I told myself I wasn't going to buy books while I was in Texas. I was wrong: I only bought two and was given one. :) I'm glad I broke my promise to myself: I read the entirety of The Argument Culture by Deborah Tannen while still on vacation. It really speaks a lot to how I feel about US politics right now, as well as how we as people relate to each other; my job (I have this expression about my workplace culture -- "culture of complaint" -- and she has a very similar expression: "culture of critique"); how crappy the news is these days; and a lot of other stuff. I loaned my copy out the same day I got back. I'm tempted to buy copies to send to my friends, but I don't think I'd know where to stop. But do read it if you have the chance.
One of the book's themes is how the media plays up conflict to attract people to the media's products. Despite Dr. Tannen's opinion about the dangers of such manipulation, the publisher plays up the idea of conflict, at the expense of Tannen's message about overall danger Look at the difference between the covers of the previous hardcover and current trade paperback editions of the book, and see if you see what I do.