New Releases | May 23, 2023
May 23, 2023
Excellent new books are brought into the world every single week. Here at Porchlight, we track them all and elevate four new releases we are excited about as they hit bookstore shelves on Tuesday morning.
The books are chosen by Porchlight's Managing Director, Sally Haldorson, and the marketing team: Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, and Jasmine Gonzalez. (Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.) This week, our choices are:
Gabbi’s pick: The Creative Business Handbook: Follow Your Passions and Be Your Own Boss by Alicia Puig and Ekaterina Popova, illustrated by Leila Simon Hayes, Chronicle Books
Figuring out how to make a living from your creative work poses unique challenges and obstacles. From choosing the right business model to building a brand, from managing your time to scaling up your production—starting your own creative business often means doing it all yourself. Enter The Creative Business Handbook by Alicia Puig and Ekaterina Popova, the dynamic duo behind Create! Magazine.
With its conversational tone and accessible advice, this handbook lays an essential foundation for anyone wanting to earn a living with their art—no fancy business degree required! In addition to nuts-and-bolts advice based on the authors' real-life experiences, each chapter of the book includes an interview with a creative entrepreneur from a different background and craft, and ends with action steps that will help keep you on track. Written by creative business owners for creative business owners, this is the perfect book for anyone with a vision who is ready to hit the ground running.
EXPERT AUTHORS: Informed by the authors' decades of experience founding and managing three successful creative businesses—as well as the lessons they learned from some projects that didn't stand the test of time—this book offers tried-and-true advice for artists looking to get their creative enterprises off the ground and achieve real financial success. Popova and Puig have also included interviews with other self-employed creatives across a variety of fields, giving you a window into the myriad paths available to you as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
FOR ALL CREATIVES: This book offers real wisdom for starting and sustaining your unique creative business no matter your passion, whether you are a career artist looking to make a living outside of the gallery space, an experienced freelance writer interested in mentoring your peers, or a podcaster who dreams of sustaining yourself by making content that you genuinely care about. From advice about best marketing practices to striking the ever-elusive work-life balance, this guide will help you to understand the business side of your creative practice.
- Artists, designers, makers, illustrators—recent graduates and budding professionals—looking to start their own businesses
- Creative people exploring career ideas and looking for practical advice and inspiration
- Graduation, birthday, or holiday gift for artistic and entrepreneurial friends and loved ones
- Readers of Create! Magazine, Steal Like an Artist, Big Magic, and Untamed
Sally’s pick: Fancy Bear Goes Phishing: The Dark History of the Information Age, in Five Extraordinary Hacks by Scott J. Shapiro, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
It’s a signal paradox of our times that we live in an information society but do not know how it works. And without understanding how our information is stored, used, and protected, we are vulnerable to having it exploited. In Fancy Bear Goes Phishing, Scott J. Shapiro exposes the secrets of the digital age. With lucidity and wit, he establishes that cybercrime has less to do with defective programming than with the faulty wiring of our psyches and society. And because hacking is a human-interest story, he tells the fascinating tales of perpetrators, including Robert Morris Jr., the graduate student who accidentally crashed the internet in the 1980s, a sixteen-year-old from South Boston who took control of Paris Hilton’s cell phone, and the Russian intelligence officers who sought to take control of a US election.
In telling their stories, Shapiro exposes the hackers’ tool kits and gives fresh answers to vital questions: Why is the internet so vulnerable? What can we do in response? Combining the philosophical adventure of Gödel, Escher, Bach with dramatic true-crime narrative, the result is a lively and original account of the future of hacking, espionage, and war, and of how to live in an era of cybercrime.
Jasmine’s pick: On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to Be Good by Elise Loehnen, The Dial Press
Why do women equate self-denial with being good?
We congratulate ourselves when we resist the donut in the office breakroom. We celebrate our restraint when we hold back from sending an email in anger. We feel virtuous when we wake up at dawn to get a jump on the day. We put others’ needs ahead of our own and believe this makes us exemplary. In On Our Best Behavior, journalist Elise Loehnen explains that these impulses – often lauded as unselfish, distinctly feminine instincts – are actually ingrained in us by a culture that reaps the benefits, via an extraordinarily effective collection of mores known as the Seven Deadly Sins.
Since being codified by the Christian church in the fourth century, the Seven Deadly Sins—pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth—have exerted insidious power. Even today, in our largely secular, patriarchal society, they continue to circumscribe women’s behavior. For example, seeing sloth as sinful leads women to deny themselves rest; a fear of gluttony drives them to ignore their appetites; and an aversion to greed prevents them from negotiating for themselves and contributes to the 55 percent gender wealth gap.
In On Our Best Behavior, Loehnen reveals how we’ve been programmed to obey the rules represented by these sins and how doing so qualifies us as “good.” This probing analysis of contemporary culture and thoroughly researched history explains how women have internalized the patriarchy, and how they unwittingly reinforce it. By sharing her own story and the spiritual wisdom of other traditions, Loehnen shows how we can break free and discover the integrity and wholeness we seek.
Dylan’s pick: The West: A New History in Fourteen Lives by Naoíse Mac Sweeney, Dutton
In this bold, story-driven retelling of global history, prize-winning historian Naoise Mac Sweeney debunks the myths and origin stories that underpin the history we thought we knew. Told through fourteen figures who each played a role in the creation of the Western idea—from Herodotus, a mixed-race refugee, to Phyliss Wheatley, an enslaved African girl who became a literary sensation; and from Gladstone, with his private passion for epic poetry, to the medieval Arab scholar Al-Kindi—the subjects are a mind-expanding blend of unsung heroes and familiar faces viewed afresh. Each life tells us something unexpected about the age in which it was lived and offers us a piece of the puzzle of how the modern idea of the West developed—and why we've misunderstood it for too long.
Does Western civilization really stretch back from modernity through the Enlightenment to the classical glories of Greece and Rome? We learn this story of Western history at school and often hear about it in the mouths of populist politicians. It is so popular that it is usually taken for granted, passing unquestioned and unchallenged. But that does not mean it is true.
At this moment of civilizational redefinition, if we are to chart a future for the West, we must properly understand its past.
WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING AT HOME
"I started reading the manga series Drops of God. The son of a wine critic (who had long distanced himself from his father’s legacy and knows nothing about wine but discovers he has a near-superhuman instinct for wine tasting) has to face his father’s protégé to see who will inherit the late critic’s wine collection and estate. A very accessible series if you’ve never read manga before, plus you get to learn all about wine along with the protagonist and his motley crew of wine-loving friends."
—Jasmine Gonzalez, Managing Editor