Bullish on Books with Gloria McDonough-Taub

  Monday, 8 Sep 2008 | 11:46 AM ET

Publishers Push Palin: New Book Being Rushed

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Zondervan, a Christian publisher of the HarperCollins company is rushing out a biography on Alaska Governor/Republican VP candidate, Sarah Palin.

From the company’s release, “A new biography, titled “Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader” by Joe Hilley … will explore themes from her career in politics, her life as a hockey mom, and her strongly held Christian faith, explaining how they influence her new style of leadership and align with our changing economy in the information age.

The book is scheduled for release nationwide on October 10, 2008.

This is the 2nd book about the PTA/hockey mom/political star - the first Kaylene Johnson’s “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down”.

See Slideshow: The Many Sides of Sarah Palin.

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Friday, 5 Sep 2008 | 2:52 PM ET

Greenspan, Buffett & Anonymous: Fall's Must Reads

The Age of Turbulence - By Alan Greenspan
The Age of Turbulence - By Alan Greenspan

It’s back to school time for my kids and it’s back to work for me after an amazing summer full of great reads, interesting meetings with authors and loads of conversations with publicists about upcoming books.

This fall promises to be incredibly busy with the publications of some highly anticipated books that will surely become must reads including: Alice Schroeder’s “THE SNOWBALL: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.”

Alan Greenspan’s “AGE OF TURBULENCE: Adventures in a New World” will include a new epilogue for its paperback release - and “Anonymous” will reveal him/herself when “BEAR TRAP: The Fall of Bear Stearns and the Panic of 2008” is released later this month.

YES of course all these authors will appear on CNBC – I mean c’mon that was the whole point of all that reading, all those meetings and all those chats I had this summer - sheesh. First up: Greenspan with Maria Bartiromo Tuesday September 9.

Oh yeah, I’ve also updated what I’m reading and what I’m hoping to read. You can check these new read lists out on the Bullish On Books main cover page.

Let me know what is on your must read list for this fall or send me your questions and/or comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Monday, 25 Aug 2008 | 12:44 PM ET

Are You Nice Enough To Lead? New Book Challenges Old Beliefs.

Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office - by Russ Edelman
Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office - by Russ Edelman

Nice guys are in big demand: Every mother wants their daughter to marry one - every homeowner hopes their next door neighbor will be one and every time you interview for a new job – you hope the boss will be one of those “nice guys.”

But somehow, somewhere nice guys have gotten the bum rap.

Nice guys are perceived as wusses – unable to make tough decisions, the so-called corporate doormats – not the type of person you want running a division much less an entire company.

But maybe it’s time to start rethinking our beliefs about nice guys.

Russ Edelman, Timothy Hiltabiddle and Charles Manz believe nice guys may be the biggest untapped resource in business and are hoping to redefine our notion of the “Nice Guy”.

The trio has just written “NICE GUYS CAN GET THE CORNER OFFICE: Eight Strategies for Winning in Business Without Being a Jerk”.

The authors have put together a compelling results-oriented strategy to succeed while being nice! They say today’s leaders – and those who strive to be - owe it to their employees, their shareholders and themselves to be nice.

When Edelman and I recently sat down for lunch I told him I have a sick but great respect for the corporate jerks. In fact I told him one of the best jobs I ever had was working for a world-class jerk. He was a terror: early morning wake-up calls, late night screaming matches, vein-popping/spitting in my face/cursing threats – and those were the good days. Working for that jerk made me tough.

But Edelman says I’ve got it wrong, that a tyrant is as bad for a business as an overly nice guy. He defines a “nice guy” as someone who is strong, courageous, principled, ethical and authentic.

Employees stay with their “nice” bosses, they go the distance, they sing their praises, they revere and work hard for the nice guy in the corner office. Nice guys can put together great teams who can build great companies.

Included in the book are interviews with some legendary “nice guys” among them: Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Vanguard’s John Bogle, Jim Turley of Ernst & Young and Sam DiPiazza of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Being called a nice guy may not be your goal - but leading a successful team, building a successful company and having the respect of your employers and employees, well c’mon now isn’t that nice…isn’t that what we call success?

As for that poster child of a jerk I worked for – I left him and that company for something much better, something much nicer.

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Friday, 22 Aug 2008 | 1:09 PM ET

Phelps Dives In Again: Book #2 Announced!

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Oh we knew it would only be a matter of time – and today they finally announced it:

Armed with the new eight gold medals around his neck – Olympic uberstar Michael Phelps is going to write a new book.

“BUILT TO SUCCEED” will be published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster this December - just in time for the holidays.

Agents and publicists are promising the book will reveal the secrets of Phelps’ success and go behind the scenes of his approach to training, competition, and winning.

The 23-year old swimmer/author will use his experiences at these Games to include anecdotes about his family, his coach and his passion for the sport. He’ll also include some personal stuff like how he overcame certain obstacles like being diagnosed with ADHD and being raised by a single mom.

This is Michael’s second book – his first, a pre-Beijing autobiography, “Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface” was written after the Athens Games.

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Monday, 18 Aug 2008 | 3:15 PM ET

Search For China's Soul 

"OUT OF MAO’s SHADOWS: The Struggle For The Soul of a New China"
"OUT OF MAO’s SHADOWS: The Struggle For The Soul of a New China"

I wish they gave out Olympic medals for joy because I’m pretty sure my twin daughters would grab the gold after watching Michael Phelps win his 8th gold medal in these Games. His final victory sparked utter pandemonium in our house – wild cheering, flag waving, the banging of pots and – the announcement from one of my girls who said she wants to go to China because as she put it – “Mommy, China is the place where dreams come true”. Wow, not bad for a 10 year old.

Yes China is indeed making a lot of dreams come true for athletes, big businesses, entrepreneurs and Chinese leaders. And all these dreams are the rewards of a meticulous, calculated plan.

Philip P. Pan has just written "OUT OF MAO’s SHADOWS: The Struggle For The Soul of a New China" and wrote in an email to me, “China wants to use these Games to reintroduce itself to the world, to celebrate its return to the ranks of world powers and its remarkable economic success over the past three decades. But the Chinese government's primary objective is to use the Olympics to boost its popularity at home. Communism as an ideology is dead, but the ruling Communist Party wants to use these Games to help make the case to the Chinese people that the one-party political system is still justified -- that an authoritarian government can be even more effective than a democratic one, and that it can be accepted by the rest of the world.

Pan – the former Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post spent seven years in China - says there is a huge tug of war battle underway for the soul of China and says that the Olympics may bring more to China than what the Party Leaders had planned.

In the same email he wrote, “ … the Olympics might bring about changes that could make the party nervous. The international focus on China has prompted discussion across the country on a wide range of issues -- from the government's policies in Tibet and Darfur to environmental protection and human rights. There's also a national debate going on about the disclosure that the cute little girl at the center of the Opening Ceremonies was lip-syncing -- that the girl who actually sang the song so beautifully was kept off the program because she had crooked teeth and wasn't "cute" enough. So I think it's also possible that the Olympics will usher in a period of greater openness and national self-examination, and perhaps greater engagement with the rest of the world. We’ll have to wait and see”.

Pan’s book details the momentous tug-o-war battle underway now in China for the soul of the country – a battle that will decide the future of the world’s most populous and perhaps, most promising nation.

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Tuesday, 12 Aug 2008 | 1:55 PM ET

My Olympic Quest - Where's The Other Michael Phelps Story?

Deborah & Michael Phelps
Source: Babble.com
Deborah & Michael Phelps

C’mon – seriously?

Looks they’re going to go ahead on publish Lynne Spears' “mom-moir” next month.

The mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn has uh, “tweaked” her story - it’ll now be less of a parenting handbook – and more of a juicy tell-all of how hard her life has been (yawn) raising the pop tart and her sister, the Disney star-unwed-teen-mother. (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”)

“Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World”, will be released September 16.

The mother I want to hear from is Deborah Phelps – mom of the water wizard, Michael.

By now most of the world knows the Cliff Notes of their story – she was a single mom raising three kids on her own and he had been diagnosed with A.D.H.D. – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. BUT – she’s got a great story to tell in detail like, how she coped when a teacher told her, “your son will never be able to focus on anything.”

I’m sure there’s a news release already in the works just waiting to be sent that will soon announce her book deal.

In the meantime – you can read Michael’s pre-Beijing autobiography, “Michael Phelps: Beneath the Surface” – it’s moving up on Amazon – now #3 in the sports category.

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Thursday, 7 Aug 2008 | 12:33 PM ET

Dude Looks Like An Author - Rock Star Steven Tyler To Bare All!

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler

Yikes this is a stretch on a business news website – but I’ve got a major league crush on him so I’m going with it!

The man who makes me “Crazy” – Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is going to write his memoir – FINALLY!!!

Ecco – an imprint of Harper Collins (part of the News Corp Empire) has just inked the deal for the world rights/writes.

Tyler, the lip-blessed, Grammy Award-winning lead singer and Rock ‘n Roll of Fame inductee is promising to bare all (YEAH!) saying in the release, … “I’ve been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I’ve been Cole-Portered and farmer’s-daughtered, I’ve been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I’m a rhyming fool and so cool that me, Fritz the Cat, and Mohair Sam are the baddest cats that am. I have so many outrageous stories, too many, and I’m gonna tell ’em all. All the unexpurgated, brain-jangling tales of debauchery, sex & drugs, transcendence & chemical dependence you will ever want to hear. And this is not just my take, this is the unbridled truth, the in-your-face, up-close and prodigious tale of Steven Tyler straight from the horse’s lips.”

Aerosmith has 21 Billboard Top 40 hits, including “Walk This Way,” “Angel,” “Dream On,” and “Dude (Looks Like A Lady),” – they've sold 150 million albums and they hold the record for most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group.

Ecco says…"The memoir will trace Tyler's youth in the Bronx…his legendary partnership with Joe Perry, the meteoric rise, fall, and rise of Aerosmith …their music, his epic romantic life, his relationship with his four children (including actress Liv Tyler), life on the road and in the spotlight, the economics of the rock star business --and all the sex, drugs, and rock and roll a reader could ask for."

Publication will be in 2009 – and to blatantly steal a great line from Ecco’s publisher, Daniel Halpern … "I don’t want to miss a thing!"

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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  Tuesday, 5 Aug 2008 | 1:32 PM ET

Dara Torres Grabs Gold (With Book Deal) 

Dara Torres
Dara Torres

She hasn’t even yet jumped into the Beijing pools and Dara Torres is already making a big splash. \(Sorry, it was just so easy\)

THE Water Queen – the woman who has become an inspiration to millions has just signed a deal to write TWO books.

The first book will be part memoir, part motivational and trust me – all inspirational.

Here she is - a woman over 40, twice divorced, mother of a toddler, bulimic survivor and now competing in her 5th Olympic Games – uh, if this doesn’t have “book” written all over it – I don’t know what does.

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  Wednesday, 30 Jul 2008 | 4:13 PM ET

Unlocking The Secrets Of Us

We are a narcissistic lot – aren’t we? I mean we are so fascinated/obsessed with ourselves – our jobs, our habits, our future – our past.

We humans have spent eons evolving into what we are only to spend even more time digging up our pasts to see who or what we were.

There are several new books out dedicated to decoding what makes us tick … unlocking the secret codes of our brains and behavior.

Four books that have caught my attention and can provide readers - even those who just skim them - with fascinating tidbits and insights are:

“HUMAN: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique” by Michael S. Gazzaniga.

The author is considered the father of cognitive neuroscience and is considered quite the brain when it comes to studying and understanding all that gray matter between our ears. In this book, Gazzaniga uses science AND some truly engaging, witty writing to explain us to us. OK, true confession time – I’m not a scientist and there are trained scientists who have written their own reviews challenging some of Gazzaniga’s theories – but I’m not a total Neanderthal. I do like to read books that challenge my long-held beliefs and give me groovy little tidbits that I can recite and impress my friends and colleagues. And if as Gazzaniga explains it, we are indeed on the brink of human discovery – and science can finally tell us why we are the way we are – then this is a good read for those marketers, managers and moms who search daily for ways to engage, empower and influence those they lead and nurture.

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  Friday, 25 Jul 2008 | 11:36 AM ET

Stephen King Story Comes To Life: How's Your Attention Span?

Stephen King's "N" video capture
Stephen King's "N" video capture

I remember when it used to be a bad thing to have a short attention span. Basically you had two choices; go into TV or go into radio.

But now we all know those with short attention spans are today’s economic and decision drivers of everything from fashion to politics (Rudy, Rudy who?).

Today in San Diego at Comic-Con THE convention for those with short attention spans, it’s going to be announced that a previously unpublished story by Stephen King has been brought to life and turned into an animated video series by Marvel Comics. It’s all part of a bold promotion plan by publisher Scribner--an imprint of CBS Corp.’sSimon & Schuster in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

Beginning Monday the first of the 25 original videos will start rolling out on the web and on various mobile channels as a lead up to the November release of King’s newest short story collection, “Just After Sunset.” The videos will be released daily five times a week through the end of August.

For those with a really short attention span beginning on Monday you can buy all 25 of the two-minute episodes for $3.99 oniTunes or Amazon.com. Certain subscribers of various cell phone services and on the web can get the episodes for free; check out CBS.com for details.

And for those with really, really short attention spans here’s your special series preview of “N.” Enjoy!

Questions, comments? bullishonbooks@cnbc.com

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About Bullish on Books Blog

  • I read recently that about 11,000 business books are published per year. That’s a lot of books! You don’t have time to read all of them, but I’m trying. Here at Bullish on Books I will be your guide to the best business books on the market today.


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