Friday, January 31, 2014

New books from North Carolina authors

If you’re someone whose online security precautions consist of using the word “password” for your passwords, you might want to grab a copy of “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs To Know” (Oxford University Press; $16.95.)

The book, co-authored by Peter Singer, a Charlotte native who directs the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution, has won glowing reviews. Popular Science calls it an "impressively comprehensive guide to one of the least understood arenas of modern life.”

Though it’s concise, at 300 pages, the guide covers cyber issues both personal and global with easy-to-understand explanations and engaging stories. It explains, for instance, how a U.S. soldier stationed in the Middle East triggered one of the largest security breaches in U.S. history in 2008 when he used a USB flash drive he’d found in a parking lot.

The drive had been planted there by a foreign intelligence agency in a ploy known as a “candy drop.” Moral of that story: If you don’t know where the flash drive has been, don’t use it.
Singer and co-author Allen Friedman report, by the way, that the most frequently used password is “password.” And the second-most popular? “123456.”

Bryan Robinson, a therapist, retired UNC Charlotte professor and author of self-help books on issues such as stress and workaholism, is now also a novelist.

In his new mystery, “Limestone Gumption” (Gale/Five Star Publishers; $25.95), psychologist Brad Pope becomes a murder suspect when he returns to his hometown to confront his long-lost father. Robinson will read and sign copies at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road.

Asheville’s Marie Bartlett has written “Pearl, MD” (Taylor and Seale; $14.95.) Set in the late 1800s, this historical novel follows a young woman physician who moves to Asheville to make a fresh start following a tragic medical mistake.

Charlotte attorney Scott Syfert is author of “The First American Declaration of Independence? The Disputed History of the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775” (McFarland; $35.)

As Syfert explains in his preface, the story of whether the people of Mecklenburg County wrote the first declaration of independence in the American colonies “continues to arouse strong passions.” While many historians dismiss the document as a myth or hoax, Syfert offers the comprehensive story.