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Jan 29 2012 - 4:38pm

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* It is difficult to disconnect in today's world with smartphones, tablets, e-readers and laptops demanding our attention. William Powers, author of the New York Times bestseller "Hamlet's Blackberry," will offer the audience advice on how to balance their digital lives during a presentation this week at Weber State University.

Powers will explain how to make better and smarter uses of the latest technologies by changing how to think about them in "A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age."

Powers graduated from Harvard University with a degree in U.S. history and literature. His book has been selected for common reading at universities and colleges across the country. His presentation is offered in conjunction with a WSU course taught by associate English professor Scott Rogers, manager for program and technology development Luke Fernandez and history professor Susan Matt. The course includes a section titled "Are Machines Making Us Stupid?"

Powers' presentation begins at noon Thursday in the Shepherd Union Ballroom, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. The event is free to the public.

* Pleasant View author "Scott Joseph Penrod" will sign and discuss copies of his novel "In The Heart Of The Young" (Tate Publishing, $14.99) 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 340 E. 525 North, Harrisville. This is a free event.

* Utah author Shannon Hale signs her new novel, "Midnight in Austenland" (Bloomsbury, $22), 2-4 p.m. Saturday at The King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City. This is a free event.

* The Brigham City Library's "Rule of Law" reading and discussion series continues at 7 p.m. Thursday with "John Marshall: Definer of a Nation" by Jean Edward Smith. The discussion will be led by WSU history professor Kathryn MacKay.

Marshall is one of the most famous Supreme Court chief justices and his life and work continues to fascinate legal scholars, political scientists and biographers.

The discussion is free to the public at the library, 26 E. Forest St., Brigham City.

* Lehi author Steven R. Burke signs his novel "The Fallen Guardian" (Kindle, $17.99), 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble, South Towne Market Place, 10180 S. State St., Sandy. This is a free event.

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