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Books to Watch | June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

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Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about. 

Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.

This week, our choices are:

Equal Partners: Improving Gender Equality at Home by Kate Mangino, St. Martin’s Press (JAG) 

As American society shut down due to Covid, millions of women had to leave their jobs to take on full-time childcare. As the country opens back up, women continue to struggle to balance the demands of work and home life. Kate Mangino, a professional facilitator for twenty years, has written a comprehensive, practical guide for readers and their partners about gender norms and household balance. Yes, part of our gender problem is structural, and that requires policy change. But much of our gender problem is social, and that requires us to change. 
 
Quickly moving from diagnosis to solution, Equal Partners focuses on what we can do, everyday people living busy lives, to rewrite gender norms to support a balanced homelife so both partners have equal time for work, family, and self. Mangino adopts an interactive model, posing questions, and asking readers to assess their situations through guided lists and talking points. Equal Partners is broad in its definition of gender and gender roles. This is a book for all: straight, gay, trans, and non-binary, parents and grandparents, and friends, with the goal to help foster gender equality in readers' homes, with their partners, family and wider community. 

 

Filmmakers on Film: How They Create, Craft and Communicate by David Jenkins, Laurence King Publishing (GMC) 

Through a curated selection of quotations, images and interviews, Filmmakers on Film reveals what matters most to the masters. Discover how the giants of filmmaking – from Sofia Coppola to Agnès Varda – developed their distinctive visual styles, the core ideas that underpin their practice and, most importantly, what their films mean to you. 

 

How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation—and How to Strike Back: Crushing Disruption in the Digital Economy by Ariel Ezrachi, Maurice E. Stucke, Harper Business (DJJS) 

Silicon Valley’s genius combined with limited corporate regulation promised a new age of technological innovation in which entrepreneurs would create companies that would in turn fuel unprecedented job growth. Yet disruptive innovation has stagnated even as the five leading tech giants, which account for approximately 25 percent of the S&P 500’s market capitalization, are expanding to unimaginable scale and power. In How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation—and How to Strike Back, Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice E. Stucke explain why this is happening and what we can do to reverse it. 

While many distrust the Big-Tech Barons, the prevailing belief is that innovation is thriving online. It isn’t. Rather than disruptive innovations that create significant value, we are getting technologies that primarily extract value and reduce well-being. Using vivid examples and relying on their work in the field, the authors explain how the leading tech companies design their sprawling ecosystems to extract more profits (while crushing any entrepreneur that poses a threat). As a result, we get less innovation that benefits us and more innovations that surpass the dreams of yesteryears’ autocracies. The Tech Barons’ technologies, which seek to decode our emotions and thoughts to better manipulate our behavior, are undermining political stability and democracy while fueling tribalism and hate. 

But it’s not hopeless. The authors reveal that sustained innovation scales with cities not companies, and that we, as a society, should profoundly alter our investment strategy and priorities to certain entrepreneurs (“Tech Pirates”) and cities’ infrastructure. 

 

Well, This Is Exhausting: Essays by Sophia Benoit, Gallery Books (EPP) 

Like so many women, Sophia spent her formative years struggling to do the “right” thing—to make others comfortable, to take minimal and calculated risks, to live up to society’s expectations—only to realize that there was so little payoff to this tiresome balancing act. Tired of trying so hard, Sophia finally let go of the crushing pressure to be perfect. 
 
She navigates the highs and lows of the dating world (high: being a beta tester for Bumble; low: hastily shaving her legs before a hotel hookup and getting blood all over the sheets), and walks the line between being a “chill” girl and making sure her boyfriend’s nonchalance about altitude sickness doesn’t get him killed. She learns what it means to be a feminist, how to embrace her own voice, and when to listen to women who have been through more and have been doing the work longer. 
 
With topics ranging from how to be the life of the party (even when you have crippling anxiety), to an ill-fated consultation with a dietician who deemed Sophia’s overindulgence in ketchup a serious health risk, to a masterful argument for why no one should judge you for having an encyclopedic knowledge of reality TV, Well, This Is Exhausting is not only “one of the funniest books you’ll read this year, but it’s also one of the most important” (Shondaland). 

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