Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

Gary Keller, with Jay Papasan. Bard (NBN, dist.), $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-885167-77-4

Part motivational book, part self-help, the latest from Keller (The Millionaire Real Estate Agent), together with Papasan (president of Rellek Publishing), vies to give us a path for achieving extraordinary results. Keller challenges the worthiness of deeply rooted notions—a balanced life, discipline, willpower, multitasking—and presents his insights with a coach's verve and goal-oriented approach. He begins by examining the attitudes and ideas that derail us. From here he moves on to show us how to become more productive; and this, he claims, relies on focus, which leads him to ask: "What's the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" While the book does grab you by the collar, many of Keller's points are more rhetoric than argument. For example, he challenges the philosophical idea of balance and concludes that it does not exist: "[It] is a grand idea, but not a very practical one. Idealistic, but not realistic." Unfortunately, though, while the actual philosophical idea is about ethics, Keller is referring to work-life balance. Despite the book's appealing style and energy, more intellectual substance would have helped the overall work. 34 illus. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game

Edward Achorn. PublicAffairs, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-61039-260-0

Achorn (Fifty-nine in '84) turns his attention to old-time professional baseball, visiting the nascent days of the American Association, more notably, the American Association that turned baseball into a nationally beloved sport. While the National League packaged the game to the upper-middle-class, the teams of "the Beer and Whiskey Circuit" welcomed everyone. Parks featured alcohol, 25-cent admission, and Sunday games. And the masses loved it. In 1883, the year Achorn recounts, non-top drama accompanied a pennant race. St. Louis Browns owner Chris von der Ahe and manager Ted Sullivan butted heads like George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin. The Browns' competitor, the desperate Philadelphia Athletics, signed a pitcher who literally jumped as he threw. Achorn examines the wear and tear of baseball's early days while mixing in profiles of the rascals and renegades whose roles range from the historic (Fleet Walker, who in 1884 became the first African American to play professionally) to the colorful (slugger Pete Browning, who upon hearing that President Garfield had died asked, "What position did he play?"). Overall, this is a comprehensive and entertaining history of baseball's overlooked early years. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
This Is How to Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want

Andrea Kay. Amacom, $16 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-8144-3221-1

In this surprisingly insightful job-hunting book, career consultant and syndicated columnist Kay (Life's a Bitch and then You Change Careers) advises prospective employees from the perspective of the hiring agent, and provides no-nonsense advice, especially regarding what you should never do or say. There is little in positive reinforcement; rather, much of the text focuses on the negative. Kay believes that employers are "looking for ‘something wrong with you' so that they can eliminate you, make their job easier, and be as efficient as possible in the process." But there is no need for concern; she follows up her don'ts with a list of corresponding do's. Most of the book covers topics dealing with the interview process, including a chapter on how to (or how not to) dress. Kay focuses on dynamics between employers and job candidates: what employers want, what they look at/for, what will cause them to not consider you, and, perhaps most important of all, how you appear to them. Kay even includes a lengthy questionnaire to help determine how employers see you and how you want to appear to them. This book should help give job seekers an edge over the competition. Agent: Linda Konner, Linda Konner Literary Agency. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Viktor Mayer-Sch%C3%B6nberger and Kenneth Cukier. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-0-544-00269-2

Oxford professor Mayer-Schönberger (Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Internet Age) and Economist data editor Cukier survey the changes to modern life created by our increased capacity to gather and process data. Arguing that the need for statistical sampling is now behind us due to modern computing capacity, the authors discuss how big data's capabilities supersede past methods in applications like tracking the spread of the flu or credit card fraud. Even the human body can be "datafied," with modern applications that use a person's walking gait as a password or monitor body tremors to track the progression of neurological disorders. The rise of big data has helped to create several types of companies: those that own data, those that analyze data, and those that know how to use data to find the answers to new problems. The authors review the risks of this new trend, from privacy concerns to over-reliance on numbers to changes in an individual's responsibility to society. They write with enthusiasm, call for new career paths for algorithmists, and close with a prediction that big data will change the world, from helping solve climate change to improving global health care accessibility. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Business Brilliant: How to Build Wealth, Manage Your Career & Take Risks

Lewis Schiff. Harper Business, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-225350-7

Schiff (The Middle-Class Millionaire), executive director of Inc. magazine's Business Owners Council, pulls no punches as he challenges the status quo and the wisdom of financial gurus like Suze Orman. At the heart of the book is the question: "What is the difference between middle-class people and millionaires?" Schiff uses a 2009 survey by Russ Prince together with results that Prince achieved with his wealthy clients to supply many of his answers. One group was a sampling of middleclass households, whereas the other groups were self-made millionaires (those who started out middleclass). Though the facts can be dizzying, Schiff offers useful insights such as "people who are the most brilliant at business are also those who fail most often," and urges readers to understand that "failure can be good." Meanwhile, he cautions against "the myth of innovation." Ultimately, the difference between middle-class and millionaire is that "middle-class people protect themselves by becoming more well-rounded and ordinary, while the millionaires enrich themselves by becoming more specialized and extraordinary." It's hard to go wrong with advice like that. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Crown Business, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-95639-2

The Heath brothers, a Stanford University Graduate School of Business professor and a senior fellow at Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship respectively and coauthors of Switch and Made to Stick, tackle the problems of decision-making, and all the failures that come with it. To help with the decision making process, the authors approached it from four principles that they refer to as the "WRAP model": Widen your options; Reality test your assumptions; Attain distance before deciding; and Prepare to be wrong. Each principle is given several chapters, with examples provided for putting these approaches into practice. Breaking out of a narrow framework to recognize other options, for example, is approached through methods such as considering opportunity costs and the vanishing options test. The writing is humorous and often surprising, a tool that the authors use to great effect when sharing such examples as David Lee Roth's obsession with brown M&Ms. Coupled with their insightful analyses, the book proves particularly insightful. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Robert W. McChesney. The New Press, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59558-867-8

Filtering the internet through a lens of political economy and free-market capitalism, acclaimed author and University of Illinois professor McChesney (Rich Media, Poor Democracy) presents a thorough and alarming critique of the corruption of one of the most influential inventions in human history. "People thought the Internet would be... a non-commercial zone, a genuine public sphere, leading to far greater public awareness, stronger communities, and greater political participation," McChesney observes. "To the contrary... the internet has been commercialized, copyrighted, patented, privatized, data-inspected, and monopolized." He deconstructs capitalism through its historical trends before painting a grim portrait of corporate concentration and monopolization; it reads like dystopian science-fiction where giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon further entrench their market dominance, attempting to own consumers' "every waking moment," aided and abetted by lax government enforcement and deregulation. Such concentrated power brings with it a host of concerns; however, as McChesney cites, very little public opposition to such power can be expected as, "people care more about what unjustly harms them than what unjustly benefits them." Instead, we face the very real possibility of discovering the "digital revolution... to have been a revolution in name only"; the consequences of which are already revealing themselves. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Documentary

Edited by Julian Stallabrass. MIT, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-262-51829-1

This latest addition to the stellar Documents of Contemporary Art series offers varied assessments of the role of documentary and documentary traditions within contemporary art. Stallabrass (Art Incorporated) brings together critical essays, excerpts, and interviews, clustered primarily around the last 10 years (though occasionally reaching further back in time). The selections exhibit a sustained history of documentarians and photographers contending with the ethical and political implications of their work, the theoretical mapping at times looping productively back into itself. Some selections—among them Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes—are both familiar and freshly useful in the context of the book, while a range of contemporary writing on Abu Ghraib or recent atrocities in the Congo will be new to most readers. The project's breadth and the scattershot nature of the selections are sources of its most evident strengths and weaknesses: a lack of explicit connections and minimal editorial guidance allow the sometimes richly contradictory arguments to flourish beside one another, even as the structure itself might seem arbitrary and the ideas a bit muddled in their polyvocality. As an introduction to some of the most important thinking on documentary art, however, the book is a clear success, both encouraging discourse and pointing the way to further reading. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
Fast Times in Palestine: A Love Affair with a Homeless Homeland

Pamela Olson. Seal (PGW, dist.), $16 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-58005-482-9

Olson didn't come to the Middle East from Eastern Oklahoma directly—she earned a degree from Stanford first—but she still had little world experience when, "green and wide-eyed, [she] wandered into the Holy Land, an empty vessel." Her innocence, if partly an affectation, helps her navigate the surreal and morally ambiguous rules of the Occupied Territories with relish and warmth for the people she meets. As she travels throughout Israel and Palestine, she adopts as her own the travails and daily rhythms of her hosts. The political and ethical conclusions she draws are sometimes prosaic, but her emotional response to the unending conflict and subsequent difficulties is genuine. More than a travelogue or a polemic, the book is a coming-of-age story, as Olson discovers her voice by directly confronting the challenges of living in a state of institutionalized paradox. She finds a place for herself in Palestinian society, becoming an advisor to Mustafa Barghouthi, the long shot presidential candidate. Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating memoir of adaptation and acculturation, and of the unexpected bonds connecting disparate cultures. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp: An Autobiography

Richard Hell. Ecco, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-219083-3

Hell's fashion style—torn clothing and the ubiquitous safety pins, spiked hair—and the protopunk music of his bands Television and the Heartbreakers, influenced numerous early punk rockers, such as Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Hell brings his searingly honest songwriting style to this candid and page-turning memoir of his life, from childhood until the end of the 1970s. Hell takes us on a journey through his youth in Lexington, Ky., his boredom with school, his attempts at running away, his to move to New York in the 1970s, and his struggles with drug addiction. Hell recalls that when he started having a band in the late 1960s, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Kinks provided what excited him most in music: "It was fast, aggressive, and scornful, but complicated and full of feelings." He recounts seeing Patti Smith for the first time and being blown away by performances that were seductive and funny; she was like a "bebop artist… off to a whole other plane beyond the beyond." Hell's memoir spills over with recollections of his times with Andrew Wylie, Sid Vicious's girlfriend Nancy Spungen, and rock critic Lester Bangs. In 1976, the Voidoids debuted at CBGB; the following year, Hell descended into drug addiction. Hell's refreshingly candid portrait of the artist searching for himself offers a glimpse into his own genius as well as recreating the hellishness and the excitement of a now long-gone music scene in New York City. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 02/22/2013 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.