Beacon Press: The Stars in Our Pockets
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The Stars in Our Pockets

Getting Lost and Sometimes Found in the Digital Age

Author: Howard Axelrod

What shapes our sense of place, our sense of time, and our memory? How is technology changing the way we make sense of the world and of ourselves?

Our screens offer us connection, especially now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are certain depths of connection our screens can’t offer—to ourselves, to the natural world, and to each other. In this personal exploration of digital life’s impact on how we see the world, Howard Axelrod marshals science, philosophy, art criticism, pop culture, and his own experience of returning from two years of living in solitude in northern Vermont. The Stars in Our Pockets is a timely reminder of the world around us and the worlds within us—and how, as alienated as we may sometimes feel, they were made for each other.
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“Axelrod makes a compelling argument for drawing a new kind of map, one that helps us as we search and stumble between the borderlines of our digital and physical worlds . . . he meditates on the ways our screens are changing our relationship to time, space, and each other, while dipping into philosophy, astronomy, neuroscience, and poetry. Like his memoir, it’s an intimate book; he discusses big themes, big ideas, but the feel is as though you are leaning in close across a table in a dimly lit space.”
The Boston Globe

“Poetic, ruminative, and never preachy, this book is a game changer for readers who yearn to see beyond 240 characters.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“A provocative inquiry . . . Refreshingly, Axelrod doesn’t deliver a screed against cybertechnology but rather a series of philosophical meditations on the consequences of connecting ourselves digitally to the point where the realm of the screen is a world unto itself.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Axelrod provides powerful arguments against today’s all-encompassing digital world in this concise and insightful meditation.”
Publishers Weekly

“Timely, essential, generous and never bitter, The Stars in Our Pockets is not just a gentle exploration of the costs of living digitally; it is also a subtly prescriptive look at benefits of unplugging.”
Chicago Tribune

Praise for The Point of Vanishing

“What makes his book completely mesmerizing—besides his lovely prose, that is—is how exquisitely it balances between the poles of revelation and disintegration. At times, in the depths of winter, when Axelrod becomes preoccupied with observing the changing color of shadows on the snow, he seems on the verge of a transcendent understanding of how to exist entirely in the present.”
Slate Book Review

Mr. Axelrod is clearly a gifted writer . . . The best thing about Mr. Axelrod’s frequently absorbing book is how idiosyncratic it feels; he is a unique presence on the page.
New York Times Daily Review

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The Stars in Our Pockets

ISBN: 978-080703675-4
Publication Date: 1/14/2020
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $23.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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