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Hot New Reads – November

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color_blindColor Blind by Colby Marshall

There is something unusual about Dr. Jenna Ramey’s brain, a rare perceptual quirk that punctuates her experiences with flashes of color. They are hard to explain: red can mean anger, or love, or strength. But she can use these spontaneous mental associations, understand and interpret them enough to help her read people and situations in ways others cannot. As an FBI forensic psychiatrist, she used it to profile and catch criminals. Years ago, she used it to save her own family from her charming, sociopathic mother.

Now, the FBI has detained a mass murderer and called for Jenna’s help. Upon interrogation she learns that, behind bars or not, he holds the power to harm more innocents—and is obsessed with gaining power over Jenna herself. He has a partner still on the loose. And Jenna’s unique mind, with its strange and subtle perceptions, may be all that can prevent a terrifying reality…

 

cokeCitizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism by Bartow J. Elmore

How did Coca-Cola build a global empire by selling a low-price concoction of mostly sugar, water, and caffeine? The easy answer is advertising, but the real formula to Coke s success was its strategy, from the start, to offload costs and risks onto suppliers, franchisees, and the government. For most of its history the company owned no bottling plants, water sources, cane- or cornfields. A lean operation, it benefited from public goods like cheap municipal water and curbside recycling programs. Its huge appetite for ingredients gave it outsized influence on suppliers and congressional committees. This was Coca-Cola capitalism.

In this new history Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Its growth was driven by shrewd leaders such as Asa Candler, who scaled an Atlanta soda-fountain operation into a national empire, and boss Robert Woodruff, who nurtured partnerships with companies like Hershey and Monsanto. These men, and the company they helped build, were seen as responsible citizens, bringing jobs and development to every corner of the globe. But as Elmore shows, Coke was usually getting the sweet end of the deal.

It continues to do so. Alongside Coke s recent public investments in water purification infrastructure, especially in Africa, it has also built less publicly a rash of bottling plants in dangerously arid regions. Looking past its message of corporate citizenship, Elmore finds a strategy of relentless growth.

The costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Its annual use of many billions of gallons of water has strained an increasingly scarce global resource. Its copious servings of high-fructose corn syrup have threatened public health. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance. In a world of scarcity it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.

 

greenroomCitizens of the Green Room by Mark Leibovich

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller This Town: a collection of award-winning and finely detailed profiles of today’s most fascinating political, sports, and pop-culture figures.

Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, has been writing memorable and buzz-producing profiles of notable figures for decades, both for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Now, for the first time, his essential writings are collected in one endlessly entertaining and informative volume. Leibovich writes portraits that drive the national conversation and show readers the fallibilities of our most recognized politicians, sports figures, and journalists. Who can forget his brilliant portrait of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in which Leibovich captured Matthews’s offhand sexism and deep job insecurity with tremendous wit and irreverence? Or the much-talked-about takedown of Glenn Beck, which revealed the declining ratings of the once-invincible radio host and his uneasy relationship with FOX chief Roger Ailes? Including Leibovich’s famous profiles of Miguel Cabrera, Mike Allen, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and many more, Citizens of the Green Room is a treat for any political junkie and fans of Leibovich’s singular reporting.

 

soanyway

So, Anyway… by John Cleese

John Cleese’s towering comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp satirical eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected with Monty Python, on Fawlty Towers, and beyond now seem written into comedy’s DNA. In this rollicking memoir, So, Anyway…, Cleese takes readers on a Grand Tour of his ascent in the entertainment world, from his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town and his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), to the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown. After getting his start as a writer and actor on the landmark David Frost-hosted The Frost Report, where he worked alongside many who would also later become comedy icons, Cleese landed his most famous role as a star of the TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. To the legions of Python fans and comedy aficionados, Cleese’s work with the Pythons has become the stuff of legend. His signature characters—including the Minister of Silly Walks and the owner (and would-be returner) of a dead parrot—embodied his knack for madcap buffoonery played completely straight and catapulted him to the shortlist of funniest men alive. Twisting and turning through amazing stories and hilarious digressions—with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what’s funny and why—this story of a young man’s journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.

sherlock

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger

The Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were recently voted as the top mystery series of all time, and they have enthralled generations of readers—and writers!

Now, Laurie R. King, author of the New York Times-bestselling Mary Russell series (in which Holmes plays a co-starring role), and Leslie S. Klinger, editor of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, have assembled a stellar group of contemporary authors from a variety of genres and asked them to create new stories inspired by that canon. Readers will find Holmes in times and places previously unimagined, as well as characters who have themselves been affected by the tales of Sherlock Holmes.

The resulting volume is an absolute delight for Holmes fans both new and old, with contributions from Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Michael Dirda, Harlan Ellison, Denise Hamilton, Nancy Holder, John Lescroart, Sara Paretsky, Michael Sims, and more. The game is afoot—again!

 

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By |November 6th, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, Hot New Reads|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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