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OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book 
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Post OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book

READ THESE RULES BEFORE VOTING PLEASE

Poll Starts: Monday, May 10, 2010
Poll Ends: The poll ends when we have a clear winner. You can count on the poll being up for at least 10 full days.

• You MUST have 10 or more total posts to vote. We usually require 25 forum posts. We're going to attempt to lighten up on this rule, but please do not vote if you aren't going to participate.

• You can cast 3 votes and distribute your 3 votes however you like. If you don't assign all 3 votes it will be assumed that you wished to assign all 3 of your votes to the one book you selected.

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2 votes for Book #1
1 vote for Book #2


• You can try to convince other people to vote for your book choice by explaining why you're voting the way you're voting. You are doing BookTalk.org a huge service by explaining a little about why you picked whatever book you picked, although this extra step is not required. People do read comments and you do stand to influence them if you make a passionate plea for your book, and the whole goal of our book selection process is to find a book that will stimulate discussion. So don't be shy about attempting to sell us on your book choice.

• Vote today! Please don't wait till you see other people voting because they're waiting for YOU to vote.

Now, on to our book choices...



Mon May 10, 2010 1:19 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
BOOK 1
ALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean
Richard Logan (Author), Tere Duperrault Fassbender (Author)

Product Description
Terry Jo Duperrault was 11 when her family was murdered at sea aboard a chartered sailboat off the coast of Florida. She jumped overboard just in time to escape. Surviving four days on a cork float in the middle of the ocean, Terry Jo’s rescue pictures graced LIFE Magazine soon after she was found.

This is the first time Terry Jo, now known as Tere Duperrault Fassbender, has been able to fully tell her story. In September 1988 Oprah Winfrey reunited her with the freighter captain who saved her but, even then, she was not healed enough to reveal what it took to survive for four days adrift and alone at sea.

Co-authored by psychologist and survival expert Richard Logan, readers delve into the details of how a little girl survived the murder of her family; the gradual collapse of the small cork float she used to keep afloat while guarded by a small pod of whales; and the aftermath and the reclamation of life.

ALONE is the ultimate inspirational tale of good.

About the Author
Logan is a nationally recognized expert in the psychology of lone survival and has been a guest on A&E and Discovery Channel. An accomplished author, Logan had his first book published in 1993. Logan is a self-admitted adventurist and leads annual safaris in Kenya.

Tere Duperrault Fassbender was 11 when she was nearly swallowed by the ocean during four days at sea. Her rescue in 1961 was covered worldwide. She spent her life guarding the water that threatened her as a child.



Mon May 10, 2010 1:23 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
BOOK 2
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Dan Ariely

From Publishers Weekly
Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read.

Book Description
Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin?

Why does recalling the Ten Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught?

Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup?

Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full?

And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar?

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we?

In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world--one small decision at a time.

About the Author
Dan Ariely is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT, where he holds a joint appointment between MIT's Media Laboratory and the Sloan School of Management. He is also a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and a visiting professor at Duke University. Ariely wrote this book while he was a fellow at the Institute for Advance Study at Princeton. His work has been featured in leading scholarly journals and a variety of popular media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, and Science. Ariely has appeared on CNN and National Public Radio. He divides his time between Durham, North Carolina, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the rest of the world. -- Praise for Predictably Irrational



Mon May 10, 2010 1:29 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
Book 3
The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility"
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author)

From Booklist
In business and government, major money is spent on prediction. Uselessly, according to Taleb, who administers a severe thrashing to MBA- and Nobel Prize-credentialed experts who make their living from economic forecasting. A financial trader and current rebel with a cause, Taleb is mathematically oriented and alludes to statistical concepts that underlie models of prediction, while his expressive energy is expended on roller-coaster passages, bordering on gleeful diatribes, on why experts are wrong. They neglect Taleb's metaphor of "the black swan," whose discovery invalidated the theory that all swans are white. Taleb rides this manifestation of the unpredicted event into a range of phenomena, such as why a book becomes a best-seller or how an entrepreneur becomes a billionaire, taking pit stops with philosophers who have addressed the meaning of the unexpected and confounding. Taleb projects a strong presence here that will tempt outside-the-box thinkers into giving him a look.

Product Description
A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

About the Author
Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to immersing himself in problems of luck, randomness, human error, probability, and the philosophy of knowledge. He managed to transform his interests into three successful careers, as a man of letters, businessman-trader-risk manager, and university professor. Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University's Polytechnic Institute and Principal of Universa. His books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in 31 languages. He is widely recognized as the foremost thinker on probability and uncertainty. Taleb lives mostly in New York.



Mon May 10, 2010 1:35 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
BOOK 4
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
Bill McKibben (Author)

From Publishers Weekly
The world as we know it has ended forever: that's the melancholy message of this nonetheless cautiously optimistic assessment of the planet's future by McKibben, whose The End of Nature first warned of global warming's inevitable impact 20 years ago. Twelve books later, the committed environmentalist concedes that the earth has lost the climatic stability that marked all of human civilization. His litany of damage done by a carbon-fueled world economy is by now familiar: in some places rainfall is dramatically heavier, while Australia and the American Southwest face a permanent drought; polar ice is vanishing, glaciers everywhere are melting, typhoons and hurricanes are fiercer, and the oceans are more acidic; food yields are dropping as temperatures rise and mosquitoes in expanding tropical zones are delivering deadly disease to millions. McKibben's prescription for coping on our new earth is to adopt maintenance as our mantra, to think locally not globally, and to learn to live lightly, carefully, gracefully—a glass-half-full attitude that might strike some as Pollyannaish or merely insufficient. But for others McKibben's refusal to abandon hope may restore faith in the future.

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2010: Since he first heralded our era of environmental collapse in 1989's The End of Nature, Bill McKibben has raised a series of eloquent alarms. In Eaarth, he leads readers to the devastatingly comprehensive conclusion that we no longer inhabit the world in which we've flourished for most of human history: we've passed the tipping point for dramatic climate change, and even if we could stop emissions yesterday, our world will keep warming, triggering more extreme storms, droughts, and other erratic catastrophes, for centuries to come. This is not just our grandchildren's problem, or our children's--we're living through the effects of climate change now, and it's time for us to get creative about our survival. McKibben pulls no punches, and swaths of this book can feel bleak, but his dry wit and pragmatic optimism refuse to yield to despair. Focusing our attention on inspiring communities of "functional independence" arising around the world, he offers galvanizing possibilities for keeping our humanity intact as the world we've known breaks down.



Mon May 10, 2010 1:38 am
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Eligible to vote in book polls!


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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
I am not sure I am doing this right, but here are my votes.
2 votes for Book #2 (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions - Dan Ariely) and 1 vote for Book #3 (The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility" -
Nassim Nicholas Taleb).
If I were to justify my votes, I think the primary reason would be because I can easily acquire these two books, as opposed to the others on the list.
Secondly, I'm curious, very curious about Book #2 and what it reveals. I am not a huge non fiction reader, but I hope to take part in this discussion.

I believe my post is the first (could be my time zone helping :) ), so I do hope I am doing things right.



Mon May 10, 2010 5:15 am
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BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
You did it perfectly, Shalimar. Just please stick around for the actual book discussion when a book is selected. The purpose of requiring people to have 10 - 25 forum posts to vote is to make sure people that won't participate in the book discussion don't get to vote and impact our book selection process. We really want voters to participate. :)



Mon May 10, 2010 10:33 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
I would like to vote for book #1 "Alone" for no reason other than it calls to me...perseverance of the human soul kind of thing. And yes all my votes go to #1.



Mon May 10, 2010 10:38 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
I would have to put all of my votes on #1 (Alone) as well, as it is the only book whose subject and tone are of any interest to me. I find the other topics fascinating, but know that they are not topics that will be written in a way that will keep my interest for the length of an entire book. So three votes for Alone, please.



Mon May 10, 2010 1:43 pm
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
Three enthusiastic votes for “Alone”, I love a great survival story. A true “Life of Pi”!



Wed May 12, 2010 5:55 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
Alone is in the lead. As if I needed to say that. LOL



Thu May 13, 2010 7:32 pm
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
I vote for book two.



Sun May 16, 2010 1:37 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
imnosalinger, how many votes?



Sun May 16, 2010 1:42 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
I'm sorry, I haven't been here in a while and so I don't know how many votes I have...just take however many I have and apply them to this book, please. Thank you.



Sun May 16, 2010 2:22 am
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Post Re: OFFICIAL POLL: June, July and August 2010 Non-Fiction Book
2 votes for The Black Swan
1 vote for Predictably Irrational

I've read and enjoyed both of those books. I'm more curious to hear everyone's reaction to the Black Swan, especially in light of the recent economic collapse.

Let me know if you have any questions about either book.



Sun May 16, 2010 2:31 am
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