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New Releases

Books to Watch | January 11, 2021

January 11, 2022

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Each and every week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), and Emily Porter (EPP)—highlights a few new books we are most excited about.

This week, our choices are:

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I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home by Jami Attenberg, Ecco (EPP) 

In this brilliant, fierce, and funny memoir of transformation, Jami Attenberg—described as a “master of modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and the “poet laureate of difficult families” (Kirkus Reviews)—reveals the defining moments that pushed her to create a life, and voice, she could claim for herself. What does it take to devote oneself to art? What does it mean to own one’s ideas? What does the world look like for a woman moving solo through it? 

As the daughter of a traveling salesman in the Midwest, Attenberg was drawn to a life on the road. Frustrated by quotidian jobs and hungry for inspiration and fresh experiences, her wanderlust led her across the country and eventually on travels around the globe. Through it all she grapples with questions of mortality, otherworldliness, and what we leave behind. 

It is during these adventures that she begins to reflect on the experiences of her youth—the trauma, the challenges, the risks she has taken. Driving across America by herself on self-funded book tours, sometimes crashing on couches when she was broke, she keeps writing: in researching articles for magazines, jotting down ideas for novels, and refining her craft, she grows as an artist and increasingly learns to trust her gut and, ultimately, herself. 

Exploring themes of friendship, independence, class, and drive, I Came All This Way to Meet You is an inspiring story of finding one’s way home—emotionally, artistically, and physically—and an examination of art and individuality that will resonate with anyone determined to listen to their own creative calling. 

 

The Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy by Christopher Leonard, Simon & Shuster (DJJS) 
 
If you asked most people what forces led to today’s unprecedented income inequality and financial crashes, no one would say the Federal Reserve. For most of its history, the Fed has enjoyed the fawning adoration of the press. When the economy grew, it was credited to the Fed. When the economy imploded in 2008, the Fed got credit for rescuing us. 
 
But the Fed also has a unique power to reshape the American economy for the worse, which it did, fatefully, on November 4, 2010 through a radical intervention called quantitative easing. In just a few short years, the Fed more than quadrupled the money supply with one goal: to encourage banks and other investors to extend more risky debt. Leaders at the Fed knew that they were undertaking a bold experiment that would produce few real jobs, with long-term risks that were hard to measure. But the Fed proceeded anyway...and then found itself trapped. Once it printed all that money, there was no way to withdraw it from circulation. The Fed tried several times, only to see market start to crash, at which point the Fed turned the money spigot back on. That’s what it did when COVID hit, printing 300 years’ worth of money in two short months. 
 
Which brings us to now: Ten years on, the gap between the rich and poor has grown dramatically, stock prices are trading far above what’s justified by actual corporate profits, corporate debt in America is at an all-time high, and this debt is being traded by big banks on Wall Street, leaving them vulnerable—just as they were during the mortgage boom. Middle-class wages have barely budged in a decade, and consumers are buried under credit card debt, car loan debt, and student debt. 
 
The Lords of Easy Money tells the shocking, riveting tale of how quantitative easing is imperiling the American economy through the story of the one man who tried to warn us. This will be the first inside story of how we really got here—and why we face a frightening future. 

 

Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company by Whitney Johnson, Harvard Business Review Press (DJJS) 

Growth is the goal. Helping people develop their potential—enabling them to articulate and become the self they want to be, are capable of being, and that best serves them and others in the short and long term—is what we as individuals and leaders strive toward. 

But how do we grow? It turns out it happens in a predictable way, which means we can understand where we are in our growth and chart a way forward. In this compact, complete guide, Whitney Johnson dives more deeply than ever into the S Curve of Learning so that you can envision how growth happens and direct yourself and others in your organization to create a culture that fosters it. 

The growth and learning journey comes in three phases: the Launch Point, the Sweet Spot, and Mastery. Compelling examples of successful people will show you when and why growth is slow, how to keep going, what to do when growth and learning are almost too fast to keep up with, and how to leap from one growth journey to another. 

As individuals grow, so do organizations and societies. Growth is learning put into action—action that betters the world as we better ourselves and our small niches, both personal and professional, within it. Growth occurs when learning is internalized—when we try something new and invest the effort to move it from being something we do to something we are. 

Creating a culture of learning and growth 

Growth is the goal. Helping people develop their potential—enabling them to articulate and become the self they want to be, are capable of being, and that best serves them and others in the short and long term—is what we as individuals and leaders strive toward. 

 

Wahala: A Novel by Nikki May, Custom House (GMC) 

An incisive and exhilarating debut novel of female friendship following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group—the most unforgettable girls since Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. 

Ronke wants happily ever after and 2.2. kids. She’s dating Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, like her dead father). Her friends think he’s just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends. 

Boo has everything Ronke wants—a kind husband, gorgeous child. But she’s frustrated, unfulfilled, plagued by guilt, and desperate to remember who she used to be. 

Simi is the golden one with the perfect lifestyle. No one knows she’s crippled by impostor syndrome and tempted to pack it all in each time her boss mentions her “urban vibe.” Her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not. 

When the high-flying, charismatic Isobel explodes into the group, it seems at first she’s bringing out the best in each woman. (She gets Simi an interview in Hong Kong! Goes jogging with Boo!) But the more Isobel intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Ronke, Simi, and Boo’s close friendship begins to crack. 

A sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal, Wahala (trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice. 

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