Book cover for Seeing Sideways

Doony, Ryder, Wyatt, Bodhi. The names of Kristin Hersh’s sons are the only ones included in her new memoir, Seeing Sideways. As the book unfolds and her sons’ voices rise from its pages, it becomes clear why: these names tell the story of her life.

This story begins in 1990, when Hersh is the leader of the indie rock group Throwing Muses, touring steadily, and the mother of a young son, Doony. The chapters that follow reveal a woman and mother whose life and career grow and change with each of her sons: the story of a custody battle for Doony is told alongside that of Hersh’s struggles with her record company and the resulting PTSD; the tale of breaking free from her record label stands in counterpoint to her recounting of her pregnancy with Ryder; a period of writer’s block coincides with the development of Wyatt as an artist and the family’s loss of their home; and finally, soon after Bodhi’s arrival, Hersh and her boys face crises from which only strange angels can save them. Punctuated with her own song lyrics, Seeing Sideways is a memoir about a life strange enough to be fiction, but so raw and moving that it can only be real.

Book cover for Odd Woman Out

Trying to crawl inside the television set to get her parents’ attention, she got blocked by all the tubes and wires. So, she had to go the long way around to get herself onscreen.

In a series of essays and stories, Chartoff explores her ambition, artistry, and love blunders in her hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful new memoir Odd Woman Out.

From her 1950s childhood in a suburb she describes as an “abusement park” to performing Molière on Broadway, to voicing characters on the popular Rugrats cartoon series, Melanie Chartoff was anxious and “out of character”, preferring any imaginary world to her real one.

Obsessed with exploring her talent and mastering the craft, fame came as a destabilizing byproduct. Suppressing a spiritual breakdown while co-starring on a late-night comedy show, Chartoff grew more estranged from whoever she was meant to be. But given a private audience with a guru, she finally heard her inner voice, played by ’70s soul singer Barry White, crooning, “Get out, baby!” All the while, she’s courted by men with homing pigeons and Priuses, idealized by guys who want the girl du jour from TV to be their baby rearer or kidney donor.

Go backstage on Broadway, behind the scenes on network television, and inside the complicated psyche of a talented performer struggling to play the role of a complete human. Odd Woman Out intimately exposes the nature of identity in the life of a performing artist, snapshotting the hopeful search for a self Chartoff could love and someone else’s self to love, too

Book cover for The Declaration Of Independents

Everywhere in America, the forces of digitization, innovation, and personalization are expanding our options and bettering the way we live. Everywhere, that is, except in our politics. There we are held hostage to an eighteenth century system, dominated by two political parties whose ever-more-polarized rhetorical positions mask a mutual interest in maintaining a stranglehold on power.The Declaration of Independents is a compelling and extremely entertaining manifesto on behalf of a system better suited to the future–one structured by the essential libertarian principles of free minds and free markets. Gillespie and Welch profile libertarian innovators, identify the villains propping up the ancien regime, and take aim at do-something government policies that hurt most of those they claim to protect. Their vision will resonate with a wide swath of frustrated citizens and young voters, born after the Cold War’s end, to whom old tribal allegiances, prejudices, and hang-ups about everything from hearing a foreign language on the street to gay marriage to drug use simply do not make sense.

Who are computer hackers? What is free software? And what does the emergence of a community dedicated to the production of free and open source software–and to hacking as a technical, aesthetic, and moral project–reveal about the values of contemporary liberalism? Exploring the rise and political significance of the free and open source software (F/OSS) movement in the United States and Europe, Coding Freedom details the ethics behind hackers’ devotion to F/OSS, the social codes that guide its production, and the political struggles through which hackers question the scope and direction of copyright and patent law. In telling the story of the F/OSS movement, the book unfolds a broader narrative involving computing, the politics of access, and intellectual property.

E. Gabriella Coleman tracks the ways in which hackers collaborate and examines passionate manifestos, hacker humor, free software project governance, and festive hacker conferences. Looking at the ways that hackers sustain their productive freedom, Coleman shows that these activists, driven by a commitment to their work, reformulate key ideals including free speech, transparency, and meritocracy, and refuse restrictive intellectual protections. Coleman demonstrates how hacking, so often marginalized or misunderstood, sheds light on the continuing relevance of liberalism in online collaboration.

Lawrence Lessig’s “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace” v1 quickly began to define a certain vocabulary for thinking about the regulation of cyberspace. More than any other social space, cyberspace would be controlled or not depending upon the architecture, or “code,” of that space. And that meant regulators, and those seeking to protect cyberspace from at least some forms of regulation, needed to focus not just upon the work of legislators, but also the work of technologists. Code version 2.0 updates the original work. It is not, as Lessig writes in the preface, a “new work.” The aim of the update was to recast the argument in the current context, and to clarify the argument where necessary. While Lessig himself has strong views about preserving important liberties that cyberspace originally protected, this book does not push any particular set of values. Unlike Lessig’s other books, The Future of Ideas, and Free Culture, this book has no particular political agenda. Instead, the objective of Code is to introduce and defend a particular way of understanding regulation, and to describe the trend that we should expect regulation in cyberspace to take. Code v2 is published under the terms of the CC Attribution-ShareAlike license. Money raised from the sale of this book supports the development of free software and documentation.

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

In his new book, economist Dean Baker debunks the myth that conservatives favor the market over government intervention. In fact, conservatives rely on a range of “nanny state” policies that ensure the rich get richer while leaving most Americans worse off. It’s time for the rules to change. Sound economic policy should harness the market in ways that produce desirable social outcomes – decent wages, good jobs and affordable health care. Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

There are two sides to every story. . .

We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the facts while competing against the brother-and-sister blog superstars, the Masons.

Surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows, they must hit the presidential campaign trail and uncover dangerous truths. Or die trying.

A dual-edition full-color book for the millions of fans who have taken The Lord of the Rings to heart through the celebrated film trilogy. Many of the images included in this volume, depicting pivotal scenes and characters, were previously embargoed and have never appeared in book form. The work of Alan Lee and John Howe — the two artists most closely associated with Tolkien’s world — is featured, along with that of many other talented artists and designers. The artists’ own descriptions of the design process used in creating the look of the films both enlighten and enliven this essential book.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for our own age, the story of a dreamer who turned American media upside down—and suffered the consequences

Louis Rossetto had no money, no home, no job. Five years later he owned the hottest magazine in America and was poised to become an international tycoon, with America’s most powerful financiers by his side.

Rossetto was the founder and editor of Wired, whose hyperactive Day-Glo pages proclaimed that every American institution was obsolete. Instantly, Wired, was everywhere—on television, passed around the halls of Congress, displayed in the office of the president of the United States. Wired,’s headquarters in San Francisco became a pilgrimage site for everybody who wanted to be at the white-hot center of the digital revolution. Not since the early days of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone had anybody so brilliantly channeled the enthusiasms of his era.

But this was only the beginning. Wired cast an uncanny spell, creating a feedback loop that grew stunningly out of control. Wired,’s online site, HotWired, designed and sold the first banner advertisements for the World Wide Web, unleashing a commercial frenzy. Wired, reached for empire, with a book-publishing company, a broadcast division, and foreign editions all over the globe. But as the market’s enthusiasm outstripped the limits of reason, Rossetto faced a battle over the fate of Wired that would prove the ultimate test of his radical ideas.

Gary Wolf, one of Wired,’s most popular writers, takes no prisoners in this insider’s account, telling a story that is alternately thrilling, hilarious, heartbreaking, and absurd. Now that bumper stickers read-ing please god–just one more bubble have been sighted on the highways of California, Wired—A Romance goes beyond the dot.com clichés and paints a deeply affecting portrait of the boom.

Goodbye, Guns N’ Roses transports the reader into a mind-altering trip through the colors, scandals, nihilism, and mythology that make Guns N’ Roses so much more than another “hair metal” band. A valentine and a breakup letter to one of rock’s most controversial bands. Goodbye, Guns N’ Roses is a genre-rattling attempt to explain the appeal of America’s most divisive rock band. While it includes uncharted history and the self-lacerating connoisseurship of a Guns N’ Roses fetishist, it is not a recycled chronicle — this book is a deconstruction of myth, one that blends high and low art sketches to examine how Guns N’ Roses impacted popular culture. Unlike those who have penned other treatments of what might be considered a clich d subject, Art Tavana is not writing as a GNR patriot or former employee. His book aims to provide an untethered exploration that machetes through the jungle of propaganda camouflaging GNR’s explosive appeal. After circling the band’s three-decade plundering of American culture, Goodbye, Guns N’ Roses uncovers a postmodern portrait that persuades its viewer to think differently about their symbolic importance. This is not a rock bio but a biography of taste that treats a former “hair metal” band like a decomposing masterpiece. This is the first Guns N’ Roses book written for everyone; from the Sunset Strip to a hyper-digital generation’s connection to “Woke Axl,” it is a pop investigation that dodges no bullets.

For years John Moe, critically-acclaimed public radio personality and host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, struggled with depression; it plagued his family and claimed the life of his brother in 2007. As Moe came to terms with his own illness, he began to see similar patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms surfacing in conversations with others, including high-profile comedians who’d struggled with the disease. Moe saw that there was tremendous comfort and community in open dialogue about these shared experiences and that humor had a unique power. Thus was born the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression.

Inspired by the immediate success of the podcast, Moe has written a remarkable investigation of the disease, part memoir of his own journey, part treasure trove of laugh-out-loud stories and insights drawn from years of interviews with some of the most brilliant minds facing similar challenges. Throughout the course of this powerful narrative, depression’s universal themes come to light, among them, struggles with identity, lack of understanding of the symptoms, the challenges of work-life, self-medicating, the fallout of the disease in the lives of our loved ones, the tragedy of suicide, and the hereditary aspects of the disease.

The Hilarious World of Depression illuminates depression in an entirely fresh and inspiring way.

One part memoir, one part political platform, the bass player of Nirvana–the most heralded and influential rock band of the past 20 years–tells the story of his own musical and political coming-of-age. From his relationship to Kurt Cobain to his evolution as a political activist, Novoselic’s passion, intelligence and integrity come shining through in this moving and inspirational book.

Though Krist Novoselic will undoubtedly be forever best known as a member of Nirvana, his accomplishments go far beyond that remarkable achievement. Nirvana was a band with a conscience, and as a major label act they regularly played benefits–the first Rock For Choice show, a major concert in support of gay rights, and a legendary gig that raised money for the Balkan Women’s Aid Fund.

In 1995, Novoselic founded JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Music Promotions Political Action Committee), a proactive organization that advocated on behalf of Washington state’s music community. Novoselic’s work with JAMPAC helped Seattle club owners find ways to host all-ages shows and was instrumental in helping to overturn the infamous Teen Dance Ordinance. And sometimes making music and making a statement go hand in hand, as when Novoselic, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and drummer Gina Mainwal backed Jello Biafra as the “No W.T.O. Combo” at a show performed during the World Trade Organization conference held in Seattle in 1999.

There have been other musical endeavors since Nirvana, as well as new causes (Novoselic is a strong -supporter of electoral reform, an issue he writes about extensively on his website. The one constant is Novoselic’s desire to continue making progressive contributions to the community–and to keep on making good music.

The moment you check your phone in the morning you are giving away data. Before you’ve even switched off your alarm, a whole host of organisations have been alerted to when you woke up, where you slept, and with whom. As you check the weather, scroll through your ‘suggested friends’ on Facebook, you continually compromise your privacy.

Without your permission, or even your awareness, tech companies are harvesting your information, your location, your likes, your habits, and sharing it amongst themselves. They’re not just selling your data. They’re selling the power to influence you. Even when you’ve explicitly asked them not to. And it’s not just you. It’s all your contacts too.

Digital technology is stealing our personal data and with it our power to make free choices. To reclaim that power and democracy, we must protect our privacy.

What can we do? So much is at stake. Our phones, our TVs, even our washing machines are spies in our own homes. We need new regulation. We need to pressure policy-makers for red lines on the data economy. And we need to stop sharing and to adopt privacy-friendly alternatives to Google, WhatsApp and other online platforms.

Short, terrifying, practical: Privacy is Power highlights the implications of our laid-back attitudes to data, and sets out how we can reclaim control.

One day, lonely cubicle dweller and otherwise bored New York City transplant Hannah Hart decided to make a fake cooking show for a friend back home in California. She opened her laptop, pulled out some bread and cheese, and then, as one does, started drinking. The video was called “Butter Yo Sh*t” and online sensation My Drunk Kitchen was born.

My Drunk Kitchen (the book!) includes recipes, stories, color photographs, and tips and tricks to inspire your own adventures in tipsy cooking. Hannah offers cocktail recommendations, culinary advice (like, remember to turn off the oven when you go to bed), and shares never-before-seen recipes such as:


The Hartwich (Knowledge is ingenuity! Learn from the past!) Can Bake (Inventing things is hard! You don’t have to start from scratch!) Latke Shotkes (Plan ahead to avoid a night of dread!) Tiny Sandwiches (Size doesn’t matter! Aim to satisfy.) Saltine Nachos (It’s not about resources! It’s about being resourceful.)
In the end, My Drunk Kitchen may not be your go-to guide for your next dinner party . . . but it will make you laugh and drink . . . I mean think . . . about life.

The wildly popular YouTube personality and author of the New York Times bestseller My Drunk Kitchen is back!

This time, she’s stirring up memories and tales from her past. By combing through the journals that Hannah has kept for much of her life, this collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. Revealing what makes Hannah tick, this sometimes cringe-worthy, poignant collection of stories is sure to deliver plenty of Hannah’s wit and wisdom, and hopefully encourage you to try your hand at practicing reckless optimism.

This is a memoir by Marianne Faithfull, recounting her days in the swinging ’60s. She recalls her love and life with Mick Jagger, how Bob Dylan wooed her, the Rolling Stones courted her and finally, how drugs trapped her into a world where nothing else mattered but the next fix. She also reveals the contradictions of life as a “star”, first as the pop confection she was packaged as, and later as the hard-edged artist who co-authored “Sister Morphine” and shocked the world with “Broken English”.

A clever, thoughtful, and funny history that reveals how the Union of states was built on a much more personal union of people.

Have you ever used a dating app or website? Then you have more in common than you know with lonely homesteaders in 18th century New England. At once heartwarming and heartbreaking, Matrimony, Inc. reveals the unifying thread that weaves its way through not just marriage and relationships over the centuries, but American social history itself: advertising for  love.

Amazingly, America’s first personal ad appeared in the Boston Evening Post as early as 1759. A “person who flatters himself that he shall not be thought disagreeable” was in search of a “young lady, between the age of eighteen and twenty-three, of a middling stature, brown hair, of good Morals…” As family-arranged marriages fell out of fashion, “Husband Wanted” or “Seeking Wife” ads were soon to be found in every state in the nation.

From the woman in a Wisconsin newspaper who wanted “no brainless dandy or foppish fool” to the man with a glass eye who placed an ad in the New York Times hoping to meet a woman with a glass eye, the many hundreds of personal ads that author Francesca Beauman has uncovered offer an extraordinary glimpse into the history of our hearts’ desires, as well as a unique insight into American life as the frontier was settled and the cities grew. Personal ads played a surprisingly vital role in the West: couple by couple, shy smile by shy smile, letter by letter from a dusty, exhausted miner in California to a bored, frustrated seamstress in Ohio. Get ready for a new perspective on the making of modern America, a hundred words of typesetter’s blurry black ink at a time.

“So anxious are our settlers for wives that they never ask a single lady her age. All they require is teeth,” declared the Dubuque Iowa News in 1838 in a state where men outnumbered women three to one. While the dating pools of 21st century New York, Chicago or San Francisco might not be quite so dentally-fixated, Matrimony Inc. will put idly swiping right on Tinder into fascinating and vividly fresh historical context. What do women look for in a man? What do men look for in a woman? And how has this changed over the past 250 years?

Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or “Fake news” entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? A conventional wisdom has emerged since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 that new technologies and their manipulation by foreign actors played a decisive role in his victory and are responsible for the sense of a “post-truth” moment in which disinformation and propaganda thrives.

Network Propaganda challenges that received wisdom through the most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from the start of the election cycle in April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency. Analysing millions of news stories together with Twitter and Facebook shares, broadcast television and YouTube, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture of contemporary American political communications. Through data analysis and detailed qualitative case studies of coverage of immigration, Clinton scandals, and the Trump Russia investigation, the book finds that the right-wing media ecosystem operates fundamentally differently than the rest of the media environment.

The authors argue that longstanding institutional, political, and cultural patterns in American politics interacted with technological change since the 1970s to create a propaganda feedback loop in American conservative media. This dynamic has marginalized centre-right media and politicians, radicalized the right wing ecosystem, and rendered it susceptible to propaganda efforts, foreign and domestic. For readers outside the United States, the book offers a new perspective and methods for diagnosing the sources of, and potential solutions for, the perceived global crisis of democratic politics.

Cover for The Lives They Left Behind

When Willard State Hospital closed its doors in 1995, after operating as one of New York State’s largest mental institutions for over 120 years, a forgotten attic filled with suitcases belonging to former patients was discovered. Using the possessions found in these suitcases along with institutional records and doctors’ notes from patient sessions, Darby Penney, a leading advocate of patients’ rights, and Peter Stastny, a psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker, were able to reconstruct the lives of ten patients who resided at Willard during the first half of the twentieth century.

The Lives They Left Behind tells their story. In addition to these human portraits, the book contains over 100 photographs as well as valuable historical background on how this state-funded institution operated. As it restores the humanity of the individuals it so poignantly evokes, The Lives They Left Behind reveals the vast historical inadequacies of a psychiatric system that has yet to heal itself.

The author has produced a brief yet impactful work about the internet and efforts to control such expressions as hate speech and advocacy of terrorism. Kaye analyzes several examples of how online content producers are targeted for varied reasons, how platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have attempted to police forms of content on their servers, and how the culture of responsibility for Internet governance has shifted in the past last years. Kaye also covers fake news and the increased efforts by platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to root out these posts via automation–specifically AI. At the same time, Kaye brilliantly layers analysis of the politicization of content on platforms and the growth of efforts, mostly in Europe, to regulate these private, mostly American companies. All the while, Kaye makes sure readers are aware of the complexities and how free speech may be embattled if some of these regulations are put into effect at scale.

Photo of the book "Digital Culture"

From our bank accounts to supermarket checkouts to the movies we watch, strings of ones and zeroes suffuse our world. Digital technology has defined modern society in numerous ways, and the vibrant digital culture that has now resulted is the subject of Charlie Gere’s engaging volume.

In this revised and expanded second edition, taking account of new developments such as Facebook and the iPhone, Charlie Gere charts in detail the history of digital culture, as marked by responses to digital technology in art, music, design, film, literature and other areas. After tracing the historical development of digital culture, Gere argues that it is actually neither radically new nor technologically driven: digital culture has its roots in the eighteenth century and the digital mediascape we swim in today was originally inspired by informational needs arising from industrial capitalism, contemporary warfare and counter-cultural experimentation, among other social changes.

A timely and cutting-edge investigation of our contemporary social infrastructures, Digital Culture is essential reading for all those concerned about the ever-changing future of our Digital Age.

Janet Burroway’s bestselling Imaginative Writng: The Elements of Craft explores the craft of creative writing in four genres: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Creative Nonfiction. A trade author as well as a professor of creative writing, Burroway brings her years of teaching and writing to this book. “Try-This” exercises appear throughout each chapter. Provocative and fun, these exercises help writers develop the specific writing skills discussed within the text. “Working toward a draft” exercises encourage writers to develop their ideas into complete drafts. In response to reviewer requests, the preface “Invitation to the Writer” has been expanded into a full chapter. This new chapter introduces writers to important skills such as reading like a writer, journaling, and participating in the writer’s workshop. This book offers lots of ideas and encouragement at a great price!

Book cover for The Pirate Hunter

Everybody knows the legend of Captain Kidd, America’s most ruthless buccanneer. Few people realize that the facts of his life make for a much better tale. Kidd was actually a tough New York sea captain hired to chase pirates, a married war hero whose secret mission took a spectacularly bad turn. This harrowing tale traces Kidd’s voyages in the 1690s from his home near Wall Street to Whitehall Palace in London, from the ports of the Caribbean to a secret pirate paradise off Madagascar. Author Richard Zacks, during his research, also unearthed the story of a long forgotten rogue named Robert Culliford, who dogged Kidd and led Kidd’s crew to mutiny not once but twice. The lives of Kidd and Culliford play out like an unscripted duel: one man would hang in the harbor, the other would walk away with the treasure. Filled with superb writing and impeccable research, The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a ripping good yarn, and it delivers something rare: an authentic pirate story for grown-ups.

Cover for The Republic of Pirates

The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world. In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this “Flying Gang” established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.

Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic and surprising history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”―spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s―when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, ill-fated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Also brilliantly detailed are the pirates’ manifold enemies, including colonial governor John Winthrop, evangelist Cotton Mather, and young Benjamin Franklin. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Dolin provides this wholly original account of the seafaring outlaws whose raids reflect the precarious nature of American colonial life.

More than a decade after his death, alienated, awkward, heavily eye-lined Kurt Cobain continues to sit front and center in the arena of popular culture, as the subject of books, music, fashion, gossip, and inspiration for major motion pictures and documentaries. Together with flannelsporting, music-obsessed communities emerging (in the late 1980s and early 1990s) from the chilly Pacific Northwest, Nirvana, Sound Garden, and Pearl Jam changed the scene with wild aggressive sounds and truly alternative records.


Author Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth)—who introduced Kurt Cobain t David Geffen (Geffen Records), a meeting that resulted in Nirvana’s first major debut, Nevermind, in September 1991, which by December was selling 400,000 copies a week—writes about the discovery of Seattle punk youth, the seminal bands that defined the movement, the exploitation of the subculture, and the backlash of grunge, as well as the death of his longtime collaborator and intimate Cobain.

Cover for The Sex Lives of Cannibals

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the Earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish, and worst of all, no television or coffee. And that’s just the first day. Sunburned, emaciated, and stinging with sea lice, Troost spends the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options. He contends with a cast of bizarre local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who’s never written a poem in his life), and eventually settles into the ebb and flow of island life, just before his return to the culture shock of civilization. With the rollicking wit of Bill Bryson, the brilliant travel exposition of Paul Theroux, and a hipster edge that is entirely Troost’s own, The Sex Lives of Cannibals is the ultimate vicarious adventure. Readers may never long to set foot on Tarawa, but they’ll want to travel with Troost time and time again.