New Releases

Books to Watch | May 3, 2022

May 03, 2022


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:

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The Culture Playbook: 60 Highly Effective Actions to Help Your Group Succeed by Daniel Coyle, Bantam (DJJS) 

In his years studying the ways successful groups work together, Daniel Coyle has spent time with elite teams around the world, studying the ways they support each other, manage conflict, and move toward a common goal. In The Culture Playbook, he distills everything he has learned into sixty concrete, actionable tips and exercises that will help your team build a strong, cohesive, and positive culture. Great cultures, Coyle has found, are built on three essential skills: safety, vulnerability, and purpose. Within this framework, he shows us how we can better serve our teammates, ourselves, and our shared purpose by using easy-to-implement tips and exercises for different situations, including: 

  • scheduling regular team “tune-ups” to place an explicit spotlight on the team’s inner workings and create conversations that surface and improve team dynamics 
  • creating spaces for remote coworkers to connect with their colleagues to foster a team spirit even across distances  
  • holding an anxiety party to serve as a pressure-relief valve, as well as a platform for people to connect and solve problems together 

With practical tips that will prove invaluable to companies, athletes, and families alike, and replete with black-and-white illustrations, The Culture Playbook is an indispensable guide to ensuring that your team performs at its best. 


Letters To My Weird Sisters: On Autism and Feminism by Joanne Limburg, Atlantic Books (EPP) 

It seemed to me that many of the moments when my autism had caused problems, or at least marked me out as different, were those moments when I had come up against some unspoken law about how a girl or a woman should be, and failed to meet it. 

An autism diagnosis in midlife enabled Joanne Limburg to finally make sense of why her emotional expression, social discomfort and presentation had always marked her as an outsider. 

Eager to discover other women who had been misunderstood in their time, she writes a series of wide-ranging letters to four 'weird sisters' from history, addressing topics including autistic parenting, social isolation, feminism, the movement for disability rights and the appalling punishments that have been meted out over centuries to those deemed to fall short of the norm. 

This heartfelt, deeply compassionate and wholly original work humanizes women who have so often been dismissed for their differences, and will be celebrated by 'weird sisters' everywhere. 


On Expertise: Cultivating Character, Goodwill, and Practical Wisdom by Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher, Penn State U. Press (JAG) 

A rhetorical account of expertise and expert status that is informed by research in allied fields, including Science, Technology, and Society studies, psychology, education, and philosophy. 

There is a deep distrust of experts in America today. Influenced by populist politics, many question or downright ignore the recommendations of scientists, scholars, and others with specialized training. It appears that expertise, a critical component of democratic life, no longer appeals to wide swaths of the body politic. 

On Expertise is a robust defense of the expert class. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher examines modern and ancient theories of expertise through the lens of rhetoric and interviews some forty professionals, revealing how they understand their own expertise and how they came to be known as “experts.” She shows that expertise requires not only knowledge and skill but also, crucially, an acknowledgment by others—both specialists and laypeople—that one is a credible authority. At its heart, expertise is a rhetorical construct, and to be persuasive, experts must have the ability to apply their knowledge and skills rightly—in the right way, at the right time, to achieve the right end. Ultimately, Mehlenbacher argues that experts apply their technical knowledge effectively and win others’ trust through acting prudently and cultivating goodwill. 

Timely, practical, and sophisticated, On Expertise provides vital scaffolding for our understanding of expertise and its real-world application. This book is essential for beginning the work of rehabilitating the expert class amid a politics of extreme populism and anti-intellectualism. 


Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Tunde Oyeneyin, Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (GMC) 

On any given day, thousands of devoted people clip into their bikes and have their lives changed by Tunde Oyeneyin. From her platform in a Peloton studio, she encourages riders with her trademark blend of positivity, empathy, and motivational “Tunde-isms,” to push themselves to their limits both on and off the bike. Now, fans and readers everywhere can learn about her personal journey, and discover how they too can “live a life of purpose, on purpose” with Speak, a memoir-manifesto-guide to life inspired by her immensely popular Instagram Live series of the same name. 

Taking us through each step of the SPEAK acronym—Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge—Oyeneyin shares the lessons she has learned about loss, love, body image, and how she has successfully created an intentional, joyful life for herself, offering an accessible blueprint for anyone looking to make a positive change in their lives.

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