Books to Watch | August 27, 2019
August 27, 2019
Five books being published this week that we're excited are entering the marketplace of ideas.
Each and every week, our marketing team—Marketing Director Blyth Meier (BRM), Digital Marketing Specialist Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), and Editorial Director Dylan Schleicher (DJJS)—hightlight the five books being released that we are most excited about.
This week, our choices are:
Cold Warriors: Writers Who Waged the Literary Cold War by Duncan White, Custom House (DJJS) | The marketplace of ideas and the proverbial battle for hearts and minds are inextricably linked. When totalitarianism and censorship hold sway, it is often the work of artists—and particularly authors—that finds its way most effectively around them. Duncan White’s new book demonstrates how much this was the case during the Cold War. It shows how the efforts of George Orwell were as critical as those of George Kennan. The book begins with a description of the CIA deploying a “secret weapon,” dropping its payload over Poland—“not explosive or incendiary weapons: they were books.” It was Orwell’s Animal Farm, completed around the same time as Kennan’s State Department finalized plans for NATO. White’s book tells the story of those on both sides of the iron curtain using “words as weapons” in the intellectual battles of their day.
It's Not You It's the Workplace: Women's Conflict at Work and the Bias that Built It by Andrea S. Kramer & Alton B. Harris, Nicholas Brealey (GMC) | This book about women in the workplace hones in on the issue of women’s expectations of other women. As someone who was taught to view all girls as “mean girls” and “potential mean girls,” reading Kramer and Harris’s book offers a place to confront stereotypes and conflict, not only based on gender, but on age, race, sexual orientation, career-choice, and more.
The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman, Riverhead (DJJS) | “When you don’t see catastrophe coming,” writes Bina Venkataraman, “you can’t be called reckless.” We can see the catastrophes—of climate change, of political and economic instability, of drug-resistant disease—coming. But we are not destined to make bad decisions because of human nature; It is a choice we are making. The problem stems from the fact that convenience, instant gratification, short-term profit, and pain avoidance are currently ingrained in our business models, organizations, and institutions—indeed baked into our very culture. The power to make better decisions, to build a better future, to use better judgment and foresight as individuals, businesses, and societies is within our grasp. Venkataraman lays out the tools and strategies available claim that power.
The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness by Kelli Harding, Atria (GMC) | A health book that informs and inspires. The scientific evidence is accessible and the idea is simple: stress-management and compassion are key to improved mental, emotional, and physical health. Harding offers plenty of advice and empathy, which I’m hoping proves as influential for others as it has been for me.
Silo: The Zero Waste Blueprint by Douglas McMaster, Leaping Hare Press (BRM) | As the world’s population grows exponentially and climate change alters the amount of arable land available, food security is on the minds of many. Some advocate a vegan diet for “climate friendliness,” and some look to alternative protein sources like insects. But for chef Doug McMaster, the answer lies in food waste reduction. His new book lays out his radical vision for a future with no waste bin. At his restaurant (formerly in Bristol, now in London, England), everything that comes in the door becomes part of a “closed loop”—either cooked and served or composted. Even single-use glass containers are crushed into a powder and turned into new vessels. Part manifesto, part memoir, part cookbook, part guidebook, this gorgeously designed book is essential, enlightening, and actionable for both restaurateur and home chef alike.
What we're reading:
I’ve been reading via sound (audiobook) Release by Patrick Ness who is one of my very favorite authors. It’s a powerful story about a homosexual teenage boy at odds with his preacher father, his manipulative boss, and also himself. The characters all feel so real and I get angry with them all at least once, which makes me really like this book. —Gabbi Cisneros, Digital Marketing Specialist