New Releases

May 14, 2024

May 14, 2024


Discovering your next great read just got easier with our weekly selection of four new releases.

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:

Gabbi’s pick: Brave New Words: How AI Will Revolutionize Education (and Why That's a Good Thing) by Salman Khan, Viking 

Whether we like it or not, the AI revolution is coming to education. In Brave New Words, Salman Khan, the visionary behind Khan Academy, explores how artificial intelligence and GPT technology will transform learning, and offers a road map for teachers, parents, and students to navigate this exciting (and sometimes intimidating) new world.

A pioneer in the field of education technology, Khan examines the ins and outs of these cutting-edge tools and how they will revolutionize the way we learn and teach. For parents concerned about their children’s success, Khan illustrates how AI can personalize learning by adapting to each student’s individual pace and style, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, and offering tailored support and feedback to complement traditional classroom instruction. Khan emphasizes that embracing AI in education is not about replacing human interaction but enhancing it with customized and accessible learning tools that encourage creative problem-solving skills and prepare students for an increasingly digital world.

But Brave New Words is not just about technology—it’s about what this technology means for our society, and the practical implications for administrators, guidance counselors, and hiring managers who can harness the power of AI in education and the workplace. Khan also delves into the ethical and social implications of AI and large language models, offering thoughtful insights into how we can use these tools to build a more accessible education system for students around the world.


Sally’s pick: New Happy: Getting Happiness Right in a World That's Got It Wrong by Stephanie Harrison, TarcherPerigee

We all want to be happy, but happiness always seems to be out of reach — until now. In New Happy, happiness expert Stephanie Harrison draws upon hundreds of studies to offer a life-changing guide to finding the happiness you have been looking for, all based on a decade of research and brought to life with beautiful artwork.

It’s not your fault if you are unhappy. You have been told three lies: you’re not good enough; you need to achieve fame, wealth, and power; and you need to do it all on your own. This is Old Happy, our society’s false definition of happiness, and it’s making us miserable. In this book, you’ll learn the truth: you are enough, you have unique and important gifts, and using them to help other people leads to your happiness.

New Happy is your step-by-step guide to building the life you want. Accompanied by revelatory artwork that explains key concepts, Harrison takes you through the process of unwinding Old Happy, uncovering your own gifts, and using them to both improve your life and the world at the same time. If you have ever asked yourself, “Who am I really?” “When will I be happy?” or “What am I supposed to do with my life?” this book is for you.

Through an inspiring blend of art and science, New Happy will forever change the way that you see yourself and the world. Whether you’re wondering what career you should choose, navigating a life transition, going through a difficult time, teaching your kids what matters most, or simply hoping to experience more joy every day, New Happy offers the proven path to a happier life and a better world.


Jasmine’s pick: Seen Yet Unseen: A Black Woman Crashes the Tech Fraternity by Bärí A. Williams, Blackstone Publishing

Part memoir, part searing revelation, Seen Yet Unseen takes readers behind the scenes of some of the world’s biggest tech companies and exposes the way their exclusion of and, at times, hostility toward Black women have lasting impacts on the technology we use every day.

Over the years the products of big tech companies and Silicon Valley have become indispensable to our lives. They impact the way we socialize, make purchases, and even our medical decisions. But what happens when a major segment of the population—in this case Black women—isn’t included in these companies?

For over a decade, Bärí A. Williams has worked to carve a space for herself as a Black woman in the incredibly white male sphere of major tech companies, eventually becoming a lead counsel at Facebook and architect of their supplier diversity program. However, she also experienced the peculiar feeling familiar to Black women in the workforce: being both unseen and too seen. In raw and personal stories, Williams recounts balancing on glass cliffs while battling the burnout that so often forces Black women out of these companies, and how the industry’s lack—and loss—of Black women not only harms the businesses themselves but has troubling ramifications for their products, particularly as the promises of AI and the Metaverse loom large.

In a tone both forthright and revealing, Williams dissects how a culture that has largely excluded Black women—and people of color more generally—is at a tipping point and that only through embracing and listening to Black women can we prevent the further weaponization of these technologies against marginalized communities. From fledgling in-house diversity initiatives to gentrification and the rise of AI, Seen Yet Unseen takes the reader inside the obscured machinations of big tech companies and makes a case for why diversity is essential to the future of technology.


Dylan’s pick: The Third Perspective: Brave Expression in the Age of Intolerance by Africa Brooke, Hachette Go

In this manifesto, Africa teaches us how to return to critical thinking and reduce societal divides by opening our minds and being more self-questioning in difficult discussions. This book will help you figure out what you truly believe—as opposed to parroting or having knee-jerk reactions in conversation. You’ll learn to share your views, hear theirs, make a point you feel must be made, and try to find common ground without self-censorship or self-sabotage.

This personal guide helps readers move away from rigid thinking, allowing them to enter any potentially difficult discussion about politics, work, personal responsibility, race, sex, gender, religion — whatever the subject — while maintaining integrity, authenticity, and openness, and successfully expressing opinions while listening to contrary points of view.

Africa has built a successful business coaching an exclusive roster of high-profile clients seeking to handle themselves in the public eye. The tools offered in The Third Perspective have been honed over years of that experience: hers is a proven system that works. She offers readers a new path for communication, and because communication is everything, critical to building trust and fruitful relationships, a life transforming experience.

Africa Brooke’s framework has three pillars—Awareness, Responsibility, and Expression—that ask: what is stopping you from speaking your mind, what do you stand for, what are you willing to risk? 


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