Also of interest...in rule-breakers and renegades
by Leslie Berlin (Simon & Schuster, $30)
For those of us who weren’t around for Silicon Valley’s early days, Leslie Berlin’s sweeping history represents “the next best thing,” said Jeff John Roberts in Fortune. The Stanford historian does “a masterful job” explaining the profound discoveries made by the area’s myriad geniuses while unspooling a brisk narrative goosed by anecdotes about pot parties and naked hot tub meetings. If you wonder how the tech industry developed the sexist culture now causing it so much trouble, the answers are here.
by Fiona Mozley (Algonquin, $16)
The conflict at the heart of Fiona Mozley’s Booker-shortlisted novel “brims with primal, folkloric power,” said Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. In one corner, a reclusive forest dweller who is “part feral beast, part workingman’s hero.” In the other, a “superbly malevolent” English landowner who extorts his tenants and hopes to banish the hero. Mozley’s prose is at times “terribly clotted with poeticisms,” but many scenes in her David-and-Goliath narrative “feel genuinely inspirational.”
Parental Discretion Is Advised
by Gerrick D. Kennedy (Atria, $26)
Fans of the movie Straight Outta Compton can now go far deeper into the history of the seminal rap group N.W.A, said Melanie Sims in the Associated Press. Author Gerrick Kennedy “points out all the major landmarks,” and “by way of interview gems” and “surprising backstories,” he creates an “incredibly vivid look” at how one L.A. neighborhood produced the dysfunction that in turn produced Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and the rest of the group that defined late-’80s gangsta rap.
A World Without Whom
by Emmy J. Favilla (Bloomsbury, $26)
“OMG,” said The Economist. “The kids and the internet are ruining the English language, amirite?” Emmy Favilla, the copy chief at BuzzFeed.com, strongly disagrees with that idea. Though some language-rule changes she argues for “will make traditionalists cringe,” she clearly believes standards matter. BuzzFeed regularly surveys its readers to stay current with language innovations. Grayhairs can accuse Millennials of bending the language, “but they cannot say the young people simply don’t care.”