5 Things to Read this Winter Break

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Winter break just may be the perfect time to grab a hot beverage and delve into a good book. So, what should you read?

We asked several Georgia Tech librarians for recommendations. The books range from a Christmas-themed murder mystery to one offering an inside look at the buying and selling of personal data.  

Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice For Creatives

By Adam J. Kurtz, TarcherPerigee (2017)

“This small but colorful book offers advice that is applicable to everyone today, especially those who work with technology and interact less with other people. Each chapter is a few pages long with advice. The pages can be torn out to post in your office or to carry in your wallet.

The author’s ideas can be used to keep you motivated while involved in a very long project; encourage you to accept change in your work, technology, or personal life; and remind you of what makes a great collaboration.”

—Isabel Altamirano, Engineering and Chemistry Librarian

The Twelve Clues of Christmas: A Royal Spyness Mystery

By Rhys Bowen, Mass Market Paperback (2013)

“This time of year, I like to read a Christmas-themed mystery. One of my favorites is The Twelve Clues of Christmas. The story centers around Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line to the throne. To stave off spending the holidays with her brother and his family in their drafty Scottish castle, she accepts a position for ‘a lady of high breeding’ to help host a party in Tiddleton-under-Lovey, which, it just so happens, is where her mother, an actress divorced from her father years ago, will be. The murder mystery is set around the Christmas party and is very reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The characters range from an American couple and their two teenaged children to a colonel and his wife just recently from India. They also include a cast of characters from the town — even what amounts to a village idiot (though he managed to have jobs) — a trio of spinster sisters, and the vicar. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a classic murder mystery set during Christmas.”

—Alexis Linoski, Licensed Content Coordinator

What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data

By Adam Tanner, Public Affairs (2014)

“A fascinating inside look at the data industry, with a focus on Vegas. Caesars CEO (formerly a Harvard Business School professor) set up the first casino loyalty program — the company knows how much you typically wager in a day and what food you like to eat. While customers receive benefits by sharing data in these programs, other companies obtain and resell data about you — with minimal restrictions. Summing it up: thought-provoking.”

—Patricia Kenly, Business Reference Librarian and Government Documents Coordinator

Public Engagement Librarian Charlie Bennett recommended two books:

The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time

By Brooke Gladstone, Workman Publishing Co. (2017)

“Brooke Gladstone is the co-host of On the Media, a WNYC radio show about journalism, technology, and First Amendment issues. The book is a short, straight-to-the-point reminder that we create narratives out of our perceptions, and those narratives are in shockingly polarized disagreement in America right now.”

My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs: The Nobel Lecture

By Kazuo Ishiguro, Faber & Faber (2017)

“Ishiguro, author of Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, and other wonderful novels, won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and this is the text of his acceptance ‘speech’ — really a long talk on his life and how he creates.”


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