Caught in the Web
Three new books look at some of the stranger sides of our absorption with the Internet.
Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online (Signal) by Paula Todd is an investigative journalist's look at the motives and methods behind such scourges as revenge-porn sites, cyberstalking, virtual bullying and more.
Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time (Ballantine) by Rachel Bertsche is an entertaining memoir about a woman's attempt to model her life on those of stars — enabled, of course, by Internet access.
Virtual Unreality: Just Because the Internet Told You, How Do You Know It's True? (Viking) by Charles Seife is a science reporter's account of how to tell fact from fiction in a world of digital media, as well as how to avoid being a victim of scammers, corporate manipulation, government spying and biased reporting.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor