DP Nightstand Event (pt. 2)

Posted on September 9, 2011. Filed under: Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This Fall during orientation many faculty, staff, and administrators met to discuss what they are reading or have recently read at our “What’s On Your Nightstand or Kindle” event.

Here are the nonfiction titles discussed at DP’s event:

book cover for Car Guys vs Bean CountersCar Guys vs Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business
by Robert Lutz

“When Bob Lutz got into the auto business in the early 1960s, CEOs knew that if you captured the public’s imagination with innovative car design and top quality craftsmanship, the money would follow. The “car guys” held sway, and GM dominated with bold, creative leadership and iconic brands like Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC, and Chevrolet.

But then GM’s leadership began to put their faith in numbers and spreadsheets. Determined to eliminate the “waste” and “personality worship” of the bygone creative leaders, and maximize profitability, management got too smart for its own good. With the bean counters firmly in charge, car makers, and much of American industry, lost their single-minded focus on product excellence and their competitive advantage. Decline soon followed.

In 2001, General Motors hired Lutz out of retirement with a mandate to save the company by making great cars again. As vice chairman, he launched a war against the penny-pinching number-crunchers who ran the company by the bottom line, and reinstated a focus on creativity, design, and cars and trucks that would satisfy GM customers.

After emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, GM is finally back on track thanks in part to its embrace of Lutz’s philosophy, with acclaimed new models like the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Equinox, and Buick LaCrosse.

Lutz’s common-sense lessons, combined with a generous helping of fascinating anecdotes, will inspire readers in any industry. As he writes:
“It applies in any business. Shoe makers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys, and supermarkets by supermarket guys. With the advice and support of their bean counters, absolutely, but with the final word going to those who live and breathe the customer experience. Passion and drive for excellence will win over the computer-like, dispassionate, analysis-driven philosophy every time”” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Also recommends Guts by the same author.

book cover for Charles DickensCharles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing
by Michael Slater

“This long-awaited biography, twenty years after the last major account, uncovers Dickens the man through the profession in which he excelled. Drawing on a lifetime’s study of this prodigiously brilliant figure, Michael Slater explores the personal and emotional life, the high-profile public activities, the relentless travel, the charitable works, the amateur theatricals and the astonishing productivity. But the core focus is Dickens’ career as a writer and professional author, covering not only his big novels but also his phenomenal output of other writing–letters, journalism, shorter fiction, plays, verses, essays, writings for children, travel books, speeches, and scripts for his public readings, and the relationships among them.

Slater’s account, rooted in deep research but written with affection, clarity, and economy, illuminates the context of each of the great novels while locating the life of the author within the imagination that created them. It highlights Dickens’ boundless energy, his passion for order and fascination with disorder, his organizational genius, his deep concern for the poor and outrage at indifference towards them, his susceptibility towards young women, his love of Christmas and fairy tales, and his hatred of tyranny” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Also recommends Dickens and Women by the same author.

book cover for Chasing AphroditeChasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum
by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino

“By far the richest museum in the country, the J. Paul Getty Museum had a policy of acquiring classical antiquities of uncertain provenance that dated back to the 1970s. As is detailed in this enthralling book, the Getty’s blind-eye policy caught up with them in 2000, when Italy began a criminal investigation against the museum, and specifically against acquisitions carried out by curator Marion True. The collecting policies and stories of other prominent U.S. museums also play a part in the tale, giving a behind-the-scenes look at practices rarely revealed to the public.

Felch and Frammolino, both journalists with the Los Angeles Times, were finalists for a 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Journalism for their reporting on the story at the time; they have substantially filled it out in this book, in part through extensive interviews, and a full treatment of the disreputable behavior of the Getty’s leaders” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Dressmaker of Khair KhanaDressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything To Keep Them Safe
by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

“The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war – a rare achievement for any Afghan woman – Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. Former ABC News reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years on the ground reporting Kamila’s story, and the result is an unusually intimate and unsanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan. These women are not victims; they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation.

Afghanistan’s future remains uncertain as debates over withdrawal timelines dominate the news. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana moves beyond the headlines to transport you to an Afghanistan you have never seen before. This is a story of war, but it is also a story of sisterhood and resilience in the face of despair. Kamila Sidiqi’s journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Dutch ImmigrantsDutch Immigrant Memoirs and Related Writings
by Henry S. Lucas

This book contains of a collection of dutch immigrant memoirs, letters, etc. that show the dutch immigrant experience in Midwest America during the 1800’s. The earliest accounts start in 1846. Of special interest to some may be the memoirs and letters that discuss life for these immigrants in the midst of the civil war.

book cover for The Green Zone

The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism
by Barry Sanders

“Environmentalism-it’s the word on everyone’s tongue. Reusable shopping bags, hybrid cars, and green home energy solutions allow us to reduce our carbon footprint, but it’s only the tip of the quickly melting iceberg. In the midst of the movement to save the earth,The Green Zone presents a sobering revelation: until we address the attack that the US military is waging on the global environment, the things we do at home won’t change a thing.

This new investigation by author and journalist Barry Sanders examines in detail the environmental impact of US military interventions overseas. In a period of unprecedented scrutiny surrounding the social and economic impacts of the defense policies of the US government, Sanders explores a completely different aspect of the situation and positions military activity as the single-greatest contributor to the worldwide environmental crisis, looking at everything from fuel emissions to radioactive waste to defoliation campaigns.

Based primarily on research culled from documents released or leaked by the military itself,The Green Zone is the first book to provide a comprehensive examination of the relationship between militarism and ecological destruction. Includes a powerhouse introduction by urban theorist Mike Davis” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

“Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for SaltSalt: A World History
by Mark Kurlansky

“So much of our human body is made up of salt that we’d be dead without it. The fine balance of nature, the trade of salt as currency of many nations and empires, the theme of a popular Shakespearean play – Salt is bestselling author Mark Kurlansky’s story of the only rock we eat.

From its single origin, to the other discoveries made because of it, fascinating tales of salt and the people who have been involved with it through the age are interwoven here. Fifteen recipes are included that will meet with every taste. Mark Kurlansky has produced a kaleidoscope of history, a multi-layered masterpiece that blends economic, scientific, political, religious and culinary records into a rich and memorable tale. ”  (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

also recommends Cod : A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by the same author.

book cover for Sweet Life in ParisThe Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City
by David Lebovitz

“Like so many others, David Lebovitz dreamed about living in Paris ever since he first visited the city in the 1980s. Finally, after a nearly two-decade career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, he moved to Paris to start a new life. Having crammed all his worldly belongings into three suitcases, he arrived, hopes high, at his new apartment in the lively Bastille neighborhood.

But he soon discovered it’s a different world in France. From learning the iron-clad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men’s footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David’s story of how he came to fall in love with–and even understand–this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city.

When did he realize he had morphed into un vrai parisien? It might have been when he found himself considering a purchase of men’s dress socks with cartoon characters on them. Or perhaps the time he went to a bank with 135 euros in hand to make a 134-euro payment, was told the bank had no change that day, and thought it was completely normal. Or when he found himself dressing up to take out the garbage because he had come to accept that in Paris appearances and image mean everything.

The more than fifty original recipes, for dishes both savory and sweet, such as Pork Loin with Brown Sugar-Bourbon Glaze, Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Spice Bread, Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, and Mocha-Creme Fraiche Cake, will have readers running to the kitchen once they stop laughing. The Sweet Life in Paris is a deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the city of lights, cheese, chocolate, and other confections” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

catalog record for Technology Toolbelt for TeachingThe Technology Toolbelt for Teaching
by Susan Maning and Kevin Johnson

“Instructors are pressured to integrate technology into their traditional or online instruction. This book offers a hands-on resource that shows how to integrate technology into lessons and offers information about common technologies, categorizing by groups, and explains the purposes they serve pedagogically as well as how they can be most effectively used in online or face-to-face classrooms. In addition to examples, each chapter will feature a decision making matrix to help instructors decide on whether or not a tool is really needed based on curriculum objectives or a specific organizational or curricular problem” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for UnbrokenUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand

“On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope and resolve, and human brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Also recommends Seabiscuit by the same author.

Next week: Check out the titles from the RHC event!

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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