It’s another Tuesday! And this week it’s TANTALIZING! Hooooooray, More Books!
Here are the new releases I’m looking forward to for Mar 5, 2013:
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid; Riverhead books; 240 pages
First off, I love this title. It’s just a little tongue-in-cheek and pretty funny. It sounds like a memoir or a silly business book, but it’s not. This one’s a novel, and a novel by Mohsin Hamid, who happens to be a great storyteller. I’m seriously excited about this one. So, if you know me and want to buy me things, start here.
His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world’s pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation—and exceeds it. the astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia.” It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.
Contagious by Jonah Berger; Simon & Schuster; 200 pages
Great topic here. I can’t say that I know that much about this book or this author beyond the topic, but that’s all I really need. It’s short and it’s interesting as heck. Even if it doesn’t contain any sort of breakthrough, I’m down to hear an unproven theory about why some things explode and others fail to launch.
What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral?
Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.
Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you’ve wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread—for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.
Sum It Up by Pat Summitt; Crown Archetype; 416 pages
If you pay any attention to college sports, then you know about Pat Summitt. Ridiculously successful coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, Summitt has the most victories of any NCAA basketball coach, male or female. Recently diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, Summitt retired last year, but her legacy lives on and her fight continues. Summitt is an all time great, and I’m very interested to know what she has to say.
Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history aad bestselling author of Reach for the Summitt and Raise The Roof, tells for the first time her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women’s basketball team. For 38 years, she has broken records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She has coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women’s Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and has been namedSports Illustrated ‘Sportswoman of the Year’.
She owes her coaching success to her personal struggles and triumphs. She learned to be tough from her strict, demanding father. Motherhood taught her to balance that rigidity with communication and kindness. She is a role model for the many women she’s coached; 74 of her players have become coaches.
Pat’s life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible brain condition that affects 5 million Americans. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she led the Vols to win their sixteenth SEC championship in March 2012. Pat continues to be a fighter, facing this new challenge the way she’s faced every other–with hard work, perseverance, and a sense of humor.
The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp; The Penguin Press; 272 pages
This is being talked about as the best memoir of 2013. Sure, it’s early, but the writing is supposed to be fantastic, the story is heart-wrenching, and I hear that this is one of those memoirs that can change your perspective on life. So, that’s always gonna draw a crowd. It seems like it might be aimed more toward parents, but I’m willing to give it a shot…so, you should too.
Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her first and only child, Ronan. He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, and level-headed, but fun. He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father. He would be an avid skier like his mother. Rapp would speak to him in foreign languages and give him the best education.
But all of these plans changed when Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three; he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about parenting. They would have to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future.
The Still Point of the Turning World is the story of a mother’s journey through grief and beyond it. Rapp’s response to her son’s diagnosis was a belief that she needed to “make my world big”—to make sense of her family’s situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology and myth. Drawing on a broad range of thinkers and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Rapp learns what wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child. In luminous, exquisitely moving prose she re-examines our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful life.
The New Mind of the South by Tracy Thompson; Simon & Schuster; 272 pages
Yeah. Super-biased here. Raised in the South, most of my friends and family still live there, and I am currently living in a city that has a condescending stereotype-driven view of the region. So, of course I love the idea of a book that has a positive outlook on Southern culture. And while I admit that I am biased, I still think this is something you should read. The South I know is nothing at all like the South that I hear about, so just give it a chance.
There are those who say the South has disappeared. But in her groundbreaking, thought-provoking exploration of the region, Tracy Thompson, a Georgia native and Pulitzer Prize finalist, asserts that it has merely drawn on its oldest tradition: an ability to adapt and transform itself. Thompson spent years traveling through the region and discovered a South both amazingly similar and radically different from the land she knew as a child. African Americans who left en masse for much of the twentieth century are returning in huge numbers, drawn back by a mix of ambition, family ties, and cultural memory. Though Southerners remain more churchgoing than other Americans, the evangelical Protestantism that defined Southern culture up through the 1960s has been torn by bitter ideological schisms. The new South is ahead of others in absorbing waves of Latino immigrants, in rediscovering its agrarian traditions, in seeking racial reconciliation, and in reinventing what it means to have roots in an increasingly rootless global culture.
Drawing on mountains of data, interviews, and a whole new set of historic archives, Thompson upends stereotypes and fallacies to reveal the true heart of the South today—a region still misunderstood by outsiders and even by its own people. In that sense, she is honoring the tradition inaugurated by Wilbur Joseph Cash in 1941 in his classic, The Mind of the South. Cash’s book was considered the virtual bible on the origins of Southern identity and its transformation through time. Thompson has written its sequel for the twenty-first century.