Happy Read-A-New-Book-Month

Updated: Sep 17

Newsletter, Sep 9th 2022

According to some, September is read a new book month, or national literacy month or maybe it's just September :). There are so many of these designated days and months, its hard to keep track. Any month you get some reading in, is a good month in my book!

New feature Alert - Book Registry

I've mentioned Bookshop.org before - the social benefit corp that distributes its profits back to independent bookstores like The Thinking Spot. If there is a book that we don't carry, including any non-science book, you can order it through the bookshop link on our site and we will get credit for that sale.

All that lead up to say Bookshop has just introduced a “Registries” feature. This allows you to setup book registries, just like any other gift registry that you can then share with your friends and family. Another great use for the registries feature is school classroom wishlists. I hear a lot of classrooms put up their wishlists on Amazon currently, so now you have an alternative that benefits your favorite local bookstore. Creating one is very straightforward, you can get started here.

This would be a good time to mention that if you'd like to setup a physical registry, for any event, by coming in-store and picking out the books/toys/games, I can hold that for you too. Just call/message or stop on over.

Upcoming Events

  1. Sunday Sep 11th 4p - Smartreads Book club meetup for Ages 8-12

  2. Thursday Sep 15th 4p - Ribbon cutting with Wayzata chamber of commerce. Please consider this a personal invitation and stop by if you can! There will be refreshments and book raffles! Also the last day to turn in your Bingo cards.

  3. Saturday Sep 17th 3p - Our favorite scientist is back in store. Liz Heinecke will be back with some fun and fabulous science experiments for ages 5-10.

  4. Sunday Sep 18th 2p - Yoga for the mind, science book club first meeting for “An Immense World” by Ed Yong. Join us.

Oct is shaping up to be busy event month. Below couple I'm super excited about. Tickets are live for both events now. Space is limited, so reserve early if you're interested and can make it:

Saturday Oct 1st 3p - Meet and hear from “Not the science type” star, Dr. Jayshree Seth - Chief Science Advocate at 3M. Science communication is the heart of The Thinking Spot and Jayshree Seth is a master at it. Her first book was one of my inspirations for this place so this event is special to me!

Saturday Oct 15th 7p - Our favorite STEM Theatre professionals - Matheatre are back with a world premier of their Musical on Math. Their first show on Marie Curie, back in March, was a hit and I can't wait to see what they've cooked up now.

As always our event calendar is available in google calendar form making it easy to integrate with your other calendars.

Science News of the Week

I'm fascinated by any advances in memory research, partly cause of my failing memory :). This group from University of southern California has developed a new form of brain stimulation that appears to boost people’s ability to remember new information—by mimicking the way our brains create memories. Do you think it'll be ready for prime time in our lifetime ? Would you opt for it if it was ?

Reading Recommendations

This week, instead of all new releases, I thought I'd pick one new release and highlight other similar books from the past. Each of them may treat a similar subject or a slightly adjacent topic, mimicking, hopefully, the serendipitous discovery effect of in-store browsing.

This week's new release is “Status and Culture” - a social science book on culture which lead me to “Quiet” (Psychology/Behavior), to “Originals” (Motivational/Econ), to "Nudge" (Behavioral Econ), and finally to “How not to be wrong” (Applied Math). All, sort of, explaining human behavior. Hope that makes sense. Enjoy!

Keep reading and see you at The Spot soon,


Reading Recommendations

Status and Culture
By W. David Marx

New Release this week.

"Subtly altered how I see the world." —Michelle Goldberg, New York Times “[Status and Culture] consistently posits theories I'd never previously considered that instantly feel obvious.” —Chuck Klosterman, author of The Nineties “Why are you the way that you are? Status and Culture explains nearly everything about the things you choose to be—and how the society we live in takes shape in the process.” —B.J. Novak, writer and actor Solving the long-standing mysteries of culture—from the origin of our tastes and identities, to the perpetual cycles of fashions and fads—through a careful exploration of the fundamental human desire for status All humans share a need to secure their social standing, and this universal motivation structures our behavior, forms our tastes, determines how we live, and ultimately shapes who we are. We can use status, then, to explain why some things become “cool,” how stylistic innovations arise, and why there are constant changes in clothing, music, food, sports, slang, travel, hairstyles, and even dog breeds. In Status and Culture, W. David Marx weaves together the wisdom from history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, cultural theory, literary theory, art history, media studies, and neuroscience to demonstrate exactly how individual status seeking creates our cultural ecosystem. Marx examines three fundamental questions: Why do individuals cluster around arbitrary behaviors and take deep meaning from them? How do distinct styles, conventions, and sensibilities emerge? Why do we change behaviors over time and why do some behaviors stick around? The answers then provide new perspectives for understanding the seeming “weightlessness” of internet culture. Status and Culture is a book that will appeal to business people, students, creators, and anyone who has ever wondered why things become popular, why their own preferences change over time, and how identity plays out in contemporary society. Readers of this book will walk away with deep and lasting knowledge of the often secret rules of how culture really works.

W. David Marx is a longtime writer on culture based in Tokyo and the author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Lapham’s Quarterly, Popeye, The New Republic, and Vox.

By Susan Cain

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Experience the book that started the Quiet Movement and revolutionized how the world sees introverts—and how introverts see themselves—by offering validation, inclusion, and inspiration

“Superbly researched, deeply insightful, and a fascinating read, Quiet is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the gifts of the introverted half of the population.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYPeopleO: The Oprah MagazineChristian Science MonitorInc.Library JournalKirkus Reviews

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.