Lately I have been trying to find new ways for finding books that aren't mainstream or related to "how to do... design" books, and I think I may have found my answer. Typically, I've use Amazon's "Friends that like this book may also like this book..." but it's great for books about technology (i.e. you're friend might recommend a book about that type of technology you're looking for). I read in Utne that people tend to search for new books by attending readings at indie book stores, but how to get onto a mailing list of that sort is always skeptical. I found a solution, which is attending some events to NYPL LIVE. I've been to three so far, and they've always been excellent. The first event I attended presented Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig, which featured Anderson's book The Long Tail: Future. Last year, I attended "Part 1: Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell did and didn't know" which featured George Soros and Orville Schell. In both cases, I knew at least one of the speakers (Lessig and Soros), which drew me in. Yesterday, I signed up to attend event based on the title of the program, Against The Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob(which is the title of the book being promoted) and really didn't know what to expect. The speakers were Lee Siegel (the author of the book and former journalist), Nicholson Baker (author of various books about libraries), and Heidi Julavits (editor of Believer magazine). All three had great points on the differences between bloggers and journalists, user-created/user-generated media, echo effect and internet culture. I wondered where Mr. Baker was when I was doing my thesis last year. Mr. Siegel also mentioned futurists Stephen Johnson (seen him speak in Red Burn's class) and Malcolm Gladwell (author of Tipping Point and Blink). I ended up picking two books from this talk.
The next event I bought tickets for is in June, where Salman Rushdie is going to promote his new book The Enchantress of Florence. NYPL LIVE sells tickets first-come-first-serve basis, so I was able to get a ticket today.