Books Bullish on Books


  Friday, 11 Jul 2008 | 12:27 PM ET

Jack Welch & The New 10 Commandments

Winning The Answers - by Jack and Suzy Welch
Winning The Answers - by Jack and Suzy Welch

I got an email from Suzy Welch who is spending the summer writing her upcoming book, “10-10-10: Transform Your Life with Clear, Considered, Stress-Free Choices.” The book is being published by Scribner \(an imprint of Simon & Schuster\) and will be ready next spring.

Suzy is already a best selling author. She and her husband Jack wrote two huge best sellers “Winning” and its follow up, “Winning: The Answers.” You know Jack - he’s “THAT” Jack - the “Manager of the Century”, the one who used to sign my paychecks - ok, not him personally but someone who worked for him – THE Jack Welch, the former Chairman and CEO of GE.

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  Thursday, 10 Jul 2008 | 1:50 PM ET

James Patterson & The Google Gurus


Little, Brown and Company’s fall catalog just came in and among its offerings is a first for the writing machine otherwise known as James Patterson. This industry – oops, I mean author, has sold more than 150 million books to the tune of more than $1.5 billion. NOW – he’s written his first NON-fiction story, “Against Medical Advice.”

His success is (sorry) no mystery. The man who created Alex Cross has created an unbelievable business model:

The official Patterson website boasts of holding the New York Times bestsellers list of records with 39 titles and that in 2007 he was responsible for one out of every 15 hardcover novels.

His entertainment empire, James Patterson Entertainment includes books, movies, a TV series and videogames.

The former head of J. Walter Thompson is such a trailblazer they even did a case study of him at the Harvard Business School.

Forbes Magazine ranks him as #58 in its latest “100 Most Powerful Celebrities” issue reporting his 2007 earnings at $50 Million.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Patterson’s first “true story” plays with his fans – but even more interesting to watch how he grows his company.

Little, Brown and Company is part of the French conglomerate Lagardere SCA (LGDDF:OTC)

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  Tuesday, 8 Jul 2008 | 1:55 PM ET

What We're Reading At CNBC

I’ve got all these grand plans for this summer: clean the kids’ playroom, clear out their closets, organize my emails, go on a biking trip, lose weight, discover a new drink and read like a dozen new books – you know, the same stuff I was going to do last summer, and the summer before that and the summer before that!

Summer is all about making big plans: for our careers, our family, our love lives, our political parties and our dreams. And our plans always include reading something truly special.

I don’t know what it is, but it’s a fact: summer and reading go together like gin and tonic – two classics that just can’t be ignored when the weather heats up.

Ever since grade school we’ve known that summer is a time for reading – real reading, the kind of reading you do for your soul – the best kind of reading.

So I set out do to do a little soul searching to see what some of my colleagues here at CNBC are reading this summer and so far I’ve found out that:

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  Wednesday, 2 Jul 2008 | 11:50 AM ET

"Becoming A Resonant Leader" And Thoughts On Leadership

Becoming a Resonant Leader
Becoming a Resonant Leader

I love the 4th of July! I think it’s my favorite holiday because it’s full of such hope: hope for good weather, hope for a great sale and hope for the country. Think about it, this is the time of year when the whole world wishes they too could be a Yank. We’ve got the bar b q, beers, baseball, bikinis, Hollywood blockbusters, cosmos and fireworks!

This is the time of year when we celebrate in great fanfare: us! Those great leaders of the past who shaped us and those waiting in the wings who offer us the promise of what we still can be.

Leadership is THE theme of all things now: the election, the economy, global warming, food shortages, etc. And good leaders are in short supply.

A new book "Becoming A Resonant Leader " seems to have come at just the right time. The book is published by Harvard Business School Press and was written by Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis and Frances Johnston.

BusinessWeek has called McKee “The High Priestess of Executive Coaching ” and she has earned her stripes (and her salary) as an executive coach for Fortune 500 leaders. McKee, the Founder and Managing Director of Teleos Leadership Institute helps them reclaim or find their inner leader.

I asked Ms. McKee to share some of her thoughts about leadership and to tell me why in her opinion there seems to be a dearth of good leadership. She says in part it’s because most people are selected to lead for the wrong reasons:

  • It’s what you don’t ask: What makes the difference between great and average leaders are qualities that get short shrift in the selection process: self-awareness, the ability to manage one’s emotions, accurately reading people, groups, cultures
  • It’s not just the IQ: To be a great leader you need emotional intelligence, which is too often ignored, undervalued, even disdained.
  • It’s what you don’t see: Rarely if ever do we systematically explore the skills related to self-awareness, mindfulness, emotional self-management, empathy and the like.

McKee also warns: No leader can take the kind of stress that today’s world throws at us forever. The myth of the all-powerful bionic man/woman is actually at the heart of why so many good leaders go bad. Working as hard as we must, taking no time for systematic renewal, we end up victims of power stress, suffering physically, emotionally and mentally. We put blinders on, head down, simply trying to survive. And of course, we lose our self-awareness and empathy along the way. At best, we become “managers”, simply getting stuff done as opposed to reaching energetically toward the future and inspiring people to come with us. At worst, we become depressed and depressing, unpredictable tyrants, or simply toxic human beings.

So how do you avoid being that toxic thing in the corner office? Click here to read an excerpt from "Becoming A Resonant Leader"

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  Monday, 30 Jun 2008 | 12:28 PM ET

The Blame Game

Chain of Blame
Chain of Blame

Wiley is rushing out CHAIN OF BLAME: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis. The book goes on sale July 15th and is written by financial reporters Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla.

The authors reveal in gory detail just what went wrong at Countrywide and how so many chuckleheads made so many bone-headed decisions. (You can decide who the chuckleheads are – but - some of them have lost billions of dollars, some have lost their jobs and some face criminal charges)

Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s Chief and the book’s “star” worked with the authors up until a point (duh!). Muolo says “The Tan One” was collaborating with him until Bank of America agreed to buy Countrywide then, according to Muolo, Mozilo said he was fed up with the media coverage of the company. (Note to self: it’s always the media’s fault!)

The authors write about the famous “FOA’s” lists kept by lenders. (For those of you who haven’t read a newspaper in the last month “FOA’s” are Friends of Angelo’s and they reportedly got friendly treatment and deals….sheesh, read a paper for goodness sakes!)

The book is the first to chronicle the entire mess and the publishers have their fingers crossed hoping it will be the next “Den of Thieves” or “Liar’s Poker.” Of course we won’t know that for a while, but one thing is certain; they nailed the title ‘cause as you know, blame is the new black.

New deals that caught my eye from PublishersMarketplace.com :

A Belated Birthday Present? Two top guns from The Deal are preparing to offer a behind the scenes look at The Blackstone Group. And of course no BTS would be complete without a good long look (and photos I hope) of Stephen Schwarzman and Hamilton “Tony” James. The authors, David Carey and John Morris plan to write up in BLACKSTONE AND THE RISE OF PRIVATE EQUITY how the Group picks its investments, manages its companies and – and here’s the juicy stuff – their survival guide while Rome is burning. The book is due out in the Fall of 2009.

Rich And About To Get Even Richer. The very Rich, Happy and Fabulous Marianna Olszewski has just signed a deal to write “RICH, HAPPY & FABULOUS: 9 Easy and Effective Tools for Women To Create Abundance, Power and Joy”. The book is due out in the Spring of 2009. Marianna is the founder and CEO of Madison Financial Management. For a sneak peak at what the book might offer, check out her website: www.richhappyandfabulous.com.

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  Thursday, 26 Jun 2008 | 8:29 AM ET

Books Coming down the Pike

Because I know you always want to know before anyone else – I wanted to share some of the recent book deals according to PublishersMarketplace.com . Trends continue to be: We’re broke and getting broker, boomer heroes and … keeping your people happy!

When you’re hot – you’re hot: Like landing that "Today" job wasn’t enough! Kathie Lee Gifford has landed a new book deal. It’s called JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I DROPPED MY LAST EGG and it will cover jobs (having them and losing them), success (whatever that means), family, motherhood and discovering what it’s like to be “fertile” after 50. Fertile in this case means giving birth to self-definition, creativity, new jobs and interest. The book is set to publish in the Spring of 2009.

The REAL Mr. Big: Forget about Chris Noth – in my book, the real Mr. Big is Clarence Clemons. The E Street Band’s Sax sensation is set to blast about his wild adventures and life – as told to his pal and Hollywood man Don Reo. The book will be called BIG MAN.

Like, we didn’t see this one coming: Remember the man who says he’s pregnant - he’s been everywhere, Oprah, People, etc., (a quick primer: he used to be a she, but gave up looking for Mr. Goodbar and became one himself after a little surgery). Well guess what, not only does he have a “bun in the oven”, he’s got a book in him too. Thomas Beatie – the world’s first pregnant man is preparing to write his book, LOVE MAKES A FAMILY: A Memoir of Hardship, Healing and an Extraordinary Pregnancy. They’re making a big push to deliver this to stores in September.

Best Kiss Ever!: Gene Simmons is working with Paul Stanley on KISS KOMPENDIUM. It’ll have all the KISS comics and will feature the band's “superhero” characters warring the other costume-enhanced, make-up wearing superheroes like Spiderman, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and Wolverine. Gene’s going to write the foreword and it’ll be out in the Fall, 2009.

Attention Citi or When Fear, Intimidation and Threats Don’t Work: Harry Paul and Ross Reck's have a deal to write INSTANT TURNAROUND: GETTING EMPLOYEES EXCITED ABOUT COMING TO WORK AND WORKING HARD. They’re offering advice to managers on how to turn the job place into a “desired destination” and increase productivity and fulfillment. Uh, frankly all the fulfillment I need is that paycheck – just ask the Citifolks.

Ohhhhh, We’re Supposed to Only Spend What We Make – Gotcha!: Chris Farrell, the contributing economic editor at BusinessWeek, is writing THE NEW FRUGALITY. He will tell us how in these tough times – we need to fix our finances and tighten our belts. No, really this one is going to be different – really. Farrell will offer up “innovative strategies” from regular folks that will show the rest of us morons how we can truly enjoy the good life even if we have to actually live within our means. Start saving now, the book will be out Fall, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Rocket: Jeff Pearlman, the NYT bestselling author of THE BAD GUYS WON has signed a deal to write about Mr. Controversy, Roger Clemens. The book is to be called, ROGER CLEMENS: THE RISE AND FALL OF A LEGEND.

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  Wednesday, 25 Jun 2008 | 12:40 PM ET

Welcome to Bullish on Books

Despite being told that books are dead – I am Bullish on Books!

Books define who we are - who we were and who we want to be!

We are judged by the books we “say” we are reading and those we “claim” to have read:

On first dates, “So, what book are you reading”

On college applications, “What book most inspired you?”

On job interviews, “What kinds of books do you like to read?”

Books speak volumes - even when we don’t want to. C’mon how many times have you pulled out a book and started reading it in a restaurant or at an airport just so no one would talk to you! It’s ok to admit it - we all need our book barriers sometimes.

And sorry, but we do judge a person by the cover they’re reading. It just slays me when I hear someone whom I’ve always thought of as a real turnip turn up talking about one of my favorite books. It forces me to take another look at that person I mean, if we both love the same book - I must have been wrong about them. Right?

Books offer us escape from the mundane, the insane and from those who complain. And business books offer us the ultimate escape! Business books offer us the hope of a being a better manager, a better employee, building a better team, getting a better job, finding a better strategy, having a richer and better life.

Business books even sound sexy! Some of the books I’ve been asked to feature on CNBC include, “The Wolf of Wall Street," "The Corporate Dominatrix," "Hug Your People," and “Whoa! My Boss is Naked.”

Business books can even make us all true believers! How can you not want to read something called, “God Wants You To Be Rich” ?

This blog is all about the books you’ll be reading, should be reading, want to read and those you’ll lie and say you have read.

You’re probably wondering who am I to tell you what to read, well suffice it to say that I’m not a librarian, I’m not an economist and I’ve never written a mortgage loan in my life. I am the senior producer here at CNBC responsible for booking of all things books. I review the books that come in to CNBC and work with the shows to decide which author has a good enough story to be featured on our air to sell their books.

The quick read on me – nearly 30 years of TV experience including local and national news, documentaries, talk shows and syndication. I’ve interviewed presidents, prostitutes, pundits, pampered princesses and potheads. I’ve had great access, been on the frontline of every type of natural disaster, seen all kinds of man-made disasters and received my fair share of awards. So now, I just want to kick back and read a good book.

I’ll bring you the authors, reviews and the buzz because despite what we’ve been told we are indeed, Bullish on Books.

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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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