New Releases

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024


Finding the right book at the right time can transform your life or your organization. We help you discover your next great read by showcasing four recently released titles each week.

The books are chosen by Porchlight's Managing Director, Sally Haldorson, and the marketing team: Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, and Jasmine Gonzalez. (Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.)

This week, our choices are:

Jasmine’s pick: The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture by Tricia Romano, PublicAffairs 

You either were there or you wanted to be. A defining New York City institution co-founded by Norman Mailer, The Village Voice was the first newspaper to cover hip-hop, the avant-garde art scene, and Off-Broadway with gravitas. It reported on the AIDS crisis with urgency and seriousness when other papers dismissed it as a gay disease. In 1979, the Voice’s Wayne Barrett uncovered Donald Trump as a corrupt con artist before anyone else was paying attention. It invented new forms of criticism and storytelling and revolutionized journalism, spawning hundreds of copycats.

With more than 200 interviews, including two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Colson Whitehead, cultural critic Greg Tate, gossip columnist Michael Musto, and feminist writers Vivian Gornick and Susan Brownmiller, former Voice writer Tricia Romano pays homage to the paper that saved NYC landmarks from destruction and exposed corrupt landlords and judges. With interviews featuring post-punk band, Blondie, sportscaster Bob Costas, and drummer Max Weinberg, of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, in this definitive oral history, Romano tells the story of journalism, New York City and American culture—and the most famous alt-weekly of all time.


Dylan’s pick: Look Again: The Power of Noticing What Was Always There by Tali Sharot and Cass R. Sunstein, Atria/One Signal Publishers 

Have you ever noticed that what is thrilling on Monday tends to become boring on Friday? Even exciting relationships, stimulating jobs, and breathtaking works of art lose their sparkle after a while. People stop noticing what is most wonderful in their own lives. They also stop noticing what is terrible. They get used to dirty air. They stay in abusive relationships. People grow to accept authoritarianism and take foolish risks. They become unconcerned by their own misconduct, blind to inequality, and are more liable to believe misinformation than ever before.

But what if we could find a way to see everything anew? What if you could regain sensitivity, not only to the great things in your life, but also to the terrible things you stopped noticing and so don’t try to change?

Now, neuroscience professor Tali Sharot and Harvard law professor (and presidential advisor) Cass R. Sunstein investigate why we stop noticing both the great and not-so-great things around us and how to “dishabituate” at the office, in the bedroom, at the store, on social media, and in the voting booth. This groundbreaking work, based on decades of research in the psychological and biological sciences, illuminates how we can reignite the sparks of joy, innovate, and recognize where improvements urgently need to be made. The key to this disruption—to seeing, feeling, and noticing again—is change. By temporarily changing your environment, changing the rules, changing the people you interact with—or even just stepping back and imagining change—you regain sensitivity, allowing you to more clearly identify the bad and more deeply appreciate the good.


Gabbi’s pick: Stand By Me: A Guide to Navigating Modern, Meaningful Caregiving by Allison J. Applebaum, Simon Element

As the founder of the only devoted Caregivers Clinic in the country, clinical psychologist Dr. Allison Applebaum is no stranger to the intensity of being an unpaid, untrained family caregiver. She also understands that it is often the strength and well-being of these very caregivers—the parents, children, partners, siblings, and friends of patients—that are the true linchpin determining each patient’s illness experience.

This book puts the practical tools and transformative support of the Caregivers Clinic in your hands, empowering you to provide your loved one with the best quality of life and care possible, while promoting your own wellbeing. The book covers crucial topics including:

  • Getting the most from any healthcare system 
  • Productive advance care planning 
  • Navigating changing roles and relationship dynamics 
  • Finding meaning and purpose in the caregiving experience

Stand By Me draws on a decade of clinical and research experience as well as Dr. Applebaum’s personal journey as the primary caregiver for her own father, legendary composer Stanley Applebaum, at the end of his life. Dr. Applebaum recognizes caregivers for who they truly are: invaluable healthcare team members. Offering critical insight and takeaways, Stand By Me is an essential resource throughout your caregiving journey.


Sally’s pick: The World and Us by Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Verso 

In The World and Us, Roberto Mangabeira Unger sets out to reinvent philosophy. His central theme is our transcendence, everything in our existence points beyond itself, and its relation to our finitude: everything that surrounds us, and we ourselves, are flawed and ephemeral.

He asks how we can live so that we die only once, instead of dying many small deaths; how we can breathe new life and new meaning into the revolutionary movement that has aroused humanity for the last three centuries, but that is now weakened and disoriented; and how we can make sense of ourselves without claiming for human beings a miraculous exception to the general regime of nature. For Unger, philosophy must be the mind on fire, insisting on our prerogative to speak to what matters most.

From this perspective, he redefines each of the traditional parts of philosophy, from ontology and epistemology to ethics and politics. He turns moral philosophy into an exploration of the contest between the two most powerful contemporary moral visions: an ethic of self-fashioning and non-conformity, and an ethic of human connection and responsibility.

And he turns political philosophy into a program of deep freedom, showing how to democratize the market economy, energize democratic politics, and give the individual worker and citizen the means to flourish amid permanent innovation.

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