Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

The Book of Jobs

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Fortune magazine reports that the title of Walter Isaacson’s forthcoming bio of Steve Jobs has been changed, causing the book to zoom up Amazon’s sales rankings to #51 (from #16,712). It is scheduled for release next Spring, March 6, 2012.

According to Fortune, Isaacson’s wife and daughter lobbied to change it from the “too cutsey” title chosen by publisher S&S, iSteve: The Book of Jobs to the prosaic, Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs: A Biography
Walter Isaacson
Retail Price: $30.00
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-03-06)
ISBN / EAN: 1451648537 / 9781451648539

New Title Radar, Week of 4/17

Friday, April 15th, 2011

The week leading in to the Easter holiday weekend is dominated by repeat authors, including a new David Baldacci.

GalleyChat RA Pick

The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (Random House) is the author’s fifth novel. About a long-lost Shakespeare play, PW gives it a starred review, and calls it “a sublime faux memoir framed as the introduction to the play’s first printing—a Modern Library edition, of course.” It got mentions in our recent GalleyChat: one participant called it “quirky and rompish” and likened it to Michael Crummey’s Galore. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- in the new issue, “Phillips invests the metafictional gamesmanship with bracing intelligence and genuine heart. The fun starts with the opening line — ‘I have never much liked Shakespeare’ — and the energy never flags as the book develops into both a literary mystery and a surprisingly effective critique of the Bard.”

Usual Suspects

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci (Grand Central) is a new mystery with former Secret Service agents and current private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.

Eve by Iris Johansen (St. Martin’s Press) features forensic sculptor Eve Duncan in her 11th investigation, and the first installment in a new trilogy, in which she works to solve a case that has haunted her for years; the abduction and murder of her own seven-year-old daughter Bonnie. Fans will not have long to wait for the other books in the trilogy; Quinn is coming this July, followed by Bonnie in October.

The Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker (Center Street) is the story of a vigilante priest and a woman dedicated to avenging the man she loved. Booklist says it’s “skillfully written, surprising, and impossible to put down. It might, in fact, be his best novel to date.” It arrives complete with its own book trailer.

Quicksilver: Book Two of the Looking Glass Trilogy by Amanda Quick (Putnam) is a paranormal romance, the latest in her Arcane Society series.

The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice (Pamela Dorman Books) is a portrait of three sisters who come home to Martha’s Vineyard one last time and has a 100,000-copy print run. Rice was a featured author at the ALA MidWinter Author Tea.


Reading My Father: A Memoir by Alexandra Styron (Scribner) is William Styron’s youngest daughter’s exploration of his talent, and whether it justified his alcohol abuse and the debilitating depression that cast a long shadow over his wife and four children. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft by Paul Allen (Portfolio) gives an insider’s account of the dawning of the digital age. “Allen offers a clearheaded diagnosis of Microsoft’s problems, including its complicated future,” says BusinessWeek, adding that “Allen can be a scatterbrain. That quality slips into his writing.” An excerpt in Vanity Fair, made advance headlines because of Allen’s pointed criticism of former partner, Bill Gates. Allen will appear on 60 Minutes on Sunday.

Young Adult

Twelfth Grade Kills #5: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer (Penguin) is the final installment in this series about a teenage vampire who has spent the last four years trying to handle the pressures of school while sidestepping a slayer out for his blood.

Allen’s Memoir Making Waves

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Co-founder  of Microsoft, Paul Allen’s forthcoming memoir, Idea Man (Portfolio/Penguin, 4/19), is making news, based on the excerpt in the new issue of Vanity Fair. The headlines reflect each publication’s orientation.

Microsoft’s local paper, the Seattle Times, sees it as personal “Paul Allen goes public with hard feelings toward Gates

The Financial Times puts it in corporate terms, “Where Microsoft went wrong – by Paul Allen

The L.A. Times follows the money, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says Bill Gates schemed to dilute his share.

While the NY Times is more measured, Regrets and Resentment in Microsoft Partnership

Starbucks CEO Touts Success

Monday, March 28th, 2011

It’s not unusual for a book to be used as part of a PR campaign. Howard Schultz has been remaking Starbucks since he took back control as hands-on CEO in 2008 and is now working to make sure the world knows it. He was interviewed earlier this month in the NYT and the WSJ. His just-released book is bringing even more media attention, including NPR’s Morning Edition today and CBS Evening News with Katie Couric last night. In addition, the book is excerpted in Newsweek.

Of the book, Fortune magazine says,

There may be more detail here than most readers really want, as when Schultz describes the weather outside his kitchen window… or what he wore to an important meeting with employees (“blue jeans and a dark gray sweater”).

But for anyone looking for insights on how to turn around a troubled giant brought low by overconfidence in its own success, Onward is essential reading

In the three years since he took back control of the company, Schultz has turned Starbuck’s share price around, earning him a $3.5 million bonus this year.

The book is now at #1 Amazon, but holds in libraries we checked are in line with modest ordering.

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordon
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books – (2011-03-29)
ISBN / EAN: 1605292885 / 9781605292885

DRESSMAKER Author Stitches Up Newsweek

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Next Week’s Notable Nonfiction

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe, will receive  major media exposure next week. She has written the cover story about Hilary Clinton for Tina Brown’s newly-redesigned Newsweek, which debuts next week (with a weekly book section!). The book will be featured on several NPR shows, including Morning Edition, it will be excerpted in USA Today and several reviews are scheduled.

Lemmon’s book is the story of an Afghan woman who became an entrepreneur under the Taliban, employing over 100 women, despite being banned from schools and offices, in the vein of Three Cups of Tea.

Libraries are showing modest reserves on modest orders, but interest could increase as Lemmon makes her media rounds.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-03-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0061732370 / 9780061732379

Memoir to Watch

The Source of All Things: A Memoir by Tracy Ross (Free Press) is an exploration of the author’s childhood sexual abuse. Kirkus says, “Ross’s seesawing of emotions left her in a constant state of flux, but this uncertainty of emotion is one of the narrative’s primary strengths. Ross continually explores the boundaries of father-daughter intimacy, never demonizing her stepfather, but instead, humanizing him—a far more difficult task.”


Usual Suspects

The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream by Suze Orman (Spiegel and Grau) reassesses the American Dream — home, family, career, retirement — in view of current economic realities.

Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan by Jeff Greenfield (Putnam) is the veteran CBS News reporter and commentator’s journey in what-ifs, based on his extensive research, and has a 100,000 printing. PW calls it “fun but insubstantial.”

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki (Portfolio) offers a new perspective on the art of influence, by the author of bestseller The Art of the Start.

Rising Inflation

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Adam Fergusson enjoyed “an unexpected literary revival” this past summer when a book he wrote 35 years ago was republished in the UK. About Germany’s economic collapse after WWI, which lead to Hitler’s rise, it was a “cult text among gold enthusiasts and inflation phobes.” After it was erroneously reported that Warren Buffet was a fan, original copies began selling for upwards of $1,000 each on the Web. (Financial Times, 8/20/10)

The book was reprinted by Public Affairs in the U.S. in October. The Wall Street Journal revisits the story today, in a review that ends with the words, “Every body ought to read this book. But baby boomers must.” As a result, the reprint  moved up to  #43, from #939 yesterday on Amazon’s sales rankings.

When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany
Adam Fergusson
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: PublicAffairs – (2010-10-12)
ISBN / EAN: 1586489941 / 9781586489946

Adobe EPUB eBook available on OverDrive

The Book I Can’t Stop Talking About

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Hold on to your seats, I am about to recommend a business audio. It is true that I rarely write about books (or audiobooks) for grown-ups, but I can’t stop talking about Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Tony Hsieh
Retail Price: $29.98
Audio CD: Unabridged
Publisher: Hachette Audio – (2010-06-07)
ISBN : 9781607882305

What is our experience as librarians with the business book category? Do we read them because the Director went to a “who moved my cheese” seminar and found a way to force the staff to read a book not of their choosing? Because the Four Hour Work Week has an appealing title and is on best seller lists? Did a friend recommended Freakanomics?

Business books are a genre I read for fun after a pile of picture books. My first reading of Managing The Non-Profit Organization by Peter Drucker was when I worked as a retail manager for a children’s museum. I was intrigued by the way he laid out organizational structure, interpersonal relationships and above all the difference between a for-profit entity and a non-profit.

I heard the rumors that everyone who worked on Composing a Life by Mary Catherine Bateson quit their job and went to something else, following “their calling.” Within a year of reading it, I, too, quit my job in publishing, enrolled in graduate school and started my career as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. That’s what a thoughtful examination of how we evaluate our work will do… instigate change.

What is about Delivering Happiness? I’m not in a rut at work. I have high expectations of interesting developments, my managers encourage and support new ideas, curriculum and projects (like the recent BookFest@Bank Street). They expect me to stretch and grow, to mentor and teach, to be passionate about our work and to enjoy the daily work of teaching.

So here comes Tony Hsieh examining and sharing what makes a great place to work. He lays out how serendipity, exciting hard work, kindness, generosity, passion and personal growth can all be part of a corporate strategy for success. Hsieh’s presentation jells with my own philosophy of work life. To be passionate, to encourage others, to be of service, to blow off steam in productive but fun ways, to find ways small and big to improve how we do things to serve our students and teachers, and to do more with less, to learn that obstacles or misaligned philosophies are growth opportunities.

Hsieh’s passion for “delivering happiness” is palpable on the audio edition of the book. He sounds almost amazed at where life has taken him, he generously shares his mistakes and errors in judgement as well in a sure-why-don’t-we-try-that attitude. The audio includes the voices of others on his team who grew Zappos with him as well as Jeff Bezos after the Amazon buy-out. (More complicated than that… read the book).

It confirms my own business philosophy and articulates how I can grow within my organization as well as partner with those outside who share our core values.

Needless to say, I’ll be giving it to many friends this holiday.

Literary Jackie Gets Her Due

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Next week, book lovers and Jackie Onassis fans may enjoy the first of two books looking at her career as an editor in the publishing industry: Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books by William Kuhn.

According to Kirkus, “Kuhn argues that Jackie touched on forbidden themes in her own life—her husband’s adultery, the humiliation of marriage, political machinations—only through her list, including such books as Barbara Chase-Riboud’s controversial novel Sally Hemings (1979) and Elizabeth Crook’s novel about Sam Houston and Eliza Allen, The Raven’s Bride (1991).

The New York Times Fashion section explores the rivalry (complete with trash talk) between author Kuhn and Greg Lawrence, whose Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis will arrive on January 4 from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

Libraries we checked have modest orders in line with modest holds for both titles.

Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books
William Kuhn
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Nan A. Talese – (2010-12-07)
ISBN / EAN: 0385530994 / 9780385530996


Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Greg Lawrence
Retail Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books – (2011-01-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0312591934 / 9780312591939

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man by Steve Harvey (Amistad) is the popular radio show host’s followup to his #1 New York Times bestselling book of relationship advice, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Lots of publicity is line up, including Good Morning America on Tuesday, publication day and a profile in the NYT Sunday Arts & Leisure section (tentatively scheduled for 12/19).

The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas (NAL Hardcover) chronicles the financial history of rap and hip-hop.

Fiction: Usual Suspects

Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy with Grant Blackwood (Putnam), the newest geopolitical military thriller with Jack Ryan, arrives with a 1.75 million printing.

Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King (Crown) is historical fiction set in 11th-century Scotland. PW says, “Though clichés often plague the prose… King’s blend of historical figures and fictional characters turns a medieval icon into a believable mother, wife, and ruler.”

Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris (Berkley Hardcover) follows Betsy Devonshire, amateur investigator and owner of Crewel World Needlework in investigating another mystery.

Young Adult

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy Series #6) by Richelle Mead is the final installment in the bestselling Vampire Academy series.

Can Aphorisms Take the Cake?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

If anyone has a crack at making a book of aphorisms a bestseller, it’s economist and philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Best known for his long-running business bestseller The Black Swan, he’s back with The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms. Among his  incisive pronouncements:

  • “You will get the most attention from those who hate you. No friend, no admirer and no partner will flatter you with as much curiosity.”
  • “You remember e-mails you sent that were not answered better than e-mails you did not answer.”

Janet Maslin in New York Times sums up the book’s appeal:

Mr. Taleb is so calculatedly abrasive in this smart, attention-getting little book that he achieves his main objective. “A good maxim,” he writes, “allows you to have the last word without even starting a conversation.”

Orders are modest at libraries we checked, but given Taleb’s track record, this could be one to watch.

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Retail Price: $18.00
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-11-30)
ISBN / EAN: 1400069971 / 9781400069972

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

The Essential American by Jackie Gingrich Cushman (Regnery) is a collection of 25 documents and speeches that Newt Gingrich’s daughter considers critical to understanding United States history. She recently appeared on Fox News to promote it.

Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want by Melody Beattie (Simon & Schuster) outlines a program of self improvement via gratitude, surrender, and connecting with our essential power.

A Voice from Old New York: A Memoir of My Youth by Louis Auchincloss (Houghton Mifflin) explores the late author’s connection with New York City. Kirkus says, “the author’s prose is lapidary, graceful and eminently readable. In a world of postmodern letters, Auchincloss draws a curtain on a premodern, Whartonesque way of life.”

Can’t Get Enough About the Financial Crisis

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Why read yet another book on the financial crisis? A Huffington Post columnist has declared the latest in a long line of them, All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, the “Best Business Book of the Year” (he does, however, admit to being a friend of one of the authors). Time magazine says, “When the financial crisis of this decade is being taught in business schools in the next, All the Devils Are Here could be the textbook.”

The authors convinced Jon Stewart’s viewers on The Daily Show last night (Stewart used the magic words, “you have to get this [book]”); it rose to #13 on Amazon sales rankings after their appearance.

Coming tomorrow to The Daily Show, Jay-Z, Decoded (Spiegel and Grau) and on Thursday, Philip K. Howard, Life Without Lawyers (Norton).

All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
Bethany McLean, Joe Nocera
Retail Price: $32.95
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover – (2010-11-16)
ISBN / EAN: 1591843634 / 9781591843634

Thanking Your Way to the Top

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The amazing self-promoter with the daunting last name, Gary Vaynerchuk has a new book coming in March, The Thank You Economy that is already moving up Amazon’s sales rankings (currently at #182).

Vaynerchuk became an internet hit with his fast-talking, no-nonsense videos about wine, (described as “frenetic” by the NYT) created to promote his family’s wine shop and his 2009 book about internet marketing, Crush It!The new book is about giving great customer service.

The Thank You Economy
Gary Vaynerchuk
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harpercollins – (2011-03-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0061914185 / 9780061914188

Johnson and Chernow on the Rise

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Buzz is building for Where Good Ideas Come From by science writer Steven Johnson. The New York Times ran an early review in the Business section, praising Johnson’s storytelling ability in this exploration of innovative environments like the city and the Internet, and how a “series of shared properties and patterns… recur again and again in unusually fertile environments.”

At libraries we checked, current orders are in line with reserves, but this looks like one to watch, since Johnson was also a featured speaker at TED, the elite technology, entertainment and design conference, this summer. And his cool video trailer for the book appears to be going viral.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
Steven Johnson
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487715 / 9781594487712


Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow gets a respectful review from critic Janet Maslin in the New York Times, who finds that this biography is justified by new material unearthed from Washington’s papers at the University of Virginia.

At 900-odd densely packed pages, Washington can be arid at times. But it’s also deeply rewarding as a whole…. [and] offers a fresh sense of what a groundbreaking role Washington played, not only in physically embodying his new nation’s leadership but also in interpreting how its newly articulated constitutional principles would be applied.

Entertainment Weekly gives the book an “A-,” adding that Chernow

…makes excellent use of Washington’s own voice — the man’s angry letters are like thunderbolts — and turns constitutional debates and bureaucratic infighting into riveting reading.

Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow
Retail Price: $40.00
Hardcover: 928 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202664 / 9781594202667

Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week

A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Random House) is “a wonderfully meandering journey through history, sociology, science, and more. The thread that connects it all is Bryson’s. . . home, a charming former church rectory in a small English village,” according to bookseller Christopher Rose in the October Indie Next Pick citation. NPR’s Morning Edition will feature the book on October 5, followed by  the New York Times Book Review on October 10. It is also the Amazon Spotlight Selection for the month of Oct.

Is It Just Me or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg (Hyperion) finds the actress and co-host of ABC’s The View sharing stories from her own life, when she’s been forced to deal with tough situations in family, marriage, friendship, and business.

Cesar’s Rules by Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier (Crown) is the bestselling dog trainer’s primer on establishing the rules of the house.

The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Harper) considers the far-reaching consequences of the co-evolution of dogs and humans, drawing from recent scientific research.

You: Raising Your Child by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz (Free Press) explores the biology and psychology of raising a child from birth to school age.

Trickle Up Poverty by Michael Savage (Morrow) is the author and conservative talk show host’s attack on President Obama’s agenda and his political tactics.

I’m Not High: (But I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior) by Jim Breuer (Gotham/Penguin) is a memoir by the comedian and Sirius radio show host best known as “Goat Boy” on Saturday Night Live. He was also featured on the ALTAFF Humor Panel at ALA Annual.


Friday, June 4th, 2010

Weeks ahead of its release next Tuesday, The Facebook Effect by Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick has received hundreds of mentions across the web in virtually every news article about Facebook’s latest adjustments to its privacy policy as it nears the milestone of 500 million worldwide members. The book is already at #409 on Amazon, and libraries are showing growing holds on light orders.

As CNET mentions, veteran tech journalist Kirkpatrick was granted unprecedented access to the company’s top executives:
This is the Facebook that Facebook wants you to see — both the glamorous and the ugly sides of one of the most successful, fastest-growing companies in recent memory… It’s fascinating. It’s well-written and masterfully reported. Still, one is left wondering if anything more sordid was missed.
There’s also an excerpt on And on June 8, Kirkpatrick will make the rounds on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and on an ABC Radio Satellite Tour.
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
David Kirkpatrick
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2010-06-08)
ISBN / EAN: 1439102112 / 9781439102114

Other Major Nonfiction Titles on Sale Next Week

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco) offers an unvarnished look at young superstar chef David Chang, the revered Alice Waters,  “Top Chef” winners and losers, and more.

The Only Game in Town: Sportswriting from the New Yorker edited by David Remnick (Random House) collects pieces from Roger Angell, A.J. Liebling, John Updike, Don Delillo and others.

The Face of Facebook

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Excerpts from a new book about Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, in the new issue of Fortune magazine have caused the business press to go all Page Six (yes, we enjoy the weirdness of that concept, too), and the book, due out next month, to rise on Amazon. The gossip focuses on the story of Zuckerberg crying in a restaurant’s bathroom floor during negotiations to buy the company and the Animal House atmosphere of Facebook’s early days.

The influential Wall Street Journal blog, All Things D, interviews author David Kirkpatrick.

The timing of the book is good; an IPO is expected some time this year.

An earlier, unauthorized book about the founding of Facebook, The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich (Doubleday, 2009) has been made into a movie, The Social Network, and is scheduled for release on Oct. 15.

The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World
David Kirkpatrick
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2010-06-15)
ISBN / EAN: 1439102112 / 9781439102114

No More Performance Reviews!

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

This book’s title will have many managers and their staffs cheering, Get Rid of the Performance Review.  Say the authors, “It’s time to put the performance review out of its misery…it’s pretentious, it’s bogus, and it produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus.”

The Associated Press released an article about it, which appears in the Huffington Post, among other news outlets.

For a little catharsis, try the “How much do you hate performance reviews?” quiz.

Here’s hoping the book sweeps the nation.

Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing–and Focus on What Really Matters
Samuel A. Culbert
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Business Plus – (2010-04-14)
ISBN / EAN: 044655605X / 9780446556057

Hachette Audio; UNABR, 9781607881759; $26.98
WMA Audiobook downloadable from OverDrive