I am so happy that Larry James, CEO and President of CitySquare, will be our guest presenter at the December 7 First Friday Book Synopsis.
Larry has most graciously agreed to substitute for me while I attend the annual communication of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas, in my capacity as a member of the Education and Service Committee.
Many of you will remember his stunning presentation of Rudolph Guiliani’s book entitled Leadership several years ago.
This time, he will present Jon Gordon’s best-seller, The Energy Bus. This book was written in 2007, but continues to appear on business best-seller lists. It has had a 12-week run on the Wall Street Journal list. You will enjoy the practical advice that Gordon shares in this book, and perhaps even more, the presentation and spin you will hear from Larry James.
We have an exciting bonus program for you following the synopsis. Randy Mayeux will present a synopsis of a best-seller about poverty, and CitySquare officials, including Larry James, will participate in a discussion with you afterwards. All of the proceeds from this program will go directly to CitySquare. I am so impressed with what they do, and I am thrilled to have them as one of our charities that we support annually.
The organization’s website touts the fact that it goes after the root cause of hunger, not a quick-fix. It says: “We don’t fight poverty for the poor—we fight poverty with the poor. Our 24-year commitment to addressing the root causes of poverty, both on an individual and systemic level, combined with our unyielding commitment to stewardship (over 92 cents of each dollar goes directly to services for those in need) makes CitySquare a proven leader in our community and beyond.” You can read more about this amazing organization at: http://citysq.org/
I appreciate your attendance and contribution to the bonus program. It will be well worth your time. If you cannot stay, can you contribute? We will take your tax-deductible donations at the registration desk that day.
You can register for this event at: www.firstfridaybooksynopsis.com
I am thrilled to read that David McCullough will be the featured speaker for the JFK Memorial Anniversary ceremony on November 22, 2013. This event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the fatal shooting in downtown Dallas.
McCullough has positioned himself as the premier biographer in contemporary literature. You are aware of his prolific work on John Adams and Harry Truman, but I thought that 1776 and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris were simply over the top.
To read more about his selection as the keynote speaker, go to this link:
I have studied the JFK assassination for many years. I was 9 years old when he came to Dallas. My mother let me stay home to watch his speech on television, which, of course, he never gave. The conspiracy theories are interesting, but when you look at what we know, not what we can speculate about, there was only one killer in Dealey Plaza on November 22. The best resource for this is the amazing and comprehensive work by Vincent Bugliosi entitled Reclaiming America.
The 50th anniversary of this event will bring about many more books. Right now, at the top of the non-fiction list is Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy. How many more will we see? How many more do we need?
I don’t know the answer to those questions. But I do know this – the anniversary is not a VIP-event, but it does require a ticket. There will be only a few available. You can bet your bottom dollar that I will have one. I will be there – it will be a memory of a lifetime.
What do you think? Let’s talk about it really soon!
You may have been mildly surprised to read the story on Sunday distributed by the Associated Press, revealing that Clifton Truman Daniel, the grandson of former President Harry S. Truman, visited Hiroshima, where he attended a memorial service for the victims killed by the August 6, 1945 bombing, and laid a wreath at the Peace Memorial Park.
You can read the entire text of that article by Eric Talmadge here.
The weight of making the decision on President Truman to drop the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never better chronicled than in the great biography, Truman, written by David McCullough (Simon and Schuster, 1993). His account actually makes you feel as if you were agonizing over that decision as well.
Note that Daniel’s visit was the first ever to the site by a member of the Truman family, some 67 years after the bombings. During the visit he said, “I think this centopath says it all – to honor the dead, to not forget, and to make sure that we never let this happen again….There are other opinions, there are other points of view, and I don’t think we evr finish talking about that.”
The article notes that Daniel chose to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki because he needed to understand the consequences of his grandfather’s action, and that he is committed to help achieve a nuclear-free world.
I don’t know about you, but the tone seems to indicate that, under the same circumstances, he would not acted as his grandfather, and would not have dropped the bombs. Does his presence and activity there signal regret, or go even further, as an apology?
I find that still today discussions about the two bombings are acrimonious, with people taking sharp polar positions about the legitimacy and need for the atomic attacks. I also find that very few people understand the agony that President Truman experienced while making the decision. A re-read of McCullough’s biography will help fill that gap. Young people in history classes are taught to consider the ethics of the action.
I find myself unsure what good this visit by Truman’s grandson really produced. It was not an official visit by an American elected official, nor sanctioned by the United States government. From all appearances, he did this for himself, by himself, and perhaps that is all it was, to provide personal fulfillment.
But, the visit was also symbolic. Ignoring it for 67 years as the family had done speaks for itself; calling it to attention in the limelight such as this event raises new questions. Regardless, it doesn’t bring back the 210,000 people who were killed, and it simply gets us to speculate about familial solidarity. More importantly, it doesn’t help us understand the two bombings any better, and it doesn’t prevent it from happening again.
And what do you think about it? Let’s talk about this really soon!
We have provided synopses for many books on technology over the now completed 14 years of the First Friday Book Synopsis. Clearly, there are many avid readers who embrace technology and can’t wait to see what’s new.
Here’s the next one that we will likely see covered in a book soon. It is called Project Glass, and it is a pair of Internet-connected glasses under development by Google.
In essence, you wil be able to be online and view sites through a small glass window that rests in the upper right or left corner of your lens.
The Wall Street Journal provided these statistics in an article on April 7-8, 2012, p. C4. Out of 2,482 social media posts on Facebook and Twitter between April 4-6:
- 77% were excited
- 9% were skeptical
- 12% thought it was too much
- 2% cracked jokes
Click here to read the full article and see some of the quotes taken from the respondents.
And, remember – don’t ever say, “what will they think of next?” As soon as you do, you will be behind the curve.
What do you think? Let’s talk about it really soon.
- Helping people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable
- Helping people get wellby being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
- Finding curesby funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it and discover new ways to cure it
- Fighting back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight
I was surprised today (2/28/2012) when I received an e-Mail with Barnes & Noble’s “top picks of this week’s new books.”
The list does not contain a category for “business,” nor do I see a single business book listed.
What’s wrong with this picture? Is this just a bad week for them in the eyes of Barnes & Noble?
Like our other bloggers, I have a great appetite for business books. They have become a passion, and I eagerly anticipate the publication of the best-selling list every Saturday morning the Wall Street Journal Weekend edition.
I think that not including a single business title in the “top picks” of the week is quite strange. This is especially true when lists of top non-fiction books regularly include a number of best-selling business books.
Are you surprised that the list features “cookbooks” but no business books?
How do you interpret this omission? Does it say more about Barnes & Noble, or about the status of business books?
Let me hear from you! Let’s talk about this really soon.
Here is the list that they distributed, with categories in blue:
Hot New Fiction
Trail of the Spellmans
Cinnamon Roll Murder
Ideas and Advice for You
The Power of Habit
The Emotional Life of Your Brain
Let It Go
China’s Wings Kingdom During the Golden Age of Flight
Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith
New Biography & Memoir
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
The First Lady of Fleet Street
Burn Down the Ground
The Latest Romance
The Darkest Seduction
New for Kids
Penny and Her Song
The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide
New for Teens
New in Cookbooks
Alain Ducasse Nature
Joy the Baker Cookbook
In the writing skills course that we teach at Creative Communication Network, entitled Write Your Way to Success, we discuss how to handle e-Mails.
Most of our participants claim they write e-Mails as more than 85% of the type of writing they do on the job.
Obviously, writing e-Mails is often responding to other e-Mails.
And, the question is, do you control e-Mail, or does e-Mail control you?
Do you remember the Southwest Airlines commercials a few years ago, where a woman dropped a cake because she heard a “bing” on her computer, announcing an e-Mail? Or the one where the guy jumped over a cube wall to get to his e-Mail? They were exaggerated events, but not too far from reality.
You likely remember the synopsis of the book that I presented at our First Friday Book Synopsis entitled The Tyranny of e-Mail by John Freeman (Scribner, 2009). In that book, he presented a strong set of hints for writing and reading e-Mails, including scheduling a time to read e-Mails so that you concentrate on what you read and what you write, and so that you control e-Mail, instead of it controlling you. If you missed the original presentation, you can find it on 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
I thought this piece published on February 21, 2012 in the Harvard Business Review blog by Amy Gallo, entitled “Stop Email Overload,” was also provacative in the same sense. Click here to read the entire article.
Think about some of these principles. How much more productive would you be if you dictated when and how you went through your e-Mail? What if you decided how e-Mail fit into your day instead of jumping to check it everytime your computer beeped to tell you something new has arrived?
Let’s talk about it really soon!
The term “chreiai” is ignored and grossly underdeveloped in our professional literature.
Chreiai is a term that describes memorable statements or useful sayings that speakers use as topics that they can expand into rhetorical presentations.
I found this definition from Emory University website. You can access the site here.
chreia: A chreia (pl. chreiai) is a brief statement or action aptly attributed to a specific person or something analogous to a person. If a chreia features a brief statement, that statement may be a thesis. There are three types of chreiai: sayings chreiai, action chreiai, and mixed chreiai. A chreia may be expanded, elaborated, or abbreviated.
In his book, The Gnostic Discoveries (Harper Collins, 2005), Marvin Meyer states:
“Chreiai continued to be used in the Middle Ages and beyond by students of rhetoric and grammar, but eventually among Christian rhetoricians chreiai lost much of their Cynic cleverness and wit and became domesticated. They turned into the serious statements of those engaged in the business of Christian theology and ethics, where there may be little room for cleverness and wit” (p. 60).
Not so fast! I think the examples he uses on the same page are pretty witty. I reproduce these here:
“Marcus Porcius Cato, when asked why he was studying Greek literature after his eightieth year, said, ‘Not that I may die learned but that I may not die unlearned.’”
“The Pythagorean philosopher Theano, when asked by someone how long it takes after having sex with a man for a woman to be pure to go to the Thesmophoria (the festival celebrated in honor of Demeter and Kore), said, ‘If it is with her own husband, at once, but if with someone else’s, never.’”
Meyer notes that even the words of wisdom offered by Jesus in Christian texts qualify as chreiai.
I am surprised how buried this term has been. Even our fellow blogger, Randy Mayeux, who went through seminary, then graduate training in rhetoric, and then in the ministry for twenty years, had never come across this term.
Yet, I find it descriptive, and perhaps useful as we look at clever sayings in contemporary books.
What about you? Does this interest you?
Let’s talk about it really soon!
On Friday, I saw My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monore. She was nominated for an Oscar for this performance.
The movie was based upon a book written by Colin Clark, entitled The Prince, the Showgirl and Me (St. Martins Press, 1996). The script included additional material from his follow-up book, My Week With Marilyn (Weinstein Books, 2011). That book contains gossipy, tell-all material, that was heavily relied upon in the movie.
Controversy exists about whether any of the juicy bits are even true. For example, here are two quotes that I obtained from the Los Angeles Times on December 10, 2011, in an article written by Amy Kaufman. You can read the entire article here.
“I was there every day, and I knew what was happening. [Clark] was on the set, and he was a gofer — ‘Hey, I need a cup of coffee,’ or whatever. No one regarded him as anything but a gofer,” said Amy Greene, the widow of Milton Greene, a photographer who was vice president of Monroe’s production company.
“It’s a complete lie. It’s a fantasy. He was a fourth-rate water boy,” agreed Greene’s son, Joshua, who handles his father’s archives. He said he contacted BBC Films, the production company, to offer up his father’s documents and photographs before production on “My Week With Marilyn” began, but his inquiry was ignored.
I didn’t think the movie was that great. And, honestly, I don’t really care if it was true. How many more revelations will we find about a woman who died in 1962? And about JFK, who died in 1963? It seems to me that the number of Monroe and JFK accounts must run neck-in-neck, and some people claim that they did more than necking. It all depends on who you read.
But, I thought that Williams was great. She was nominated last year for Blue Valentine, and before that, was wonderful in Incendiary, which was just another average movie.
Perhaps in the future she will find a script that matches her talent, and she will receive recognition as the quality actress that she is.
What did you think? Do you care that this account is true?
Let’s talk about it really soon!