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Books to Watch | November 16, 2021

Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, Emily Porter

November 16, 2021

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Each and every week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), and Emily Porter (EPP)—highlights a few new books we are most excited about.

We are in the homestretch of our awards season, so our Staff Picks and Books to Watch feature will be on a sort of hiatus while we buckle down on our deliberations. We are still picking the books we are most excited about for our Books to Watch each week, but we will be using the publisher’s jacket copy instead of writing our own words about the books.  

This week, our choices are:

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Bias Interrupted: Creating Inclusion for Real and for Good by Joan C. Williams, Harvard Business Review Press (DJJS) 

A cutting-edge, relentless, objective approach to inclusion. 

Companies spend billions of dollars annually on diversity efforts with remarkably few results. Too often diversity efforts rest on the assumption that all that's needed is an earnest conversation about "privilege." That's not enough. To truly make progress we need to stop celebrating the problem and instead take effective steps to solve it. 

In Bias Interrupted, Joan C. Williams shows how it's done, and, reassuringly, how easy it is to get started. One of today's preeminent voices on inclusive workplaces, Williams explains how leaders can use standard business tools—data, metrics, and persistence—to interrupt the bias that is continually transmitted through formal systems like performance appraisals, as well as the informal systems that control access to career-enhancing opportunities. The book presents fresh evidence, based on Williams's exhaustive research and work with companies, that interrupting bias helps every group—including white men. 

Comprehensive, though compact and straightforward, Bias Interrupted delivers real, practical value in an efficient and accessible manner to an audience that has never needed it more. It's possible to interrupt bias. Here's where you start. 

 

Brand With Purpose: Find Your Passion, Stay True to Your Story, and Accelerate Your Career by Ivan Estrada, Page Two Books (GMC) 

You’re not fake—and your brand shouldn’t be either 

In Brand With Purpose, real-estate phenomenon and LA media personality Ivan Estrada recounts his journey of growing up Latinx, queer, and working class, and shares the critical lessons about personal growth and self-discovery he learned along the way—from his early precocious entrepreneurial endeavors as a seven-year-old, selling his drawings door-to-door for $2, to his rise as the number-one broker and CPA in LA. A book for young entrepreneurs, creative seekers, non-conformists, and ambitious dreamers, Brand With Purpose is filled with tools and expert advice on growing your career and business, with enlightening case studies and inspirational wisdom from other successful trailblazers. 

Through guided self-reflection, you’ll reflect and discover the very essence of you, and then learn how to communicate that to build a sense of trust with your clients, customers, or public. Just as Estrada learned to embrace his true self and build a career as a highly respected expert and entrepreneur, so, too, will you discover how your own experiences, challenges, and obstacles hold the key to creating a timeless brand that builds loyalty, influence, and trust—a brand with purpose. 

 

Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America by Katie Worth, Columbia Global Reports (DJJS) 

Why are so many American children learning so much misinformation about climate change? 

Investigative reporter Katie Worth reviewed scores of textbooks, built a 50-state database, and traveled to a dozen communities to talk to children and teachers about what is being taught, and found a red-blue divide in climate education. More than one-third of young adults believe that climate change is not man-made, and science instructors are being contradicted by history teachers who tell children not to worry about it. 

Who has tried to influence what children learn, and how successful have they been? Worth connects the dots on oil corporations, state legislatures, school boards, libertarian thinktanks, conservative lobbyists, and textbook publishers, all of whom have learned from the fight over evolution and tobacco, and are now sowing uncertainty, confusion, and distrust about climate science, with the result that four in five Americans today don’t think there is a scientific consensus on global warming. In the words of a top climate educator, “We are the only country in the world that has had a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar deny-delay-confuse campaign.” Miseducation is the alarming story of how climate denialism was implanted in millions of school children. 

 

The Teller of Secrets: A Novel by Bisi Adjapon, HarperVia (EPP) 

In this stunning debut novel—a tale of self-discovery and feminist awakening—a feisty Nigerian-Ghanaian girl growing up amid the political upheaval of late 1960s postcolonial Ghana begins to question the hypocrisy of her patriarchal society, and the restrictions and unrealistic expectations placed on women. 

“Bisi Adjapon writes with incredible vividness and clarity. Extraordinary.”—Dave Eggers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius 

Young Esi Agyekum is the unofficial “secret keeper” of her family, as tight-lipped about her father's adultery as she is about her half-sisters’ sex lives. But after she is humiliated and punished for her own sexual exploration, Esi begins to question why women's secrets and men's secrets bear different consequences. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery that will lead her to unexpected places. 

As she navigates her burgeoning womanhood, Esi tries to reconcile her own ideals and dreams with her family’s complicated past and troubled present, as well as society’s many double standards that limit her and other women. Against a fraught political climate, Esi fights to carve out her own identity, and learns to manifest her power in surprising and inspiring ways.  

Funny, fresh, and fiercely original, The Teller of Secrets marks the American debut of one of West Africa's most exciting literary talents. 

 

About The Author

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of Porchlight since 2003. After beginning in shipping and receiving, he moved through customer service (with some accounting on the side) before entering into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the editorial and creative aspects of the company. Outside of work, you’ll find him volunteering or hanging out at his kids’ school, catching the weekly summer concert at the Washington Park Bandshell, or strolling through one of the many other parks or greenspaces around his home in Milwaukee (most likely in his garden). He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.

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About The Author

Gabriella Cisneros is usually ‘Gabbi.’ She is a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee, with degrees in Film and Spanish, and she’s a new addition to Porchlight Books. It’s kind of a dream job for someone who has a 55 page, indexed document of interesting words she’s found in books. Gabbi regularly makes time for taking photos, traveling, attending concerts, trying new restaurants, listening to the podcast "Ologies," blogging, filmmaking, fitness, and—of course—reading.

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About The Author

Emily Porter is our Communications & Publicity Manager who loves conversing with the wonderful authors we work with. A film photographer and long-time film industry nomad, she has had a constant love for books throughout her life. When not at work she enjoys curling up with her cats, adding to her bookshelves, practicing yoga, and photographing new landscapes. Travel. Cats. Coffee. Tea. Film. Books. RadioLab. National Geographic. Patti Smith. Dinosaurs.

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