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What do 90s trends, syphilis, crime waves, and Paul Revere’s midnight ride have in common? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Seriously, they don’t share a single common trait. And yet in the first few pages of his book, Malcolm Gladwell foolishly tried to pull the wool over my eyes and hoodwink me into believing that all those random events are, at their core, the very same thing. I was not going to fall for it. Not this time.
Yeah no he convinced me. Trends of the 90s, crime waves, diseases, and even Paul Revere’s ride are all different forms of epidemics. Their spreads are caused, accelerated, and ended by the same core set of factors and by examining one epidemic, we can come to understand them all. Just that concept alone is fascinating, and this book’s exploration of viral events and their causes is riveting. If you have any interest in psychology, criminology, sociology, or marketing, this book is perfect for you. Or, if you’re like me and desperate to find out why fidget spinners and Silly Bandz (oh yeah) blew up like they did, then The TIpping Point has all the answers. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso
Imagine what it would feel like to be a golden retriever riding shotgun in a Formula 1 race car: wind racing through your fur, eyes (and mouth) wide as you’re moving faster than you ever imagined possible. Don’t you want to feel like that?! That is how this book makes you feel.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but just LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS! That little pupper is a lovable race car-riding golden retriever named Enzo, and lucky for us readers, he’s also the narrator of this novel. The Art of Racing in the Rain far exceeded my expectations, and it was anything but “just another dog book.” In fact, it is my favorite book. Enzo and his owner Denny navigate life and loss in the Seattle suburbs together. Exploring themes of familial strife, grief, unemployment, and the difficulties of parenting, Garth Stein has expertly crafted a novel which frequently moved me to tears, but in a good way, I promise. You will fall in love with Enzo and his story, so hop along for the ride and pick this book up! ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso
A thoroughly researched, brilliantly realized dive into the economic and political history of countries both rich and poor, all in an effort to answer the titular question: why do nations fail? Needless to say, I certainly found out why.
With each chapter, I realized how wrong my assumptions about the world were. This book took me by the shoulders and shook me, yelling “OPEN YOUR EYES FOOL” as it revealed the understory of the world’s economy before my very eyes. However, if you’re thinking economics is all well and good, but I’m more of a history buff, fear not! This book features many fan-favorite historical events alongside its economic insights. Black plague? Queen Elizabeth? Scramble for Africa? Check, check, and check! Not only are these things described in wonderful detail, but authors Robinson and Acemoglu demonstrate the ways in which these events from long ago still impact our modern economy today. It truly is fascinating.
In conclusion, if you've ever wondered why countries across the globe look and act the way that they do, this book has the answer for you. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso
Truly inspirational, and dare-I-say life changing. Janice Kaplan’s account of how her New Year’s resolution to “be more grateful” has transformed her life will have you hopping up to start your very own “Gratitude Diary” before the book is even through! The radical, radiant power of gratitude is on full display in this book, and the positive effects it has on Kaplan’s relationships, mental health, and world outlook can serve as much-needed encouragement for anyone who’s down on their luck. The Gratitude Diaries is a friendly reminder that we all have something to be thankful for, and it’s about time we realized that. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso
This book is beautiful in a way that only a true story can be, as it unites the gut-wrenching chaos of World War Two’s Pacific Theater with the innocence and joy offered by the best dog stories. This one will make you laugh, cry, and shout for joy all on the same page, as Judy the English pure-bred pointer faces the horrors of war with a brave face and a wagging tail. Chock full of action, drama, suspense, and heart, Judy’s story showcases humanity not only at its darkest points, but also at its most pure. If you have a dog, be prepared to pet it between every page. So dog lovers, history lovers, and book lovers unite! No Better Friend is just begging to be read. ~ Reviewed by Patrick Molluso