Posted by King on 02.20.2009 at 6:10 pm
If I had a nickel for every dollar we had raised for world literacy, I would have $272,906.50. Approximately. That’s not too shabby. For those of you playing along at home, I took the total “funds raised for global literacy” number from the ticker at the top of this page and multiplied it by .05. In addition to promoting literacy, I also support mathematics.
If you don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am Aaron King, and I have the illustrious honor of being Better World Books’ first full time employee. If you ordered any books from us way back in 2003, there is a pretty good chance that I personally packaged them. It has been a pretty cool journey watching us grow from a small basement warehouse (where we had to hand carry every single box of books up and down the stairs) with a few thousand books scattered around to our massive operation today that holds over 2 million books at any given time.
I like our company concept a lot. Why, might you ask? Well, to be consistent with how we have branded this blog, allow me to give you a n#mb#r#d list.
Posted by Dana on 02.13.2009 at 7:20 am
So here we are again…another Valentine’s Day. For the record this is not my favorite holiday (not that I’m bitter or anything!). For that reason I decided to include some lovey dovey mushy gushy stuff for those of you who already have love (or just like to read about it) and some more practical stuff (and chocolate) for those of us who are still looking!
1. SIX-WORD MEMOIRS ON LOVE & HEARTBREAK by Writers Famous & Obscure
by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser
My local radio station was reading some of these on the air. It’s a really cool concept and can be kind of an addictive little game.
From the editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning comes another collection of terse true tales—this time simple sagas exploring the complexities of the human heart. Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak contains hundreds of personal stories about the pinnacles and pitfalls of romance. Brilliant in their brevity, these insightful slivers of passion, pain, and connection capture every shade of love and loss—six words at a time.
2. WHY HIM? WHY HER? Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type
by Helen Fisher
Why do you fall in love with one person rather than another? In this fascinating and informative book, Helen Fisher, one of the world’s leading experts on romantic love, unlocks the hidden code of desire and attachment. Each of us, it turns out, primarily expresses one of four broad personality types—Explorer, Builder, Director, or Negotiator—and each of these types is governed by different chemical systems in the brain. Driven by this biology, we are attracted to partners who both mirror and complement our own personality type.
Dr. Fisher was featured on 20/20 about two weeks ago and here in our office to talk to earlier this week. I’ll be posting my podcast with her shortly! Read more…
1 Comment » | Tagged Book Lists, books, chocolate, love, relationships, valentines books, valentines day
Posted by Xavier on 02.12.2009 at 4:27 pm
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2 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized
Posted by Dana on 02.12.2009 at 9:36 am
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor might be the only person you’ll meet who wouldn’t take back the massive stroke she suffered at age 37. In her book, My Stroke of Insight, she says the feelings of bliss and connection to the universe she experienced while her left brain shut down has taught her to appreciate life in the present moment more than ever.
In preparing to interview Dr. Taylor, I watched her 4 part special on Oprah’s Soul Series. Oprah referred to Jill as not a stroke survivor but a “stroke triumphant” and she truly is.
As a Harvard trained brain scientist, Dr. Taylor was able to observe and later write about the actual experience of having a stroke and the ensuing recovery. The book is her personal story along with the science behind stroke. She also gives us some incredible insight into her mind, the medical profession and ways we can all work to quiet the non-stop chatter in our left brains.
Posted by Chip on 02.11.2009 at 7:58 am
One book, I currently see from time to time, is entitled Blink. Blink examines the value of a quick decision. One of the studies Blink discusses involves showing a group of people short clips of teachers giving a lecture (with no audio). Another group is shown still photos of the same teachers from the clips. Both groups are asked to rank the teaching ability of the teachers based on either the photo or the silent 30 second clip.
The results showed the ratings each teacher received based on photos and clips were remarkably similar to the ratings the same professors received from their full time students after a semester of teaching. From what I have read so far, Blink supports the notion that a quick decision is often an educated decision. Although I feel this study simply illustrates our species loyalty to superficial conclusions.
Some people have a natural fear of snakes and others have a natural fear of spiders. These fears make sense considering the problems our
species has experienced over the centuries do to both species. Perhaps these fears are based on the same instinctual knowledge that
allows us to make smart quick decisions.
The human brain is the product of years of learning things the only way us humans truly learn anything…the hard way.
I discovered my fear of electricity by touching an electric fence. Twenty minutes later I discovered that it is impossible to touch a electric fence
twice. My curiosity made me want to “make sure it was an electric fence” but my brain would not allow my hand to make contact.
Just as I learned not to touch the fence again perhaps the human race has learned from collective experience and perhaps there is something to that gut feeling that helps us make life’s quick decisions. Although I have only read the fist 50 pages of Blink, I feel I am able to review the book with confidence using the “blink of an eye” decision making the book examines.
1 Comment » | Tagged Book Reviews, Flabbergasted, Blink, chip boyes, Malcom Gladwell
Posted by Dana on 02.06.2009 at 1:31 pm
Are you all signed up for the Better World Book Club Newsletter? Our monthly book club email includes a synopsis of the book, discussion questions and even a great recipe. You can sign up by going to manage subscriptions now.
Our Pick for February 2009
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
This month we’re talking about Loving Frank. It’s a fictional account of Frank Lloyd Wright’s tragic love affair with Mamah Cheney. The book is very well researched but is fictionalized so that the author would have the freedom to invent the personal details of the relationship that will never be known.
I have always loved Frank Lloyd Wright’s design aesthetic and so that made me curious about the man. The book does not paint him in the best light, but I think I tended to want to give him a pass because he’s Frank Lloyd Wright. When my local book club discussed the book, many of the women were very upset Read more…
Posted by Dana on 02.06.2009 at 9:15 am
Molly Fletcher is a modern day female Jerry Maguire – she is one of the top sports agents in the country and she is one of very few females that job. In between managing some huge names in sports like John Smoltz, Kyle Davies, Lenny Wilkens and Doc Rivers, Molly found time to write Your Dream Job Game Plan.
In her first book Molly Fletcher teaches you how to apply the idea of being a 5 tool player to your job search.
I took my recording equipment to the offices of Career Sports and Entertainment to meet with Molly and talk about the book. The offices were glamorous but Read more…
Posted by Chip on 02.05.2009 at 5:09 pm
Last week, I found myself washing soup (that I didn’t eat) out of a piece of Tupperware (I didn’t own) in the men’s room.
Why? You may ask.
I am living the Better World Books “reuse first” lifestyle.
Our office is not equipped with a sink. I am not complaining, I am merely explaining how I ended up in this predicament. To test my allegiance to the “reuse first” principles of BWB, my coworker (Kathy) encouraged me to wash out some Tupperware someone had thrown in the trash so we could reuse it. Today, I enjoyed a can of soup out of that rescued Tupperware and you know what? It tasted like progress.
Kathy had previously proven to me that she lives the “reuse first” lifestyle when she made a delicious loaf of banana bread out of bananas she personally diverted from a trash can.
Bananas have a special place in my heart (right next to the heart burn they give me). What a forgiving fruit. Bananas never “go bad.” They only become “banana bread worthy.”
Unfortunately, my invention pear bread is not as delicious as banana bread. Inspired by the principle of banana bread, I decided to use some brown, wrinkled pears I found in the back of my fridge to make some pear bread. Unfortunately, rotten pears fail at making something delicious out of something rotten. Still, I think we have a lot to learn from banana bread.
Have your say » | Tagged Flabbergasted, banana bread, progress, reuse
Posted by Dana on 02.03.2009 at 11:07 am
What will they think of next? Of course they make movies from comic books, and from great classics like Pride and Prejudice or Romeo and Juliet – but now apparently the movie biz is tapping into self help books too. Of course I’m talking about the new Warner Brothers release of He’s Just Not That Into You coming out this weekend with a pretty impressive cast including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson and Justin Long. Read more…
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