Books to Watch | September 13, 2022
September 13, 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:
Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It by Jon Clifton, Gallup Press (DJJS)
The rising unhappiness that leaders didn’t see. That’s because while leaders pay close attention to measures like GDP or unemployment, almost none of them track their citizens’ wellbeing.
The implications of this blind spot are significant and far-reaching — leaders missed the citizen unhappiness that triggered events ranging from the Arab uprisings to Brexit to the election of Donald Trump.
What are they going to miss next?
Grounded in Gallup’s global research, Blind Spot makes the urgent case that leaders should measure and quantify wellbeing and happiness — how citizens’ lives are going — and shows them how. It also discusses the five key elements of a great life and where the world needs to improve in each of them to better the lives of people everywhere.
Hack Your Bureaucracy: Get Things Done No Matter What Your Role on Any Team by Marina Nitze & Nick Sinai, Hachette Go (JAG)
Whether you just started your first entry-level job, run the entire company, or just feel trapped by your condo association bylaws, it’s time to it’s time to learn how to get big things done and make a lasting impact with Hack Your Bureaucracy.
From local government to the White House, Harvard to the world of venture capital, Marina Nitze and Nick Sinai have taken on some of the world’s most challenging bureaucracies—and won. Now, they bring their years of experience to you, teaching you strategies anyone can use to improve your organization through their own stories and those of fellow bureaucracy hackers, including:
- Find Your Paperclip: use small steps to achieve big change
- Set Your North Star: keep your end goal in sight
- Cultivate the Karass: assemble an adept team and network
- Don’t Waste a Crisis: turn every opportunity into a chance for change
- And more!
Change doesn’t happen just because the person in charge declares it should, even if that person is the CEO of your company or the President of the United States. Regardless of your industry, role, or team, Hack Your Bureaucracy shows how to get started, take initiative on your own, and transform your ideas into impact.
Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (GMC)
In Strangers to Ourselves, a powerful and gripping debut, Rachel Aviv raises fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress. Drawing on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs, Aviv writes about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are. She follows an Indian woman, celebrated as a saint, who lives in healing temples in Kerala; an incarcerated mother vying for her children’s forgiveness after recovering from psychosis; a man who devotes his life to seeking revenge upon his psychoanalysts; and an affluent young woman who, after a decade of defining herself through her diagnosis, decides to go off her meds because she doesn’t know who she is without them. Animated by a profound sense of empathy, Aviv’s exploration is refracted through her own account of living in a hospital ward at the age of six and meeting a fellow patient with whom her life runs parallel—until it no longer does.
Aviv asks how the stories we tell about mental disorders shape their course in our lives. Challenging the way we understand and talk about illness, her account is a testament to the porousness and resilience of the mind.
A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pioneering Biologist Explains How Evolution Can Help Us Solve Our Biggest Problems by Joseph L. Graves Jr., Basic Books (EPP)
Evolutionary science has long been regarded as conservative, a tool for enforcing regressive ideas, particularly about race and gender. But in A Voice in the Wilderness, evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves Jr.—once styled as the “Black Darwin”—argues that his field is essential to social justice. He shows, for example, why biological races do not exist. He dismantles recent work in “human biodiversity” seeking genes to explain the achievements of different ethnic groups. He decimates homophobia, sexism, and classism as well.
As a pioneering Black biologist, a leftist, and a Christian, Graves uses his personal story—his journey from a child of Jim Crow to a major researcher and leader of his peers—to rewrite his field. A Voice in the Wilderness is a powerful work of scientific anti-racism and a moving account of a trailblazing life.