Recommended Books

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The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887307280, Paperback- $9.60 BUY

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor business people. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend.


Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround

by Louis V. Gerstner
ISBN: 0060523794, Hardcover- $17.61 BUY

Gerstner quarterbacked one of history's most dramatic corporate turnarounds. For those who follow business stories like football games, his tale of the rise, fall and rise of IBM might be the ultimate slow-motion replay. The book's opening section snappily reports Gerstner's decisions in his first 18 months on the job-the critical "sprint" that moved IBM away from the brink of destruction. The following sections describe the marathon fight to make IBM once again "a company that mattered."

One of Gerstner's first tasks was to redirect the company's attention to the outside world, where a marketplace was quickly changing and customers felt largely ignored. He succeeded mightily. Upon his retirement this year, IBM was undeniably "a company that mattered." Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? is a well-rendered self-portrait of a CEO who made spectacular change on the strength of personal leadership.


Execution - The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck (Contributor)
ISBN: 0609610570, Hardcover- $17.33 BUY

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.

Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job.


Get Better or Get Beaten

by Robert Slater
ISBN: 0071373462, Hardcover- $22.95 BUY

Do business like Jack Welch! When Jack Welch took the reins of General Electric in 1981, he reformulated GE in his own image -- tough, smart, competitive, and relentless. First published in 1994, Get Better or Get Beaten became a bestseller as managers sought to understand and mimic the success of the man lauded by Fortune as "...perhaps the most admired CEO of his generation."

Now, on the eve of his planned April retirement, the new Get Better or Get Beaten, Second Edition shows you how to compete "Welch style" in today's techologically advanced business arena.

Look to this fast-paced book for:
- Jack Welch's latest views on management and leadership
- Examples of how Welch transformed GE into an e-business
- Insights into Six Sigma and other successful GE quality initiatives
- and More...


Jack - Straight from the Gut

by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
ISBN: 0446528382, Hardcover- $18.87 BUY

It's hard to think of a CEO that commands as much respect as Jack Welch. Under his leadership, General Electric reinvented itself several times over by integrating new and innovative practices into its many lines of business.

In Jack: Straight from the Gut, Welch, with the help of Business Week journalist John Byrne, recounts his career and the style of management that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century. Beginning with Welch's childhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the book quickly progresses from his first job in GE's plastics division to his ambitious rise up the GE corporate ladder, which culminated in 1981. What comes across most in this autobiography is Welch's passion for business as well as his remarkable directness and intolerance of what he calls "superficial congeniality"--a dislike that would help earn him the nickname "Neutron Jack."


First, Break All the Rules - What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
ISBN: 0684852861, Hardcover- $18.90 BUY

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the fallacies of standard management thinking in First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as "treat people as you like to be treated"; "people are capable of almost anything"; and "a manager's role is diminishing in today's economy." "Great managers are revolutionaries," the authors write. "This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place."


Good to Great - Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

by Jim Collins
ISBN: 0066620996, Hardcover- $16.50 BUY

Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great, Collins concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success.

Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come.


A New Brand World - Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

by Scott Bedbury, Stephen Fenichell (Contributor)
ISBN: 0670030767, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Bedbury, who headed advertising and marketing divisions for Nike and Starbucks during their phenomenal growth, coaches on establishing a memorable brand. Observing consumers overwhelmed by countless choices, he argues that now's the time to build a brand that evokes trust from its customers.

"Unless your brand stands for something, it stands for nothing," he declares, as he explains methods for companies big and small to articulate their essence and ethos to core customers, potential customers and employees. Bedbury elaborates his belief that "the brand is the sum total of everything a company does" with lively anecdotes from the experiences of Harley-Davidson, Microsoft and others. He calls for advertising and marketing that will inspire rather than merely inform (ie: "Just Do It").


Inside The Magic Kingdom - 7 Keys to Disney's Success

by Thomas K. Connellan
ISBN: 1885167237, Hardcover- $13.00 BUY

Look in Mickey's Briefcase . . . Now, an outsider takes you inside the incredible Disney service culture and presents simple, powerful concepts in a fun, memorable way that just may change the way you conduct business. Based on hours of interviews and discussions with present and former Disney employees, Inside the Magic Kingdom discloses the secrets behind Disneys success . . . and explains why, of its more than 30 million guests each year, over two-thirds are repeat customers.

This upbeat, easy-to-read book illustrates clear, solid principles with examples that are well-known to Disney insiders but virtually unknown to outsiders until now. Outlines the seven keys to Disney's success. Now the principles that drive the culture and phenomenal success of Disney are disclosed in this fun, easy-to-read book. You will learn many insider secrets that will spell success if implemented in any business.


McDonald's - Behind the Arches

by John F. Love
ISBN: 0553347594, Paperback- $11.05 BUY

McDonald's: it is the world's premier entrepreneurial success story, a company whose growth worldwide continues to be astonishing. In tough financial times, McDonald's proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. In the years since McDonald's: Behind The Arches was first published, McDonald's has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different ethnic groups as well as the physically disabled.

McDonald's created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald's has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally-safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind the scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.


How to Make Your Business Run Without You!

by Susan M. Carter
ISBN: 0967029104, Paperback- $26.60 BUY

How To Make Your Business Run Without You is a how-to resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs to effectively streamline operations that will pave the way for more business, bigger profits and a business that virtually runs itself. Through step-by-step chapters, Author Susan Carter advances readers from the high-risk potential of 'owning their own jobs' to the freedom and control of 'owning their own businesses.' A must read for any owner or self-employed professional who is eager to move from start-up status to ongoing success.


The Myth of Excellence - Why Great Companies Never Try to Be the Best at Everything

by Fred Crawford, Ryan Mathews
ISBN: 0609608207, Hardcover- $19.25 BUY

Crawford is the managing director of the consumer products, retail, and distribution practice at the Cap Gemini Ernst and Young consultancy. Mathews is a futurist specializing in demographics and lifestyle analysis at FirstMatter, another consulting firm. To research purchasing behavior, they surveyed 5,000 consumers, but the responses they got surprised them and prompted their title's contrary proposition.

They developed a new model of "consumer relevancy." They explain in detail the importance of price, service, quality, access, and experience for the consumer. They then suggest that for companies to be successful they need to dominate on only one of these five factors. On a second of the five they should stand out or differentiate themselves from their competitors; and on the remaining three they need only to be at par with others in their industry. With dozens of examples, Crawford and Mathews demonstrate the validity of their premise.


Raving Fans - A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles (Contributor)
ISBN: 0688123163, Hardcover- $13.00 BUY

Kenneth Blanchard continues his trend of writing easy-to-read books with BIG ideas for making your business better. Raving Fans is a book of stories relating how fictional companies have created an environment of delivering awesome customer service. A guy that has just been put in a managment position requiring a turnaround goes on a fictional trip with his "angel" to visit businesses that have figured out their vision and their system to deliver customer service extraordinary. Based on three simple principles (Decide, Discover, Deliver), each company has created a group of Raving Fans (not just customers, but fans) who wouldn't consider shopping anywhere else for what one of these companies offers.


Differentiate or Die - Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition

by Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin (Contributor)
ISBN: 0471357642, Hardcover- $17.61 BUY

There are no two ways about it with Jack Trout. Either you've got a product or service that you can say is different, or you don't have much at all. In today's global marketplace and at its lightning-fast rate of change, there's no point in inventing and presenting a product only to sit back and hope that consumers everywhere will discover its greatness. It's not simply about what you or your product can do, it's about what you do differently from everyone else. Coauthors Trout and Steve Rivkin say it all in their no-holds-barred title, Differentiate or Die.


Extraordinary Guarantees - Achieving Breakthrough Gains in Quality and Customer Satisfaction

by Christopher Hart
ISBN: 0814450644, Paperback- $24.95 BUY

Many leading firms have achieved both these results by offering extraordinary guarantees. You too can boost organizational performance and quality to new levels by following the practical advice offered in the important book, Extraordinary Guarantees. Guarantees were once considered nothing more than a marketing gimmick. But as more and more quality leaders have begun to offer ironclad pledges of total customer satisfaction, the guarantee is now being recognized as an unparalleled tool for gaining a major, often unbeatable, competitive edge-and a host of other benefits.


Competing on Value

by Mack Hanan, Peter Karp (Contributor)
ISBN: 0814450369, Hardcover- $17.47 BUY

Presents a new approach to selling that emphasizes not competing on the basis of the best price, but the highest value--i.e. demonstrating to current and prospective customers that using your products or services will either cut their costs or improve their revenues. This book discusses VALUE. Value is not what you put INTO your products and services, it is what the customer GETS OUT. Three qualifiers of value are how much, how soon, and how sure--these are what the customer needs to know. In summary, this is highly recommended for every company that sells products and/or services.


Practice What You Preach - What Managers Must Do to Create a High-Achievement Culture

by David H. Maister
ISBN: 0743211871, Hardcover- $18.20 BUY

Maister, a professional service consultant, surveyed 6,500 employees at 50 worldwide companies to evaluate the relationship between company financial performance and employee satisfaction and loyalty. He found a direct and dramatic correlation. Here, he offers detailed commentary from CEOs, managers and staffers, and analysis of the survey results. Bosses in all kinds of companies will benefit from his solid advice, which should be required reading for executives and upper level managers.


Leadership

by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Ken Kurson
ISBN: 0786868414, Hardcover- $16.35 BUY

This highly anticipated book from New York's once controversial, now beloved former mayor opens with a gripping account of Giuliani's immediate reaction to the September 11 attacks, including a narrow escape from the original crisis command headquarters, and closes with the efforts to address the aftermath during his remaining four months in office. But, he argues, he did not suddenly become a great leader on September 11, and "had been doing [my] best to take on challenges my whole career."

Throughout, he displays the hands-on management that marked his administration, including his willingness to respond swiftly and in person to crises, to prove that he could be relied on when the city needed him most. While some critics found his style too aggressive, he has an effective counterargument: "Before September 11, there were those who said we were being overly concerned [about security]," he observes. "We didn't hear that afterwards..."


Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping

by Paco Underhill
ISBN: 0684849143, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his band of retail researchers have camped out in stores over the course of 20 years, dedicating their lives to the "science of shopping." Armed with an array of video equipment, store maps, and customer-profile sheets, Underhill and his consulting firm, Envirosell, have observed over 900 aspects of interaction between shopper and store. They've discovered that men who take jeans into fitting rooms are more likely to buy than females (65 percent vs. 25 percent).

They've learned how the "butt-brush factor" (bumped from behind, shoppers become irritated and move elsewhere) makes women avoid narrow aisles. They've quantified the importance of shopping baskets; contact between employees and shoppers; the "transition zone" (the area just inside the store's entrance); and "circulation patterns" (how shoppers move throughout a store). And they've explored the relationship between a customer's amenability and profitability, learning how good stores capitalize on a shopper's unspoken inclinations and desires.

Underhill, whose clients include McDonald's, Starbucks, Est?Lauder, and Blockbuster, stocks Why We Buy with a wealth of retail insights, showing how men are beginning to shop like women, and how women have changed the way supermarkets are laid out. He also looks to the future, projecting massive retail opportunities with an aging baby-boom population and predicting how online retailing will affect shopping malls. This lighthearted look at shopping is highly recommended to anyone who buys or sells.


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change in Your Work and in Your Life

by Spencer Johnson, Kenneth H. Blanchard
ISBN: 0399144463, Paperback- $12.97 BUY

Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives. Who Moved My Cheese? is a parable that takes place in a maze. Four beings live in that maze: Sniff and Scurry are mice--nonanalytical and nonjudgmental, they just want cheese and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Hem and Haw are "littlepeople," mouse-size humans who have an entirely different relationship with cheese. It's not just sustenance to them; it's their self-image.

Their lives and belief systems are built around the cheese they've found. Most of us reading the story will see the cheese as something related to our livelihoods--our jobs, our career paths, the industries we work in--although it can stand for anything, from health to relationships. The point of the story is that we have to be alert to changes in the cheese, and be prepared to go running off in search of new sources of cheese when the cheese we have runs out.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Restoring the Character Ethic

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671708635, Paperback- $11.20 BUY

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas.


Principle-Centered Leadership

by Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0671792806, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

Covey, the author of the New York Times number 1 bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has struck a chord with millions of readers with his insights into human nature and values. Now he tells them how to apply his theories to everyday life, focusing primarily on the world of business.


The Power Principle - Influence With Honor

by Blaine Lee, Stephen R. Covey
ISBN: 0684846160, Paperback- $9.75 BUY

This self-help book reflects Lee's views on various types of power and how to develop principle-centered power in your life, which he defines as power that inspires loyalty and devotion, transcending time and place. Such power is based on trust and respect and survives even after one dies. Lee describes three types of power: coercive, which relies on the premise of control and uses fear as its instrument; utility, which is based on fairness, the exchange of what you can do for me with what I can do for you; and principle-centered, which is based on what you can do with others. The author tells us that his purpose in writing this book is to encourage us in our work with people, and he recommends that we choose principle-centered power as the primary way to influence others in our key relationships. Such power requires us to grow, to challenge our assumptions, and often to change our whole orientation in life.


The Richest Man in Babylon

by George S. Clason
ISBN: 0451205367, Paperback- $6.99 BUY

I often give this book out as a gift whenever a person younger than me asks for my advice on money. I always present this book to them saying "if you read it and do as it says, it will work magic." It really contains excellent, time tested advice, and would make a good gift for someone in their early 20s who is on their own for the first time, and struggling.

The book is a series of parables about money written in the 1920s by George Clason. They were written as individual essays of a few thousand words, but the theme throughout them is consistent -- save 10% of your money, give 10% away, use 10% to reduce your debt load, and live on the remaining 70%.

The stories in the book are entertaining; they are reminiscent of some of the parables in the Bible, such as the Prodigal Son or the story of the Workers in the Vineyard. I think this is intentional on the part of the author; certainly readers in the 1920s had an appreciation for "old fashioned stories with a moral" that people today seem to have lost. I enjoy the book greatly, though, and any thoughtful person who reads the book should find it interesting, especially if they are trying to get their finances in order.


The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition

by David Chilton
ISBN: 0761513116, Paperback- $10.78 BUY

In this revised and expanded edition of one of the biggest-selling financial-planning books ever, David Chilton, president of Financial Awareness Corporation, shows readers how to achieve the financial independence they've always dreamed of. With the help of his fictional barber, Roy, and a large dose of humor, Chilton encourages readers to take control of their financial future and build wealth slowly, steadily, and with sure success.


The E-Myth Manager - Why Management Doesn't Work-And What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber
ISBN: 0887309593, Paperback- $11.02 BUY

More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E-Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small business owners, Michael Gerber - entrepreneur, author, and speaker extraordinaire fires the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution. Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-sized, and very large organizations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn't workand what to do about it.

Unearthing the arbitrary origins of commonly held doctrines such as the omniscience of leader (Emperor) and the most widely embraced myth of all. The E-Myth Manager offers a fresh, provocative alternative to management as we know it. It explores why every manager must take charge of his own life, reconcile his own personal vision with that of the organization, and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to achieve true success.


Think and Grow Rich

by Napoleon Hill
ISBN: 0449214923, Paperback- $7.19 BUY

Is it true that by simply changing your thoughts you can completely change what you have in life? How could it be that simple? It is, but first you have to believe.

Most people want to see something happen, then believe in it. To be succesful you have to do the opposite. Believe in it first, then you will see it. That's is one of the key messages in this book written almost 70 years ago.... It reads like it was written yesterday.

The title says it all. "Think and Grow Rich", but it is NOT just a book about making money. I am certain many people from all walks of life could benefit from this work, regardless of their opinion of money and riches. The message is clear: You may have whatever you want in life... if you can discover the secret within its pages.

I first read this book when I was a teenager. I am not sure it made much of an impression on me. I picked it up recently and I can't believe how much it has changed. Of course, that's nonsense. The book is the same, only my mind is now ready to see what the secret is...

Get this book and see if you can unlock the Secret to finding 'riches' for yourself.


The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
ISBN: 0393239357, Paperback- $26.95 BUY

In recent years, Google?s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM?s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies?with hardware, software, and networks at their core?will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.

In The Second Machine Age MIT?s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee?two thinkers at the forefront of their field?reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives.

Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds?from lawyers to truck drivers?will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar.

Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape.

A fundamentally optimistic book, The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress.


India Grows At Night: A Liberal Case for A Strong State

by Gurcharan Das
ISBN: 0670084700, Hardcover- $20.48 BUY

Indians wryly admit that ?India grows at night.? But that is only half the saying; the full expression is: ?India grows at night?when the government sleeps,? suggesting that the nation may be rising despite the state. India's is a tale of private success and public failure. Prosperity is, indeed, spreading across the country even as governance failure pervades public life. But how could a nation become one of the world's fastest-growing economies when it is governed by a weak, ineffective state? And wouldn't it be wonderful if India also grew during the day?in other words, if public policy supported private enterprise? What India needs, Gurcharan Das says, is a strong liberal state. Such a state would have the authority to take quick, decisive action; it would have the rule of law to ensure those actions are legitimate; and finally, it would be accountable to the people. But achieving this will not be easy, says Das, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society.


Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century

by Orville Schell
ISBN: 0679643478, Hardcover- $22.68 BUY

Through a series of lively and absorbing portraits of iconic modern Chinese leaders and thinkers, two of today?s foremost specialists on China provide a panoramic narrative of this country?s rise to preeminence that is at once analytical and personal. How did a nation, after a long and painful period of dynastic decline, intellectual upheaval, foreign occupation, civil war, and revolution, manage to burst forth onto the world stage with such an impressive run of hyperdevelopment and wealth creation?culminating in the extraordinary dynamism of China today?


The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

by Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen
ISBN: 0307957136, Paperback- $17.21 BUY

In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected?a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness.

Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley?s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world?s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age?

In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.


Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care Is Wrong

by David Goldhill
ISBN: 034580273X, Paperback- $13.12 BUY

In 2007 David Goldhill?s father died from infections acquired in a well-regarded New York hospital. The bill, for several hundred thousand dollars, was paid by Medicare. Angered, Goldhill became determined to understand how it was possible that well-trained personnel equipped with world-class technologies could be responsible for such inexcusable carelessness?and how a business that failed so miserably could still be rewarded with full payment.

Catastrophic Care is the eye-opening result. In it Goldhill explodes the myth that Medicare and insurance coverage can make care cheaper and improve our health, and shows how efforts to reform the system, including the Affordable Care Act, will do nothing to address the waste of the health care industry, which currently costs the country nearly $2.5 trillion annually and in which an estimated 200,000 Americans die each year from preventable errors. Catastrophic Care proposes a completely new approach, one that will change the way you think about one of our most pressing national problems.


Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance

by Jane Gleeson-White
ISBN: 0393346595, Paperback- $12.63 BUY

Filled with colorful characters and history, Double Entry takes us from the ancient origins of accounting in Mesopotamia to the frontiers of modern finance. At the heart of the story is double-entry bookkeeping: the first system that allowed merchants to actually measure the worth of their businesses. Luca Pacioli?monk, mathematician, alchemist, and friend of Leonardo da Vinci?incorporated Arabic mathematics to formulate a system that could work across all trades and nations. As Jane Gleeson-White reveals, double-entry accounting was nothing short of revolutionary: it fueled the Renaissance, enabled capitalism to flourish, and created the global economy. John Maynard Keynes would use it to calculate GDP, the measure of a nation?s wealth. Yet double-entry accounting has had its failures. With the costs of sudden corporate collapses such as Enron and Lehman Brothers, and its disregard of environmental and human costs, the time may have come to re-create it for the future.


The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

by Jon Gertner
ISBN: 0143122797, Paperback- $11.28 BUY

In this first full portrait of the legendary Bell Labs, journalist Jon Gertner takes readers behind one of the greatest collaborations between business and science in history. Officially the research and development wing of AT&T, Bell Labs made seminal breakthroughs from the 1920s to the 1980s in everything from lasers to cellular elephony, becoming arguably the best laboratory for new ideas in the world. Gertner's riveting narrative traces the intersections between science, business, and society that allowed a cadre of eccentric geniuses to lay the foundations of the information age, offering lessons in management and innovation that are as vital today as they were a generation ago.


Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget

by David Wessel
ISBN: 0770436161, Paperback- $10.36 BUY

David Wessel, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, columnist, and bestselling author of In Fed We Trust, dissects the federal budget: a topic that is fiercely debated today in the halls of Congress and the media, and yet is misunderstood by the American public.

Now a New York Times bestseller.


The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

by Robert D. Kaplan
ISBN: 0812982223, Paperback- $12.18 BUY

In this provocative, startling book, Robert D. Kaplan, the bestselling author of Monsoon and Balkan Ghosts, offers a revelatory new prism through which to view global upheavals and to understand what lies ahead for continents and countries around the world.

In The Revenge of Geography, Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world?s hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands. The Russian steppe?s pitiless climate and limited vegetation bred hard and cruel men bent on destruction, for example, while Nazi geopoliticians distorted geopolitics entirely, calculating that space on the globe used by the British Empire and the Soviet Union could be swallowed by a greater German homeland.

Kaplan then applies the lessons learned to the present crises in Europe, Russia, China, the Indian subcontinent, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab Middle East. The result is a holistic interpretation of the next cycle of conflict throughout Eurasia. Remarkably, the future can be understood in the context of temperature, land allotment, and other physical certainties: China, able to feed only 23 percent of its people from land that is only 7 percent arable, has sought energy, minerals, and metals from such brutal regimes as Burma, Iran, and Zimbabwe, putting it in moral conflict with the United States. Afghanistan?s porous borders will keep it the principal invasion route into India, and a vital rear base for Pakistan, India?s main enemy. Iran will exploit the advantage of being the only country that straddles both energy-producing areas of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Finally, Kaplan posits that the United States might rue engaging in far-flung conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than tending to its direct neighbor Mexico, which is on the verge of becoming a semifailed state due to drug cartel carnage.

A brilliant rebuttal to thinkers who suggest that globalism will trump geography, this indispensable work shows how timeless truths and natural facts can help prevent this century?s looming cataclysms.


Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

by Chrystia Freeland
ISBN: 0143124064, Paperback- $10.75 BUY

There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but recently what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Forget the 1 percent?Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at breakneck speed. Most of these new fortunes are not inherited, amassed instead by perceptive businesspeople who see themselves as deserving victors in a cutthroat international competition. With empathy and intelligence, Plutocrats reveals the consequences of concentrating the world?s wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour de force of social and economic history, the definitive examination of inequality in our time.


Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

by Sebastian Seung
ISBN: 0547508182, Paperback- $27.00 BUY

We know that each of us is unique, but science has struggled to pinpoint where, precisely, our uniqueness resides. Is it in our genes? The structure of our brains? Our genome may determine our eye color and even aspects of our personality. But our friendships, failures, and passions also shape who we are. The question is: how?

Sebastian Seung, a dynamic professor at MIT, is on a quest to discover the biological basis of identity. He believes it lies in the pattern of connections between the brain?s neurons, which change slowly over time as we learn and grow. The connectome, as it?s called, is where our genetic inheritance intersects with our life experience. It?s where nature meets nurture.

Seung introduces us to the dedicated researchers who are mapping the brain?s connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. It is a monumental undertaking?the scientific equivalent of climbing Mount Everest?but if they succeed, it could reveal the basis of personality, intelligence, memory, and perhaps even mental disorders. Many scientists speculate that people with anorexia, autism, and schizophrenia are "wired differently," but nobody knows for sure. The brain?s wiring has never been clearly seen.

In sparklingly clear prose, Seung reveals the amazing technological advances that will soon help us map connectomes. He also examines the evidence that these maps will someday allow humans to "upload" their minds into computers, achieving a kind of immortality.

Connectome is a mind-bending adventure story, told with great passion and authority. It presents a daring scientific and technological vision for at last understanding what makes us who we are. Welcome to the future of neuroscience.


Einstein: His Life and Universe

by Walter Isaacson
ISBN: 9780743264747, Paperback- $12.85 BUY

By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.

How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson?s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.

Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk?a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn?t get a teaching job or a doctorate?became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.


Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power

by Zbigniew Brzezinski
ISBN: 046502954X, Paperback- $17.79 BUY

By 1991, following the disintegration first of the Soviet bloc and then of the Soviet Union itself, the United States was left standing tall as the only global super-power. Not only the 20th but even the 21st century seemed destined to be the American centuries. But that super-optimism did not last long. During the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, the stock market bubble and the costly foreign unilateralism of the younger Bush presidency, as well as the financial catastrophe of 2008 jolted America ? and much of the West ? into a sudden recognition of its systemic vulnerability to unregulated greed. Moreover, the East was demonstrating a surprising capacity for economic growth and technological innovation. That prompted new anxiety about the future, including even about America?s status as the leading world power. This book is a response to a challenge. It argues that without an America that is economically vital, socially appealing, responsibly powerful, and capable of sustaining an intelligent foreign engagement, the geopolitical prospects for the West could become increasingly grave. The ongoing changes in the distribution of global power and mounting global strife make it all the more essential that America does not retreat into an ignorant garrison-state mentality or wallow in cultural hedonism but rather becomes more strategically deliberate and historically enlightened in its global engagement with the new East. This book seeks to answer four major questions:

1. What are the implications of the changing distribution of global power from West to East, and how is it being affected by the new reality of a politically awakened humanity?
2. Why is America?s global appeal waning, how ominous are the symptoms of America?s domestic and international decline, and how did America waste the unique global opportunity offered by the peaceful end of the Cold War?
3. What would be the likely geopolitical consequences if America did decline by 2025, and could China then assume America?s central role in world affairs?
4. What ought to be a resurgent America?s major long-term geopolitical goals in order to shape a more vital and larger West and to engage cooperatively the emerging and dynamic new East?

America, Brzezinski argues, must define and pursue a comprehensive and long-term a geopolitical vision, a vision that is responsive to the challenges of the changing historical context. This book seeks to provide the strategic blueprint for that vision.


Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson
ISBN: 1451648537, Hardcover- $19.77 BUY

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years?as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues?Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple?s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.


Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

by Jack Weatherford
ISBN: 0609809644, Paperback- $11.57 BUY

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans did in four hundred. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege. From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.


The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World

by Michael Spence
ISBN: 0374159750, Hardcover- $3.34 BUY

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011

With the British Industrial Revolution, part of the world?s population started to experience extraordinary economic growth?leading to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. This pattern of divergence reversed after World War II, and now we are midway through a century of high and accelerating growth in the developing world and a new convergence with the advanced countries?a trend that is set to reshape the world.

Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, explains what happened to cause this dramatic shift in the prospects of the five billion people who live in developing countries. The growth rates are extraordinary, and continuing them presents unprecedented challenges in governance, international coordination, and ecological sustainability. The implications for those living in the advanced countries are great but little understood.

Spence clearly and boldly describes what?s at stake for all of us as he looks ahead to how the global economy will develop over the next fifty years. The Next Convergence is certain to spark a heated debate how best to move forward in the post-crisis period and reset the balance between national and international economic interests, and short-term fixes and long-term sustainability.


Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back

by John Kao
ISBN: 1416532684, Hardcover- $20.95 BUY

Not long ago, Americans could rightfully feel confident in our preeminence in the world economy. The United States set the pace as the world's leading innovator: from the personal computer to the internet, from Wall Street to Hollywood, from the decoding of the genome to the emergence of Web 2.0, we led the way and the future was ours. So how is it, bestselling author and leading expert on innovation John Kao asks, that today Finland is the world's most competitive economy? That U.S. students rank twenty-fourth in the world in math literacy and twenty-sixth in problem-solving ability? That in 2005 and 2006 combined, in a reverse brain drain, 30,000 highly trained professionals left the United States to return to their native India?

Even as the United States has lost standing in the world community because of the war in Iraq, Kao warns, the country is losing its edge in economic leadership as well. The future of our prosperity, and of our national security, is at serious risk. But it doesn't have to be this way. Based on his in-depth experience advising many of the world's leading companies and studying cutting-edge innovation "best practices" in the most dynamic hot spots of innovation both in the United States and around the world, Kao argues that the United States still has the capability not only to regain our competitive edge, but to take a bold step out ahead of the global community and secure a leadership role in the twenty-first century. We must, though, take serious and concerted action fast.

First offering a stunning, troubling portrait of just how serious is the erosion in recent years of U.S. competitiveness in innovation, Kao then takes readers on a fascinating tour of the leading innovation centers, such as those in Singapore, Denmark, and Finland, which are trumping us in their more focused and creative approaches to fueling innovation. He then lays out a groundbreaking plan for a national innovation strategy that would empower the United States to actually innovate the process of innovation: to marshal our vast resources of talent and infrastructure in the particular ways that his studies of innovation have shown lead to transformative results.

Innovation Nation is vital reading for all those Americans who are troubled by the great challenges the United States faces in the ever-more-competitive economy of our twenty-first-century world.


Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

by Michael Lewis
ISBN: 0393244660, Hardcover- $17.79 BUY

Four years after his #1 bestseller The Big Short, Michael Lewis returns to Wall Street to report on a high-tech predator stalking the equity markets.

Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post?financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading?source of the most intractable problems?will have no advantage whatsoever.

The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think ?Wall Street guy.? Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world?s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.

The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don?t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.


The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

by Michael Lewis
ISBN: 0393338827, Paperback- $9.01 BUY

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower--and middle--class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely--really unlikely--heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.
The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."?Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair


Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback)

by Michael Lewis
ISBN: 9780393338690, Paperback- $9.01 BUY

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar?s Poker.

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street?s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush.

Liar?s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years?a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis?s knowing and hilarious insider?s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.