Stephen Morrow, Executive Editor at Dutton
It was 1967, the summer of love, and while Haight-Ashbury was dancing to White Rabbit and the Beatles were dropping acid, twelve sober young men climbed into the worst storm ever to hit the summit of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley or Denali as the locals call it. Only five made it back. Andy Hall, the son of the Mt. McKinley National Park superintendent at the time, was five years old. Denali’s Howl is his telling of what befell those on the mountain and those at its foot trying to help. It is also a study in how we think of our past, how such tragedies can become embedded in the meaning of our lives, our unwritten autobiographies, and yet remain mysterious.
Could good old conscientious organization really be the secret to navigating the modern world’s flood of details? As Daniel Levitin shows, the latest neuroscience says yes. From how to deal with your kitchen junk drawer (what are those keys in there for anyway?) to how to organize your thoughts for the most important decisions of all, The Organized Mind is a book that brings together the ordinary everyday experience of making your life work better with Levitin’s expert insight into how attention and memory function. This isn’t just a book about being neater, it is about clearing a space in which you (and your kids) can be resoundingly creative.
We had just had our Halloween party back in 2012 at 375 Hudson Street when New Yorkers started to realize the big bad hurricane was coming to get us. As she was working on Superstorm Kathryn Miles said the storm was like the shark in Jaws–only this monster ate its way up from Jamaica to the Great Lakes, with New York City as its main course. Her story of forecasters and their science unable to make sense of this unprecedented system as it played out day by day, of the seamen whose traditional knowledge didn’t help, and of the people whose lives it destroyed is all about the unforgiving, fearsome power of nature—just when we thought we had it beat.
Ok, so Does Santa Exist? is the most profound and funny book I’ve ever worked on and probably ever will. I am pretty much unhinged about it. Eric Kaplan has a job as a brilliant comic writer on America’s most popular sit com and is finishing his Ph.D. at Berkeley, but I’m just hoping he starts a cult so I can join it. How could such a simple, childish question lead to such a dazzling, exuberant flight across the deepest questions of human existence? You will learn a bunch of philosophy, and the point of it all too. As Matt Groening said, “It is the funniest book of philosophy since… well, ever.” Just the thing for the gift giving season!
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