December 28, 2012
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 28, 2012 The Think Club Publication has chosen "Left To Tell' by Immaculée Ilibagiza for its 2012 Book of the Year award. Think Club Publication, presents this award to lesser known writers in helping and encouraging them in their endeavor.
Think Club Publication is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking. The Think Club chose Left To Tell as the Book of the Year because the author teaches us how to transcend fear and physical suffering into profound inner peace, grace and forgiveness despite her ordeals.
Her story has the backdrop of the civil war between Hutus and Tutsi tribes in the African country of Rwanda where one million Tutsis were massacred by the Hutus over a 100-day period in 1994. Immaculée shares her miraculous story of how she survived during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 when she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house for 91 days.
At the end of the book Ilibagiza says "the love of a single heart can make a world of difference," and we are extremely fortunate to have Iligabiza as a role model for dealing with fearful and seemingly desperate conditions. Thus we present the Book of the Year award for 2012 to Immaculée Ilibagiza for her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal that uplifts and inspires all of us.
December 8, 2011
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2011
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 8, 2011 The Think Club Publication has chosen 'Poorvabhas' (http://www.poorvabhas.in/) for its 2011 Book of the Year award. Think Club Publication, from now on, will give this award to struggling and lesser known writers in helping and encouraging them in their endeavor. Think Club Publication may also choose writers from languages other than English. This year we chose the Hindi language. The Think Club chose 'Poorvabhas' for the award because of its effort in promoting fledgling Hindi writers through its web publication. 'Poorvabhas' has very effectively provided such a platform to amateur writers in an effort to strengthen Hindi language. Think Club Publications realizes the value of this effort and thus presents the Book of the Year award for 2011 to 'Poorvabhas.' We especially congratulate Mr. Abnish Singh Chauhan for creating such an effective platform for Hindi writers and poets.
December 28, 2010
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2010
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 28, 2010 The Think Club Publication has chosen Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach, published by W.W. Norton & Co. as the Book of the Year for 2010. Think Club Publication is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking. The Think Club chose Packing for Mars as the Book of the Year because the author provides us the facts to think independently whether "Is Mars possible" and "Is Mars Worth it?" She also gives us enough ammunition to decide whether we should be spending $500 billion on human Mars mission or rely on cheap, reliable, robotic missions. Roach starts with the premises that the human body is inadequately designed for a long space travel. Roach emphasizes this by listing the details about disposing of human waste, controlling body odor without washing, radiation from cosmic rays, falling sick in space and bone loss. Besides the physical problems, Roach also elaborates on emotion and sex. After all human beings will be traveling for a year (includes time on Mars) through darkness of space cooped up with other mates who may be getting on each others' nerves. Mary Roach describes how it is possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth. But most of all, Roach explains why a mission to Mars is important for human spirit without hiding the difficulties to get there. This is as important to human endeavor and progress today as the hot air balloon expedition by Mongolfier Brothers was in 1780. Thus we present the Book of the Year award for 2010 to Mary Roach for reminding us that how spending on space program will give birth to new innovations. Roach has aptly quoted Benjamin Franklin to answer the skeptics, "What use is a newborn baby?"
December 28, 2009
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2009
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 28, 2009 The Think Club Publication has chosen Here Comes Everybody: the Power of Organizing without Organizations by Clay Shirky, published by Penguin for the Book of the Year Award for 2009. Think Club Publication is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking. The Think Club chose Here Comes Everybody for this award because the author explains how common people can and is making changes in society by exerting freedom of speech by using new technologies of social networking. The author illustrates how a common man can really impact the social norms and can make his or her voice heard without depending on traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television. Shirky illustrates how blogging has enabled the common man to publish his or her own viewpoints without depending on a traditional press outlet. The change isn't a shift from one kind of news institution to another, but rather in the definition of news. News is no longer an institutional prerogative. It's part of a communications ecosystem, occupied by a mix of formal and informal organizations and individuals. This extraordinary book examines the ways that new communications technologies enable groups of likeminded people to form more easily than ever before, regardless of geography. As the invention of the birth control pill and the transistor have led to fundamental changes in society, so too has the invention of social media and the Web 2.0. Online social networks have enabled productive, collaborative groups to have their voices heard more effectively than at any other time in history. Shirky makes sense of the way that groups are using the Internet. In a treatise that spans all manner of social activity from vigilantism to activism, from Flickr to Howard Dean, from blogs to newspapers, Shirky clearly explains how every institution is prone to being recast by the net, and how to manage that change for the best possible outcome. He picks perfect anecdotes to vividly illustrate his points, then shows the larger truth behind them. Shirky explains to the readers why the Internet communication like Twittering matters. Thus, we present the Book of the Year award for 2009 to Clay Shirky for reminding us about how the vitality and influence of groups of human beings can impact businesses, society and our lives by using net- enabled social tools.
December 28, 2008
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2008
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 28, 2008 The Think Club Publications has chosen The Trillion Dollar Meltdown - Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash by Charles R. Morris, published by Public Affairs, New York for the Book of the Year Award for 2008. Think Club Publication is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking. The Think Club chose The Trillion Dollar Meltdown for this award because the author explains why our economy is melting down in a layman's term for those who are not in the financial services industry. Moreover, the author's predictions were made before we were hit by the present financial storm. Mr. Morris used his independent thinking to predict that it was time once again for the pendulum to swing in the direction of more socially conscious government intervention. Charles Morris believes the era of market fundamentalism has come to an end, just as Keynesian interventionism came to an end in the 1970s. He estimates conservatively that the recent defaults of residential mortgages, corporate debt, credit card debt, and bonds will be about $1 trillion. But this book was written before even more recent revelations such as the Bear Sterns insolvency. It is now estimated that the bill could be 3 or 4 times as high. Morris gives a brief but excellent history of events that led up to the current credit crunch that is paralyzing global financial markets. Disasters have many fathers, but Morris lays much of the blame on bond rating agencies, financial insurance companies and the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan. After 9/11 the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rates below the rate of inflation, essentially giving banks free money. Banks then lent money for fees up front and then repackaged the loans - turned them into securitized debt - and sold them to investors. It was basically cost free and risk free, so they lent money as if there was no tomorrow. These securitized debts or CDOs (collateral debt obligations) were sold and resold throughout the global financial system and no longer did anyone know how to measure their value or their risk. Add to this the fact that homeowners were using the rising equity of their homes as ATMs and pumping another $4 trillion into the economy. Also add to the mix $700 billion annual trade deficit that indicates that much more consumption over production. The party was really in full swing. Morris is not a liberal ideologue but a former banker who comes to his conclusions based on objectivity, knowledge, and lucid thought. The integrity of his independent thinking shines through every page. Thus, we present the Book of the Year award for 2008 to Charles R. Morris for bringing the message to regular folks in an honest and understandable way instead of hiding behind a curtain of mathematical complexity.
December 28, 2007
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2007
Bloomfield Hills, MI, December 28, 2007 The Think Club Publications has chosen How Starbucks Saved My Life – A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else by Michael Gates Gill, published by Gotham Books for the Book of the Year Award for 2007. The Think Club Publications is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club chose How Starbucks Saved My Life for this award because the author, an Ivy League graduate discovers that no profession is menial and professes respect towards people of all ages and races. Gill preaches what he really practiced, the lessons of life he learned in his sixties from a young black woman in her twenties. Gill actually stepped down from his Yale and top-ad-exec background, to don a Starbucks apron, serving coffee and cleaning sinks and toilets.
This is a real-life story of the author himself about how he found Starbucks, or rather it found him. One desolate day, Gill filled out an application and was hired to work in a Manhattan store. He shamefacedly donned a green barista’s apron and entered a world in which he was a minority: His colleagues were African-American and decades younger, and he was the least skilled person in the room. Gill becomes adept at his new job; along the way, he muses on his breathtakingly biased former self: Race, social class, age—you name it, he condescended about it from his former “position at the top of American society” as a “member of the Ruling Class.”
By memoir’s end, the reader will have learned much about life as a barista, from company policy to coffee tasting. Gill compares his plight to that of baby boomers nationwide, and reflects on his new perspective. This barista’s story ends on an up-note, though; he transfers to a Starbucks near his apartment in a suburb, and has a movie in development with Tom Hanks as the lead. It does seem as if his Starbucks job gave Gill new hope; it will be interesting to see if he remains a barista, and whether he retains the lessons he learned as a Starbucks employee.
In short the story follows the life changing experiences that takes the author from being a Creative Director at J Walter Thompson to unemployment and despair. The book follows the twists and turns that lead Mr. Gill to become a barista in a New York Starbucks rediscovering self-respect and happiness in his new life. Thus, we present the Book of the Year award for 2007 to Michael Gates Gill for bringing the message that no work is menial and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of age and race.
December 28, 2006
The Think Club Publications Announces Book of the Year Award for 2006
Rochester Hills, MI, December 28, 2006 The Think Club Publications has chosen The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan, edited by Ann Druyan and published by Penguin Press for the Book of the Year Award for 2006. The Think Club Publications is a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club chose The Varieties of Scientific Experience for this award because of the author’s efforts in bringing a balance between science and religion in today’s cynical environment. As a scientist, Sagan's most important contribution wasn't any specific theories or discoveries, but rather his ability to popularize science and make it accessible to the layperson. Once again, in this book, he succeeds in doing this. In the faith-and-reason conflict, Sagan was very much on the side of reason, although he allowed room for faith.
This is, essentially, a book on the existence of God, encompassing a collection of lectures Carl Sagan gave quite sometime ago and then edited by his wife, Ann Druyan. It combines the reason and logic of some of the best arguments against strict religious dogmas with the wit of Carl Sagan.
Sagan approaches religion from his background as a scientist. He takes complex scientific ideas and explains them learnedly and eloquently. He covers matters such as the origin of the universe and of the planets, the age of the universe, geological time, the origin of life, the likelihood of finding life on other planets in other galaxies, UFO's, and much else. Therefore, we present the Book of the Year award for 2006 to Ann Druyan and her late husband Carl Sagan for their courage in bringing equilibrium between science and religion, especially in today’s religious climate.
2005 Book of the Year
Cindy La Ferle's poignant collection of essays reveals the extraordinary in the ordinary
Bloomfield Hills, MI—The Think Club, a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings, chooses Writing Home, written by Cindy La Ferle for the Book of the Year award (first published by Hearth Stone Books, in 2005). This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club chose Cindy La Ferle for its 2005 award because of her belief in common sense and self-knowledge. Her memoirs and stories in the collection, Writing Home emphasizes the fact that each of us is a unit of the society we live in and of the world at large. She states this fact at the outset in the preface of the book, “Baking bread in my kitchen while U.S. military forces bombed Baghdad, I renewed my commitment to being a peacemaker in my own community.” Her views are her own and they never seem to be dictated by outside influences. Her realizations come from her own convictions. She ponders her son’s thorny struggle for independence, and what it means to be a wife, mother, and homemaker in a culture that often marginalizes traditional feminine roles. She seeks answers to those questions from within – without anyone doing the thinking for her.
Her revelations can be the key to happiness in today’s rat race where we look up to so called role-models for answers. She rebukes us by telling, “Even today, few men or women will admit they enjoy doing anything remotely domestic, unless it makes them as rich and famous as Martha Stewart.” She challenges us to be proud for what we are. While growing up, she never considered Barbie (38-18-34) as a threat to her self-esteem. At the same time she admired Barbie for being exactly what she was – a gal with options who never took herself too seriously.
Our society seems to make a big deal of teenagers’ tantrums. Cindy also takes that in stride. She reassures us that our teenagers don’t come from different planets. She understands that the teenagers feel trapped between the growing need for independence and the secret wish to cling to childhood – an agonizing conflict. That’s why the teenagers will hug their parents in the kitchen when nobody is looking. Her answer to this dilemma is the much needed virtue called patience. Writing Home reads like a panacea to all our social problems. We all seem to be stressed about entertaining people at our home. Cindy comes to the rescue again with her self-knowledge and common sense, “The quickest way back to sanity is to remind ourselves that most people are easily pleased with home cooking and real conversation.”
One of the special qualities of this book is that she has written every piece to find out what she thinks and to know where she stands. Writing Home is full of lessons on how to lead our lives. It teaches us to realize that everyone doesn’t need to like us in order for us to be acceptable. The truth is, people who care about us really do want to help – if only we’d drop the mask of total self-sufficiency and admit that we’re not all-powerful all the time. Rejection and its evil twin, criticism, are part and parcel of the working life. We should not care much for either of them.
Ultimately, Cindy likes to believe that our little lives have meaning. She sums it up very poignantly and meaningfully, “But the longer I live, the only thing I know for certain is this: Everything I hold sacred is hidden right here in plain sight.” Cindy presents us the challenge to be our best as people and wants us to “enjoy the happiness of the world we live and love.” Therefore, we present the Book of the Year award for 2005 to Cindy La Ferle (Writing Home) for her efforts in simplifying life for all of us based on her independent thinking.
The Think Club chooses
I Am Charlotte Simmons
By Tom Wolfe
As the book of the year for 2004
December 15, 2004
Bloomfield Hills, MI — The Think Club, a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings, chooses I Am Charlotte Simmons, a penetrating and entertaining novel written by America’s brilliant story teller, Tom Wolfe (first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2004) for the Book of the Year award. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club chose Tom Wolfe’s novel for its 2004 award because of his underlying message to parents – to know and understand what goes on in the lives of their innocent children in big schools and question those practices. The undergraduate schools are the breeding grounds for life’s immoralities where the kids are provided a country club atmosphere to indulge in promiscuous sex, drugs, alcohol, vulgarities and parental disrespect in the name of individuality and liberalism.
Wolfe creates a world of characters that are brought vividly to life, with conflicts and problems that are so painfully true. Dupont University, with its Olympian halls houses the cream of America’s youth. There comes brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that the pleasure of the body takes absolute precedence over the life of the mind. At Dupont, students sleep around with indiscriminate zeal. Boys and girls are forced to share the same bathrooms in the name of gender equality. The university administration is utterly indifferent to anything except the dogmas of political correctness.
We then race through plots involving students’ candy-colored interactions with each other and inside their own heads. Charlotte is a prodigy from a conservative Southern family; Jojo is a white basketball player struggling with race, academic guilt and job security; Adam, a student reporter cowed by alpha males. Through these characters, Wolfe has woven a virtual recitation of facts, albeit colorful ones – athletes getting a free pass boasting casual sex and machismo-fueled violence. The novel seems intent on shocking, but little here will surprise even those well past their term-paper years. Wolfe’s descriptions are shockingly brilliant such as, a basketball game seen from inside a player’s head.
With his eye for detail, Tom Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the 2000s. Wolfe spent years researching the lives and customs of similar characters at major U.S. universities before creating his own fictional characters. I Am Charlotte Simmons is a triumph of America’s master chronicler who has authored such narratives as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full.
Wolfe has brought the culture of today’s university scene to us as a waking call. It’s amazing to notice how close to the truth Wolfe gets. The conflicts and problems dealt in the book are so painfully universal that the book will surely scare an awful lot of parents who have, so far, chosen to remain dormant. And so it is with great pleasure that we present the Book of the Year award for 2004 to Tom Wolfe for creatively urging us to make the administrators of the big educational institutions to concentrate on education and set codes of conduct according to the wishes of the parents who pay about $120,000 for tuition alone.
Think book of the Year
The Think Club chooses
The World According to Mr. Rogers
By Fred Rogers
As the book of the year for 2003
December 15, 2003
Bloomfield Hills, MI — The Think Club, a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings, chooses The World According to Dr. Rogers, a collection of thoughts and ideas written and spoken by the late Fred Rogers (first published by Hyperian in 2003) for the Book of the Year award. This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club choses Fred Rogers’ book for its 2003 award because of his emphasis on sharing what came naturally to him – his belief in basic human nature and his reassurance about its goodness to all of us based on his own original thinking and especially his observation about the scary realities of life, particularly since September 11th. He writes, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me. ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world.”
In this age of mistrust and terrorism, his message is very timely and comforting. His emphasis on honesty, cooperation, compassion and that people will like you the way you are is remarkable and exceptional.
In a world that, at times, seems to be full of gray areas, Fred Rogers writes, “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outside of life that ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is firm.”
This small volume collects many of his writings – from the songs he wrote for the show to his acceptance speech at the Television Hall of Fame – organized around themes like “The Courage to Be Yourself” and “We Are All Neighbors.” The format is occasionally tantalizing and brilliant. His most touching comment came when he said, “I’m proud of you not for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you had ever done.”
Ultimately, one of the beauties of this book is the marvelous human spirit behind it. Rogers taught valuable lessons about keeping one’s promises, finding strength through helping others and not being afraid to cry. Fred Rogers challenge us to be our best as people and as thinkers. And so it is with great pleasure that we present the Book of the Year award for 2003 to the late Fred Rogers for teaching us to think independently at a time when we all seem to be unsure about human nature
The Think Club chooses
The Universe in A Nutshell
By Stephen Hawking
Bloomfield Hills, MI—The Think Club, a forum to encourage independent thinking among fellow human beings, chose The Universe in A Nutshell, authored by Stephen Hawking for the Book of the Year award (first published by Bantam Books, in 2001). This annual award is given to the author whose idea or ideas can contribute to the resolution of contemporary human problems based on his or her original and independent thinking.
The Think Club chose Stephen Hawking for its 2002 award because of his emphasis on how knowledge expansion can carry us forward faster to solutions than our geometric physical expansion. The future may well include major changes in the physical qualities of what a human is, a better connection between our brains and our electronic extensions, and the need to solve a delicate problem of where we should design for speed . . . and where for handling more complexity.
Professor Hawking has combined many perspectives to show how Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity have been updated to explain the big bang, black holes, and an expanding universe; superstring theory; p-branes; how many dimensions the universe has; whether the future can be predicted in a deterministic way; whether time travel is possible; how science will transform our biological and thinking futures in the context of Star Trek technology; and M-theory to consider whether “we live on a brane or are we just holograms?”
Those who wonder what science has to say about religious ideas will find this book valuable, for Professor Hawking is unafraid to address questions about whether there can be a beginning to the universe in a scientific sense. What could or could not have preceded the big bang?
One of the lessons of this book is that much of what we think of as “fact” is merely a convenient approximation of a more complex circumstance. Newton’s thinking about gravity is a good example. Where in your life do you need to know with as much precision as possible, and where will approximations work just fine? Making that choice well can be the most important talent one can develop.
Ultimately, one of the beauties of this book is the marvelous human spirit behind it. Professor Hawking presents us the challenge to be our best as people and as thinkers, therefore, we present the Book of the Year award for 2002 to Stephen Hawking for maintaining his independent thinking while, at the same time, trying to understand for himself and explain to his readers the complexities of science.
The Think Club chooses
|Book of The Year
PO Box 451
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0451, USA
Dr. Bala Prasad is a founder member, partner and publisher of TheThinkClub. Dr. Prasad is a retired orthopedic surgeon. He is an avid reader and believes in free exchange of thoughts. He is involved in various social organization where he donates his time and money for the needy.
Anil Shrivastava (pen name Musafir) is a founder member, partner and managing editor of TheThinkClub. Anil is a great proponent of independent thinking among fellow human beings which also means being nonpartisan and unbiased. Anil is a retired engineer with great accomplishments but writing is his first love.
Dr. Niru Prasad is an editor-at-large at TheThinkClub. She writes a regular column titled, Lifestyle. She is a physician for over 30 years. Dr. Prasad is a fellow member of the American College of Emergency Physician and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Prasad has written numerous articles on many different health issues for local newsletters and newspaper. She has written articles about Adult Emergency and Pediatric Medicine.
David Beagan is a consulting editor of TheThinkClub. David works in the Information Technology field. He has been associated with TheThinkClub from its inception in 2015. David also writes regular columns for TheThinkClub.