Here I go out on a limb – hopefully one big enough and strong enough that it holds up.
I just got this book yesterday and have only spent a few minutes with it, but it sure looks cool. I can assess a picture book like a DK book pretty quickly, but this one is mainly words alone so I would prefer to take more time with it, although it has some wonderful images of what a social network looks like,
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Professors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler (2009, Little-Brown) goes beyond the trendy buzzwords of social networking and looks at why so many people die soon after their spouses die, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and how the fact your friends know your friends affects YOU.
These profs are scholars of health, medicine, sociology, and political science, so this is not just another “hot business idea of the hour” volume. They delve into voter turnout, innovation, financial scams, eating disorders, and altruism, and how they are caused by or affected by our social relationships.
I will let you check the book out at your local bookstore or online bookseller before taking the purchase plunge, but it looks like a winner to me based on “early returns.”
(For a scientific look at the structure of human networks, check out this prior post: http://hooversworld.com/archives/2795.)