New Releases | February 7, 2023
February 07, 2023
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:
Abyss by Pilar Quintana, translated by Lisa Dillman, World Editions (GMC)
Claudia is an impressionable eight-year-old girl, trying to understand the world through the eyes of the adults around her. But her hardworking father hardly speaks a word, while her unhappy mother spends her days reading celebrity lifestyle magazines, tending to her enormous collection of plants, and filling Claudia’s head with stories about women who end their lives in tragic ways. Then an interloper arrives, disturbing the delicate balance of family life, and Claudia’s world starts falling apart. In this strikingly vivid portrait of Cali, Colombia, Claudia’s acute observations remind us that children are capable of discerning extremely complex realities even if they cannot fully understand them. In Abyss, Quintana leads us brilliantly into the lonely heart of the child we have all once been, driven by fear of abandonment.
Chasing Icebergs: How Frozen Freshwater Can Save the Planet by Matthew H. Birkhold, Pegasus Books (EPP)
The global water crisis is upon us. 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water; nearly 1 million people die each year as a result. Even in places with adequate freshwater, pollution and poor infrastructure have left residents without basic water security. Luckily, there is a solution to this crisis where we least expect it. Icebergs—frozen mountains of freshwater—are more than a symbol of climate change. In his spellbinding Chasing Icebergs, Matthew Birkhold argues the glistening leviathans of the ocean may very well hold the key to saving the planet.
Harvesting icebergs for drinking water is not a new idea. But for the first time in human history, doing so on a massive global scale is both increasingly feasible and necessary for our survival. Chasing Icebergs delivers a kaleidoscopic history of humans’ relationship with icebergs, and offers an urgent assessment of the technological, cultural, and legal obstacles we must overcome to harness this freshwater resource.
Birkhold takes readers around the globe, introducing them to a colorful cast of characters with wildly different ideas about how (and if) humans should use icebergs. Sturdy bureaucrats committed to avoiding another Titanic square off against “iceberg cowboys” who wrangle the frozen beasts for profit. Entrepreneurs selling luxury iceberg water for an eye-popping price clash with fearless humanitarians trying to tow icebergs across the globe to eradicate water shortages.
Along the way, we meet some of the world’s most renowned scientists to determine how industrial-scale iceberg harvesting could affect the oceans and the poles. And we see firsthand the looming conflict between Indigenous peoples like the Greenlandic Inuit with claims to icebergs and the private corporations that stand to reap massive profits.
As Birkhold shepherds readers from Connecticut to South Africa, from Newfoundland to Norway, to Greenland and beyond, he unfurls a visionary argument for cooperation over conflict. It’s not too late for icebergs to save humanity. But we must act fast to form a coalition of scientists, visionaries, engineers, lawyers and diplomats to ensure that the “Cold Rush” doesn’t become a free-for-all.
Remote Works: Managing for Freedom, Flexibility, and Focus by Ali Greene and Tamara Sanderson, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (JAG)
Drawing on their years of experience working at remote companies DuckDuckGo and Automattic, plus dozens of interviews with leading experts, Ali Greene and Tamara Sanderson have written the ultimate playbook for managing remote teams.
This book addresses challenges such as communicating effectively (with fewer meetings!), eliminating frustration over what tools to use, establishing team norms, and focusing on getting things done. You will learn how to work best remotely and create a workplace designed for freedom, flexibility, and focus.
For decades, we’ve planned our lives around our work. Now it’s time to intentionally design work to fit our lives.
Understanding Organizations...Finally! : Structure in Sevens by Henry Mintzberg, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (DJJS)
We live in a world of organizations, from our birth in hospitals until our burial by funeral homes. In between, we are educated, employed, entertained, and exasperated by organizations. We had better understand how these strange beasts really work. But where can we go to find out?
Welcome to Understanding Organizations . . . Finally! For half a century, Mintzberg has been observing organizations, advising them, engaging them, and escaping them. Here he offers a masterful update and revision of his 1983 classic, Structure in Fives.
Believing there is one best way to structure organizations is the worst way to do so. A better place to start is by recognizing different species of organizations. Mintzberg identifies seven—personal enterprises, programmed machines, professional assemblies, project pioneers, and others. He explores these forms and the seven forces that drive them toward hybrids and across their life cycles.
You will find no better guide to the care and feeding of these extraordinarily varied and vital creatures than this book.