The Best Sociology eBooks




Sweet as Sin
by Inez Kelley
Sweet as Sin
Format: PDF
Size: 5.1 MB
Pages: 288

She was made for sin. Sin was something he knew intimately.

John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people — and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy — a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands — he's driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.

Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won't lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she's as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?

 



Screaming in the Silence
by Lydia Kelly
Screaming in the Silence
Format: PDF
Size: 5.7 MB
Pages: 320

Running away from a complicated life, Raleigh finds herself plunged into a nightmare. While hitchhiking across the country, she and her companion are struck by a car. Her friend is killed but Raleigh survives and her life is thrown into the hands of the three men involved in the accident. Bruised and in shock, Raleigh is locked in the basement of their remote country house, unsure of her fate. Kaden, one of her captors, is handsome and at times protective, and he convinces his friends to spare Raleigh’s life to ransom her. But the safety he provides is only from his friends, and Raleigh must face his sinister intentions. Agreeing to become his lover in return for continued protection, she begins to see a tender and caring side of Kaden despite their short but violent history. As the ransom payment begins to unravel and Raleigh's life hangs in the balance, she wonders how much she can trust Kaden. Are the feelings she has developed for him genuine or a result of her situation? Does he truly care for her, as he claims, or does he just see her as a ransom payment?

 



The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do
by Eduardo Porter
The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do
Format: PDF
Size: 5.4 MB
Pages: 304

Everything has a price, but it isn't always obvious what that price is.

Many of the prices we pay seem to make little sense. We shell out $2. 29 for a coffee at Starbucks when a nearly identical brew can be had at the corner deli for less than a dollar. We may be less willing to give blood for $25 than to donate it for free. Americans hire cheap illegal immigrants to fix the roof or mow the lawn, and vote for politicians who promise to spend billions to keep them out of the country. And citizens of the industrialized West pay hundreds of dollars a year in taxes or cash for someone to cart away trash that would be a valuable commodity in poorer parts of the world.

The Price of Everything starts with a simple premise: there is a price behind each choice that we make, whether we're deciding to have a baby, drive a car, or buy a book. We often fail to appreciate just how critical prices are as a motivating force shaping our lives. But their power becomes clear when distorted prices steer our decisions the wrong way.

Eduardo Porter uncovers the true story behind the prices we pay and reveals what those prices are actually telling us. He takes us on a global economic adventure, from comparing the relative price of a vote in corrupt São Tomé and in the ostensibly uncorrupt United States, to assessing the cost of happiness in Bhutan, to deducing the dollar value we assign to human life. His unique approach helps explain: * Why polygamous societies actually place a higher value on women than monogamous ones. * Why someone may find more value in a $14 million license plate than the standard issue, $95 one. * Why some government agencies believe one year of life for a senior citizen is four times more valuable than that of a younger person.

Porter weaves together the constant-and often unconscious-cost and value assessments we all make every day. While exploring the fascinating story behind the price of everything from marriage and death to mattresses and horsemeat, Porter draws unexpected connections that bridge a wide range of disciplines and cultures. The result is a cogent and insightful narrative about how the world really works.

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The Christmas Throwaway
by R.J. Scott
The Christmas Throwaway
Format: PDF
Size: 1.3 MB
Pages: 73

Christmas is a time for giving — what do you do when no one gives a damn?

For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go.

Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.

Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?

* * * * *

First published December 2010

 



Bitter Melon
by Cara Chow
Bitter Melon
Format: PDF
Size: 5.5 MB
Pages: 309

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants? It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s.

 



The Mockingbirds
by Daisy Whitney
The Mockingbirds
Format: PDF
Size: 6 MB
Pages: 339

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

From the glossy pages of its admissions brochure, the prestigious Themis Academy appears perfect in every way: exceptional academics, extraordinary students, the kind of extracurriculars to make an Ivy League proud, and zero instances of student misbehavior. But this boarding school isn't as pristine as it appears. There's a dark underbelly to the perfect record the Themis administration flaunts. Student infractions are rampant, and it's up to a secret vigilante society, the Mockingbirds, to maintain order on campus-a responsibility their members take very seriously.
Alex Patrick never thought she would need the Mockingbirds. But when she's date-raped by another student, she doesn't know where else to go. As much as she'd like to forget what happened, she can't escape the daily reminders of what went wrong that terrible night. Before she can summon the courage to take a stand, she'll have to accept that her battle for justice is not hers alone. Standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.

 



The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
by Robert Wright
The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
Format: PDF
Size: 8.9 MB
Pages: 496

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics-as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations.

 



Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
by Matt Taibbi
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
Format: PDF
Size: 4.5 MB
Pages: 253

The dramatic story behind the most audacious power grab in American history
The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class — made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding — has been growing in power for a generation, transferring wealth upward through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and political maneuvers. The crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they’ve hijacked America’s political and economic life.

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi here unravels the whole fiendish story, digging beyond the headlines to get into the deeper roots and wider implications of the rise of the grifters. He traces the movement’s origins to the cult of Ayn Rand and her most influential — and possibly weirdest — acolyte, Alan Greenspan, and offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals that decided the winners and losers in the government bailouts. He uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world, and he shows how finance dominates politics, from the story of investment bankers auctioning off America’s infrastructure to an inside account of the high-stakes battle for health-care reform — a battle the true reformers lost. Finally, he tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”

Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing, and scathingly funny account yet written of the ongoing political and financial crisis in America. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of politics and finance in this country, and the profound consequences for us all.

 



Inside Out
by Lauren Dane
Inside Out
Format: PDF
Size: 5.4 MB
Pages: 306

WORTH THE WAIT

Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that nearly left her dead, she has spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she's needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard-won lessons. There hasn't been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it doesn't mean she has to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn't quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidely skittish Ella developed. He's known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she's been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to Ella is different from any attraction he's had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Cope does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella's sure Cope is just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly, and he reignites something deep inside her. It isn't long before desire and love turn them both inside out.

 



At Home: A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Format: PDF
Size: 8.9 MB
Pages: 497

“Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.

 



Please Ignore Vera Dietz
by A.S. King
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Format: PDF
Size: 5.8 MB
Pages: 326

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone — the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

 



The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
by Sam Harris
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
Format: PDF
Size: 5.2 MB
Pages: 291

Sam Harris' first book, The End of Faith, ignited a worldwide debate about the validity of religion. In the aftermath, Harris discovered that most people — from religious fundamentalists to non-believing scientists — agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, our failure to address questions of meaning and morality through science has now become the most common justification for religious faith. It is also the primary reason why so many secularists and religious moderates feel obligated to "respect" the hardened superstitions of their more devout neighbors.

In this explosive new book, Sam Harris tears down the wall between scientific facts and human values, arguing that most people are simply mistaken about the relationship between morality and the rest of human knowledge. Harris urges us to think about morality in terms of human and animal well-being, viewing the experiences of conscious creatures as peaks and valleys on a "moral landscape." Because there are definite facts to be known about where we fall on this landscape, Harris foresees a time when science will no longer limit itself to merely describing what people do in the name of "morality"; in principle, science should be able to tell us what we ought to do to live the best lives possible.

Bringing a fresh perspective to age-old questions of right and wrong and good and evil, Harris demonstrates that we already know enough about the human brain and its relationship to events in the world to say that there are right and wrong answers to the most pressing questions of human life. Because such answers exist, moral relativism is simply false — and comes at increasing cost to humanity. And the intrusions of religion into the sphere of human values can be finally repelled: for just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, there can be no Christian or Muslim morality.

Using his expertise in philosophy and neuroscience, along with his experience on the front lines of our "culture wars, " Harris delivers a game-changing book about the future of science and about the real basis of human cooperation.

 



The Good Sister
by Drusilla Campbell
The Good Sister
Format: PDF
Size: 5.8 MB
Pages: 324

Roxanne Callahan has always been her younger sister's caretaker. Now married, her happiness is threatened when beautiful and emotionally unstable Simone, suffering from crippling postpartum depression, commits an unforgivable crime for which Roxanne comes to believe she is partially responsible.
In the glare of national media attention brought on her sister, Roxanne fights to hold her marriage together as she is drawn back into the pain of her troubled past and relives the fraught relationship she and Simone shared with their narcissistic mother. At the same time, only she can help Simone's nine year old daughter, Merell, make sense of the family's tragedy.
Cathartic, lyrical, and unflinchingly honest, The Good Sister is a novel of four generations of women struggling to overcome a legacy of violence, lies and secrecy, ultimately finding strength and courage in their love for each other.

 



The Serpent and the Rainbow
by Wade Davis
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Format: PDF
Size: 5.4 MB
Pages: 304

A scientific investigation and personal adventure story about zombis and the voudoun culture of Haiti by a Harvard scientist.

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis — people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti — from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti’s countryside.

The Serpent and the Rainbow combines anthropological investigation with a remarkable personal adventure to illuminate and finally explain a phenomenon that has long fascinated Americans.

 



Fallout
by Ellen Hopkins
Fallout
Format: PDF
Size: 11.9 MB
Pages: 665

The riveting final chapter of the Crank trilogy, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer-three of Kristina Snow's five children-live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.

As each teen searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together-Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family's story, Fallout is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by Crank and Glass, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person's problem.

 



The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
by Jim Gorant
The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
Format: PDF
Size: 5 MB
Pages: 279

An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant's Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

Includes an 8-page photo insert.

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Manchild in the Promised Land
by Claude Brown
Manchild in the Promised Land
Format: PDF
Size: 7.4 MB
Pages: 416

Manchild in the Promised Land is indeed one of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time. This thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown's childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s. When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem — the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor. The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown's time, but also because the book is affirmative and inspiring. Here is the story about the one who "made it, " the boy who kept landing on his feet and became a man.

 



Hush
by Eishes Chayil, Judy Brown
Hush
Format: PDF
Size: 6.1 MB
Pages: 340

Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail-and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.

A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.

 



Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future
by Robert B. Reich
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future
Format: PDF
Size: 3.1 MB
Pages: 174

A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis — and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath — by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.

When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.

Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the top — indeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nation’s income — was in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts.

Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated.

Reich’s assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America’s economy and rebuilding our society.

 






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