Fire and Fury and Wait Lists…

So, just in case you haven’t heard, there’s this book that’s just recently come out, written by Michael Wolffe, and titled Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.  It’s been getting a wee bit of attention lately.

Via The Hill

Demand for this book was already quite high when it’s publication date was set for January 9.   But then the rollout plan, organized by publisher Henry Holt, were overwhelmed the Guardian published highlights from the embargoed book on the morning of Wednesday, January 3.  That move prompted New York magazine, which has first serial rights, to post its excerpts early, mid-day on January 3.  They were originally supposed to run on January 9, the day of the book’s original release.

This drove demand for the book sky-high, even as a lot of readers voiced displeasure at spending money that would in any way contribute to, or validate the sources that Wolff used.  And thus, a lot of people pointed out that public Libraries provide a terrific solution to this problem: access to the book, without paying money for it.  It’s literally the premise of a public Library, but it’s nice to see how many people were realizing how important and spectacular that is.

Henry Holt Logo

Then the cease and desist letter came from the President’s lawyers.  To which Henry Holt responded:  “Henry Holt confirms that we received a cease-and-desist letter from an attorney for President Trump. We see Fire and Fury as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book.”  They moved up the publication date to Friday, January 5 (For the record, Books don’t come out on Fridays.  Books come out on Tuesdays.  Movies come out on Fridays.)

But then, we got a big snowstorm.  And that prevented a lot of packages from being delivered in a timely manner all along the east coast, which slowed the departure of the book from New York (as it did a great many pieople, as well), and driving up anticipation even further.

This week, Publisher’s Weekly put out an article entitled “Librarians Scrambling to Meet Demand for ‘Fire and Fury,'” a title which I find immensely annoying, because we work really hard every day to anticipate your needs and meet those to the best of our budgetary capabilities.  We’re not scrambling, so much as we’re dealing with this enormous demand and limited supply, just like everyone else.  However, the article does mention Massachusetts Libraries, specifically citing Watertown Public Library and the Minuteman Library Network (hello, Friends!).  So that’s a plus.  Time also ran an article pointing out the huge demand at Libraries for the book, which almost sounds like the good people at Time just realized we’re here and loaning out books and being awesome.  Sigh.

Anyways, this is the very long way of letting you know that within the NOBLE network, we have 176 holds on the print book and 17 on the CD audiobook with no copies live yet.  We also have  9 copies of the OverDrive ebook and 3 of the audiobook, and there are a lot of holds on those already.  We are waiting for further copies, but those are slow in coming.  In the meantime, however, we have a display of books that can help tide you over, get you thinking, and entertain you until we are able to fulfill your hold request.  Here are just a few you can find on the display in the man reading room of the Main Library.  And be sure to check in with your friendly Library staff for even more great ideas in the meantime!

Just an aside: we tried to be as wide-ranging as possible in our selections, including books that speak to themes in the media coverage of this book and responses to it by individuals.  We hope you enjoy!

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? : And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House: Written by President Obama’s  former deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, this book is a surprising, strangely informative, and startlingly funny look behind the scenes at what it really takes to keep the President and the country running (the answer is a lot of briefing binders, apparently).  But, as we learn, for every historic occasion-meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace, bursting in on secret climate talks, or nailing a campaign speech in a hailstorm-there were dozens of less-than-perfect moments when it was up to Alyssa to save the day. Like the time she learned the hard way that there aren’t nearly enough bathrooms at the Vatican.   Mastromonaco’s memoir also offers some great career tips, even for those not looking to make it in D.C.: tips about confidence, about being kind, and about dedication, that make it a great read on any number of levels.

Bunk : the rise of hoaxes, humbug, plagiarists, phonies, post-facts, and fake news: In an interview about his 2017-National-Book-Award nominated work, poet and critic Kevin Young explained “I wanted to look at the bad side of lying. But the more I read the more I saw both that hoaxes aren’t about what people say they are and how often they were really about race.”  In every instance and example in his book–and there are many, and they are all fascinating–Young doesn’t just laugh about the American public’s willingness to swallow “fake news” stories, or about their inability to trust the truth when it’s illuminating.  Instead, he looks at the fears, the prejudices, and the suspicions that allowed the lies to grow, and prevents the acceptance of the truth.  The book is an insightful and well-written bit of history, but it’s also a powerful lesson about what makes us cry “fake” when we hear a particular story–and why we believe what we believe from the news and sources around us.

Lies my teacher told me : everything your American history textbook got wrong: And while we’re on the subject of fake stuff, let’s look at James W. Loewen’s book about American history textbooks, and the stories they tell.  After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, Professor Loewen concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books are just generally bad history…and lead to a lot of the misconceptions we have about American history and its peoples.  This is a thought-provoking, compelling, and nonpartisan texts that doesn’t pull its punches anywhere, providing the lessons we all probably should have known by now.

Who can you trust? : how technology brought us together and why it might drive us apart: In this revolutionary book, world-renowned trust expert Rachel Botsman reveals that we are at the tipping point of one of the biggest social transformations in human history–with fundamental consequences for everyone. A new world order is emerging: we might have lost faith in institutions and leaders, but millions of people rent their homes to total strangers, exchange digital currencies, or find themselves trusting a bot. This is the age of “distributed trust,” a paradigm shift driven by innovative technologies that are rewriting the rules of an all-too-human relationship.

If we are to benefit from this radical shift, we must understand the mechanics of how trust is built, managed, lost, and repaired in the digital age. In the first book to explain this new world, Botsman provides a detailed map of this uncharted landscape–and explores what’s next for humanity…

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