their profound effect on human life.


What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Updated 30 May 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

RIYADH: “Before the Coffee Gets Cold,” published in 2015, is a time travel-themed novel written by famous Japanese playwright Toshikazu Kawaguchi and translated to English by Geoffrey Trousselot.

In the novel, four women wish to travel back in time for various reasons, whether to confront the man who left them, to receive a letter from a husband suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to visit a loved one for the last time, or to see a daughter they were never able to meet.

A cafe located in a small back alley in Tokyo not only serves coffee to its customers but also offers a one-of-a-kind experience: a chance to go back in time.

The journey to the past, however, isn’t so easy. One must follow a set of rules to journey safely: The time traveler must sit in a particular seat, not leave the cafe, and return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

Each chapter in the novel is dedicated to a particular customer at the cafe, but the different customers also make appearances in each other’s stories throughout, and they support one another in their journeys.

The customers’ stories are rooted in difficult circumstances and filled with grief and misfortune, but while the cafe doesn’t offer the much sought-after second chance in life, it does provide something equally significant: closure.

The cafe’s customers confront and make amends for their losses, even though they are aware they won’t be able to change anything once the coffee gets cold and they return to the present.

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is a sad, sweet, yet hopeful novel. Kawaguchi conveys a powerful message through the stories of the four characters, emphasizing that while the past is unchangeable, the future is always within reach.

The book is the first part of a series, followed by three other books titled: “Tales from the Cafe” (2021), “Before Your Memory Fades” (2022), and “Before We Say Goodbye” (2023).


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Tricks of the Light’ by Jonathan Crary

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Tricks of the Light’ by Jonathan Crary
Updated 30 May 2023

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Tricks of the Light’ by Jonathan Crary

What We Are Reading Today: ‘Tricks of the Light’ by Jonathan Crary

“Tricks of the Light” brings together essays by critic and art historian Jonathan Crary, internationally known for his groundbreaking and widely admired studies of modern Western visual culture. 

The book is enhanced by several expansive essays on the unstable status of television, both amid its beginnings in the 1930s and then during its assimilation into new assemblages and networks in the 1980s and 90s.


What We Are Reading Today: Running Out

What We Are Reading Today: Running Out
Updated 29 May 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Running Out

What We Are Reading Today: Running Out

Author: Lucas Bessir

The Ogallala aquifer has nourished life on the American Great Plains for millennia. But less than a century of unsustainable irrigation farming has taxed much of the aquifer beyond repair. 

The imminent depletion of the Ogallala and other aquifers around the world is a defining planetary crisis of our times. “Running Out” offers a uniquely personal account of aquifer depletion and the deeper layers through which it gains meaning and force.