Professor of economics Marina Adshade needed to get her half-awake students to pay attention to her lectures, so she decided to skip the guns and butter examples and start talking about the convergence of dollars and sex. Attention was paid. She then launched a blog called Dollars and Sex on BigThink.com (recently named the #1 website by TIME) to expand on the subject. Dollars and Sex became one of Big Think’s most visited blogs, attracting an international audience of over 50,000 visitors a month, with the total number of unique visitors numbering half a million.
THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves
(Harper/HarperCollins, June 2012)
Hardcover (304 pages)
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!
The international bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and renowned behavioral economist Dan Ariely examines the contradictory forces that drive us to cheat and keep us honest.
Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it’s the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY, award-winning, bestselling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.
Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it’s actually the irrational forces that we don’t take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe
, there are countless puffed resumes, hidden commissions, and knockoff purses. In THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY, Ariely shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior, both intentionally and unintentionally. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.
But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY will change the way we see ourselves, our actions
, and others.
is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, with appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine. Dan earned one PhD in cognitive psychology and another PhD in business administration. He is the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in many outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and others. He lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife, Sumi, and their two creative children, Amit and Neta.
“I was shocked at how prevalent mild cheating was and how much more harmful it can be, cumulatively, compared to outright fraud. This is Dan Ariely's most interesting and most useful book.”
--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author, The Black Swan
“Dan Ariely ingeniously and delightfully teases out how people balance truthfulness with cheating to create a reality out of wishful blindness reality. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of your own personal ethics – and those of everybody you know.”--Mehmet Oz, MD, Columbia University and host of the Dr. Oz Show
“Anyone who lies should read this book. And those who claim not to tell lies are liars. So they should read this book too. This is a fascinating, learned, and funny book that will make you a better person. “
--A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH JOSEPH SMITH: My Search for the Real Prophet
(Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, August 2012)
Hardcover (288 pages)
Storyteller or visionary? Fraud or God’s messenger? One woman’s quest to nail down America’s homegrown prophet.
When award-winning documentary film writer Jane Barnes was working on the PBS special series The Mormons
, she was surprised to find herself passionately drawn to Joseph Smith. The product of an Episcopalian, “WASPy” family, she couldn’t remember ever having met a Mormon before her work on the series—much less dallied with the idea of converting to a religion shrouded in controversy. But so it was: she was smitten with a man who proclaimed to have translated the word of God by peering into the dark of his hat.
In this brilliantly written memoir, Barnes describes her experiences working on the PBS series as she moved from secular curiosity to the brink of conversion to Mormonism. It all began when she came across Smith’s early writings. She was fascinated to discover how funny and utterly unique he was—and how wildly divergent his wild yet profound visions of God were from the Church of Latter-day Saints as we know it today. Her fascination deepened when, much to her surprise, she learned that her eighth cousin Anna Barnes converted to Mormonism in 1833. Through Anna, Barnes follows her family’s close involvement with Smith and the crises caused by his controversial practice of polygamy. Barnes’s unlikely path helps her gain a newfound respect for the innovative American spirit that lies at the heart of Mormonism—and for a religion that is, in many ways, still coming into its own.
An intimate portrait of the man behind America’s fastest-growing religion, FALLING IN LOVE WITH JOSEPH SMITH offers a surprising and provocative window into the Mormon experience.
who has received fellowships from the NEA, the NEH, and the Virginia Humanities Foundation, has published two novels, I, Krupskaya: My Life with Lenin
(Houghton Mifflin, 1974) and Double Lives
(Doubleday, 1981). Her essays and stories have appeared in MLLE, Mirabella, Prairie Schooner, Dialogue,
and the Virginia Quarterly Review
, among others. Barnes, who has written documentaries for American Experience
, American Masters
, lives in Charlottesville, VA.
“Jane Barnes' startling, compelling book looks for treasure, much as the young Joseph Smith did, with the passion of a convert and the wild, sharp eye of someone determined to find it in the most unlikely places. This is a beautiful and utterly original book. --Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion and Jesus Freak.
“This is a book about faith and irony, but don’t let the title fool you. Hold on to your hats, because you’re going to be falling in love with Joseph Smith
, too!” –Dennis Covington, author of the National Book Award finalist Salvation on Sand Mountain
"Jane Barnes' fascination with Joseph Smith is an inward journey, an account of one person's attempt to articulate and to answer difficult questions in the context of the teachings of the mysterious religious leader -- a man no longer living, who remains inspiring at the same time that he puzzles and eludes her. FALLING IN LOVE WITH JOSEPH SMITH made me think of one of my favorite hybrid books, Annie Dillard's For the Time Being
–Ann Beattie, award-winning author of Walks with Men and Mrs. Nixon
THE DOG PROJECT: A Neuroscientist’s Quest to Discover What Dogs Are Really Thinking
(Amazon Publishing, October 2013)
Manuscript due March 2013
THE DOG PROJECT
is the story of how Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns and his colleagues accomplished what nobody thought possible and peered inside the mind of a dog. It’s also the story of how a man and his dog embarked on a journey of discovery, and how their bond was changed forever.
Berns had spent decades using brain imaging technology to study how the human brain works. All of that changed when Berns and his family adopted Callie
, a shy, skinny 18-pound terrier-mix who had spent most of her first six months of life at a shelter. Unlike any other dog Berns had lived with, Callie inspired him to tackle a question that dog owners and lovers can’t help but wonder about: “What is my dog thinking?” As the first domesticated species, dogs are unique. More than any other species, they have acquired the ability to understand and communicate with humans. But nobody knows how the dog mind actually works.
Using state-of-the-art science and technology, Berns hit on the idea of training Callie – along with a border collie named McKenzie -- to go into an MRI scanner so that he could see what was happening in their brains while he communicated with them through hand signals. At first the idea is dismissed by his colleagues. There is no possible way that any dog could do what most humans barely tolerate: lying absolutely still in a tiny tube with loud clanging all around as the MRI does its work. It’s dismissed by his family, who can’t imagine that Callie, a bundle of anxious energy who failed basic obedience training, will even enter the MRI. And it’s challenged by an army of lawyers, who don’t even want to let Berns get the project off the ground. But through positive training and love of his dog, Berns proves everybody wrong.
After months of daily training, and trial-and-error at the MRI to find what worked best for the dogs, The Dog Project recently achieved success. They discovered how the dog reward system responds to human hand signals and that dogs are, indeed, more responsive when information comes from a human. It’s an important breakthrough in deciphering the dog-human bond, tantalizing evidence for neural processes that may eventually show how dogs empathize with human emotions. But even as much as it is a story of scientific discovery about dogs
, THE DOG PROJECT
is a story about human relations. A year in the life of The Dog Project not only taught Greg Berns how to communicate better with his dog, but how to be a better parent and how to communicate better with all the humans in his life.
Gregory Berns, M.D., Ph.D
. is the Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, where he directs the Center for Neuropolicy. He is also a Professor in the Economics Department and a founding member of the Society for Neuroeconomics. Berns is the author of Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment
(Henry Holt & Co., 2005) and Iconoclast: What Neuroscience Reveals about How to Think Differently
(Harvard Business School Press, 2008), which was named one of the best business books of 2008 by Fast Company
. Dr. Berns’ research is frequently the subject of popular media coverage including articles in the New York Times
, Wall Street Journal
, Money, Oprah, Forbes, The Financial Times, The New Scientist, Wired
, Washington Post
, Chicago Tribune
, International Herald Tribune
, and Los Angeles Times
. He speaks frequently on CNN
, and has been profiled on ABC’s Primetime
and CBS’s Sunday Morning
GEEK GODS: Fear, Influence and the Rise of the Nobody in the New Digital Age
(Hyperion, January 2014)
Manuscript due March 2013 (304 pages)
The internet has become a network of networks—the social web—where the individual increasingly has the power. People you’ve never heard of, like Justine Ezarik and Phil DeFranco, have an inordinate amount of influence over the fate of offerings from companies as diverse as Microsoft, Pepsi and Twentieth Century Fox. The social web is pushing Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Madison Avenue to converge in a way that is redefining business and culture. It’s all being driven by the huge sums of cash major brands are spending to put their products in front of these vocal, fickle, and highly influential moguls of the new media age. At the center of this ecosystem sit the digital Mad Men, creating campaigns to spread ideas, products, and fame through the digital subculture that is driving mass culture.
To tell the story of the new influencers, whom he refers to as Geek Gods, Mark Borden spent a year as a fly on the wall at Mekanism, the San Francisco and New York based boutique selected by Advertising Age as a 2011 Small Agency of the Year and by Inc. Magazine as one of its Fastest Growing Companies. According to Tim Ferriss
, who has worked with them, “Mekanism is a leader in understanding and leveraging the power of the new media. If you really want to understand the new world order of the social web, you can't do any better than following them."
If you wanted one writer to be your guide through this new world, Mark Borden would be your choice. According to Gary Vaynerchuck, “Mark is one of the few journalists I would endorse, not because I dislike journalists but because many don’t have the ‘feel’ for the actual market and I have always been impressed by Mark’s pulse.” GEEK GODS will be a business book that will transcend the business category, appealing not just to the likely suspects but to every nobody striving to be a somebody in the radical world of the constantly morphing social web. It’s set up to be a great read that captures one of the most interesting stories of our age.
is a former reporter for Fortune
and senior editor for Fast Company
who has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Outside
and Sports Illustrated.
In 2007 he collaborated with Marcus Buckingham to write The New York Times
bestseller, Go Put Your Strengths to Work.
As Buckingham says, “Mark Borden is a great storyteller. His tales often start with a small observation, almost a riff. Then through deep reporting, he reveals how that micro incident fits into a larger whole.”
Spanish (World): Centro Libros/Planeta
UK Commonwealth: Virgin Books/Random House
SHOUTING WON’T HELP: Why I—and 50 Million Other Americans*--Can’t Hear You *As well as 10 million Brits, 71 million Europeans, 20 million Chinese, uncountable numbers in Africa, and about 275 million people worldwide
(Sara Crichton Books/FSG, February 2013)
Manuscript (410 pages)
Why more Americans (as well as 10 million Brits, 71 million Europeans, 20 million Chinese, uncountable numbers in Africa, and about 275 million people worldwide) are going deaf than ever before—and what we can do about it
For twenty-two years, Katherine Bouton was a senior editor at The New York Times. At daily editorial meetings, she had a secret that grew harder to keep every day—she couldn’t hear what her colleagues were saying. She had gone profoundly deaf in her left ear; her right was getting worse. As she writes, she was “the kind of person who might have used an ear trumpet in the nineteenth century.”
Audiologists agree that we’re experiencing a worldwide epidemic of hearing impairment. At present, 275 million people worldwide suffer some degree of hearing loss—17 percent of the industrialized world’s population. Cities around the world have always been noisy and people who live in them have always experienced noise-induced hearing loss. But these days, the decibel level on a typical city street averages about 90—enough to cause hearing damage in just eight hours. If it’s a midtown Manhattan street complete with a jackhammer (100 decibels), a construction site (100), and a panhandler playing amplified drums (110), it’s loud enough to cause serious hearing damage in those eight hours. And although Manhattan is the noisiest city in the world according to the W.H.O., Tokyo, Nagasaki, and Buenos Aires are not far behind. Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta vie for the top five, with Madrid following at their heels. And hearing loss is not exclusively a product of growing old. The usual onset is between the ages of nineteen and forty-four, and in many cases the cause is unknown.
SHOUTING WON’T HELP is a deftly written, deeply felt look at a widespread and misunderstood phenomenon. In the vein of Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande, and using her experience as a guide, Bouton examines the problem personally, psychologically, and physiologically. She speaks with doctors, audiologists, neurobiologists, and a variety of people afflicted with midlife hearing loss, braiding their stories with her own to illuminate the startling effects of the condition. The result is a surprisingly engaging account of what it’s like to live with an invisible disability—along with a robust prescription for our society’s increasing problem with deafness.
is a former senior editor at The New York Times
, where she worked for the magazine, the Book Review
, and the daily Books section. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker
, The New York Times Magazine
, and many other magazines and reviews. She is currently a regular reviewer and contributor to Science Times
. She lives in New York City with her husband, Daniel Menaker. They have two grown children.
“Shouting Won’t Help
is a fascinating and frequently moving exploration of the hearing loss that strikes on so many of us and those we love. The book is filled enlightening personal observations, wise advice, and answers to frequently asked questions. If you’ve even said “What?”, gotten annoyed at those who do, had a miserable experience at an expensive but cacophonous restaurant, or wondered which is most dangerous to your health—sex, drugs, or rock and roll—this book is for you.”--Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct
“A relatable, inspiring narrative of taking control, going public and finding comfort and empowerment in connecting with others facing similar difficulties…A well-written, powerful book.” --Kirkus Review (starred)
“The world is getting noisier, but fortunately we have Katherine Bouton, whose talent for listening remains undiminished by her hearing loss. Her book is both a moving memoir and an indispensable resource for anyone who cares about their ears.” –Deborah Solomon, former NYT Magazine columnist