March 2013 Archives

Play Ball! New Baseball Books.

Although it still feels sort of like winter, a new baseball season is nearly upon us. For at least one day, everyone is still in contention. Below are a few new titles to whet the appetite of the baseball purists among us.

Click for availability and more information The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption, by Stuart Banner
Legal historian Stuart Banner illuminates the series of court rulings that resulted in one of the most curious features of our legal system-baseball's exemption from antitrust law. It provides a history of the game as seen through the prism of an extraordinary series of courtroom battles, ranging from 1890 to the present. The book looks at such pivotal cases as the 1922 Supreme Court case which held that federal antitrust laws did not apply to baseball; the 1972 Flood v. Kuhn decision that declared that baseball is exempt even from state antitrust laws; and several cases from the 1950s, one involving boxing and the other football, that made clear that the exemption is only for baseball, not for sports in general. He reveals that for all the well-documented foibles of major league owners, baseball has consistently received and followed antitrust advice from leading lawyers, shrewd legal advice that eventually won for baseball a protected legal status enjoyed by no other industry in America.

Click for availability and more information The Bird: the life and legacy of Mark Fidrych , by Doug Wilson
The first biography of the eccentric pitcher, rookie All-Star starter, 70's pop icon, and first athlete on the cover of Rolling Stone. Through extensive interviews and meticulous research, the author recounts Fidrych's meteoric rise from Northborough, Massachusetts, to the big leagues, his heartbreaking fall after a torn knee ligament and then rotator cuff, his comeback attempts with the Tigers and in the Red Sox system, and one unforgettable night when The Bird pitched a swan song for the Pawtucket Red Sox against future star Dave Righetti in a game that remains part of local folklore. Finally, Wilson captures Fidrych's post-baseball life and his roles in the community, tragically culminating with his death in a freak accident in 2009. 

Click for availability and more information Chicago Cubs: Where Have You Gone?: Ernie Banks, Andy Pafko, Ferguson Jenkins, and other Cubs greats, by Fred Mitchell
Newly revised and updated, this exciting book catches up with more than 50 former Cubs players including Ferguson Jenkins, Dickie Noles, Milt Pappas and Don Zimmer,letting fans know where their heroes have gone and what they have been up to since capturing their full attention at Wrigley Field. As a former (and successfully rehabilitated) Cubs fan, this book brings back many memories, mostly of the sad and tragic variety. But, it is full of insight and good humor. and much more enjoyable now that  I've moved on. 

Click for availability and more information Francona: the Red Sox years , by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, perhaps the most scrutinized team in all of sports. During that time, every home game was a sellout. Every play, call, word, gesture--on the field and off--was analyzed by thousands. And every decision was either genius, or disastrous. In those eight years, the Red Sox were transformed from a cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history--only to fall back to last place as soon as Francona was gone. Now the decorated manager opens up for the first time about his tenure in Boston, unspooling the narrative of how this world-class organization reached such incredible highs and dipped to equally incredible lows. But through it all, there was always baseball, that beautiful game of which Francona never lost sight. 

Click for availability and more information Game of My Life: New York Yankees: memorable stories of Yankees baseball , by Dave Buscema
In a book that's very similar in concept to the Cubs title above, some of the biggest names to ever don the pinstripes are captured in personal portraits here, from Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera to Don Mattingly, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, and all the way back to Yogi Berra and Tommy Henrich. Along with taking readers behind the scenes of the greatest moments in Yankees history--from Bucky Dent's home run to David Wells's perfect game--the book offers a glimpse of what helped the stars reach their peak. This is a great opportunity for Yanks fans to revel in their team's many years of success. 

Click for availability and more information Hank Greenberg: baseball star, Jewish hero, American legend , by John Rosengren
Baseball in the 1930s was more than a national pastime; it was a cultural touchstone that galvanized communities and gave a struggling country its heroes despite the woes of the Depression. Hank Greenberg, one of the most exciting sluggers in baseball history, gave the people of Detroit a reason to be proud. But America was facing more than economic hardship. With the Nazis gaining power across Europe, political and social tensions were approaching a boiling point. As one of the few Jewish athletes competing nationally, Hank Greenberg became not only an iconic ball player, but also an important and sometimes controversial symbol of Jewish identity and the American immigrant experience. When Hank joined the Detroit Tigers in 1933, they were headed for a dismal fifth-place season finish. The following year, with Hank leading the charge, they were fighting off the Yankees for the pennant. As his star ascended, he found himself cheered wherever he went. But there were other noises also. On and off the field, he met with taunts and anti-Semitic threats. Yet the hardship only drove him on to greater heights, sharing the spotlight with the most legendary sluggers of the day, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig. This biography is an intimate account of the man's life on and off the field. It is a portrait of integrity and triumph over adversity.

Click for availability and more information Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame : the national baseball hall of fame and museum, foreword by Brooks Robinson
A lavishly photographed tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame's greatest treasures provides authoritative coverage of such subjects as FDR's "Green Light Letter," the Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day Trophy and the shoes worn by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson during the infamous 1919 World Series.This is excellent to thumb through between innings. 

Click for availability and more information Total Mets: the definitive encyclopedia of the New York Mets, by David Ferry
Published in conjunction with the franchise's 50th anniversary, this is the definitive historical and statistical compendium for the ball club. Spanning the team's entire history--from their inception in 1962, through the World Series championships of 1969 and 1986, and right up to the most current squads--this volume is loaded with features that include season recaps of every Mets season, statistics and highlights for every game in franchise history, team and individual records in every major statistical category, and biographies for every Mets player. This may help you make it through a season that looks less than encouraging. 

Click for availability and more information Trading Bases: a story about Wall Street, gambling, and baseball (not necessarily in that order), by Joe Peta
After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta was out of a job. He found a new one but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down. In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That's when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball--and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500? Peta shows how to subtract luck--in particular "cluster luck," as he puts it--from a team's statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball "hedge fund" returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011--and has never been down more than 5 percent. Peta takes readers to the ballpark in San Francisco, trading floors and baseball bars in New York and sports books in Vegas, all while tracing the progress of his wagers. Often humorous, occasionally touching, and with a wink toward the sheer implausibility of the whole project, Trading Bases is all about the love of critical reasoning, trading cultures, risk management, and baseball. And not necessarily in that order.

Click for availability and more information Who's on Worst?: the lousiest players, biggest cheaters, saddest goats and other antiheroes in baseball history, by Filip Bondy
A whimsical celebration of professional baseball's lowest-achieving players and contributors draws on extensive research to provide richly detailed stories profiling batters who fell below the "Mendoza Line," managers who led losing teams in spite of steroids and more, in a volume complemented by top-ten worst lists.

New Books on Business and Economics

Click for availability and more information Bull By The Horns: fighting to save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from itself, by Sheila Bair
In her account of how the US government dealt with the financial mess at the core of the Great Recession, Bair, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) from 2006-2011, dispels myths and gives her account of the key players' roles. Bair, who grew up on "main street" in rural Kansas, shares her belated qualms about the bank bailouts, and revelations regarding how the government and the big banks' regulator worked to protect them against greater regulation.

Click for availability and more information The Coming Prosperity: how entrepreneurs are transforming the global economy, by Philip Auerswald
Auerswald argues that it is time to overcome the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse and to grasp the powerful momentum of progress. Acknowledging the gravity of today's greatest global challenges--like climate change, water scarcity, and rapid urbanization--Auerswald emphasizes that the choices we make today will determine the extent and reach of the coming prosperity. To make the most of this epochal transition, he writes, the key is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs introduce new products and services, expand the range of global knowledge networks, and, most importantly, challenge established business interests, maintaining the vitality of mature capitalist economies and enhancing the viability of emerging ones. 

Click for availability and more information Contagious: why things catch on, by Jonah Berger
Why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He's studied why New York Times articles make the paper's own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos. Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories. Learn how a luxury steakhouse found popularity through the lowly cheese-steak, why anti-drug commercials might have actually increased drug use, and why more than 200 million consumers shared a video about one of the seemingly most boring products there is: a blender. If you've wondered why certain stories get shared, e-mails get forwarded, or videos go viral, Contagious explains why, and shows how to leverage these concepts to craft contagious content. This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread--for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you're a manager at a big company, a small business owner trying to boost awareness, a politician running for office, or a health official trying to get the word out, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea catch on.

Click for availability and more information The Founders and Finance: how Hamilton, Gallatin, and other immigrants forged a new economy, by Thomas K. McCraw
In 1776 the United States government started out on a shoestring and quickly went bankrupt fighting its War of Independence against Britain. At the war's end, the national government owed tremendous sums to foreign creditors and its own citizens. But lacking the power to tax, it had no means to repay them. The Founders and Finance is the first book to tell the story of how foreign-born financial specialists--immigrants--solved the fiscal crisis and set the United States on a path to long-term economic success. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas K. McCraw analyzes the skills and worldliness of Alexander Hamilton (from the Danish Virgin Islands), Albert Gallatin (from the Republic of Geneva), and other immigrant founders who guided the nation to prosperity. Their expertise with liquid capital far exceeded that of native-born plantation owners Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, who well understood the management of land and slaves but had only a vague knowledge of financial instruments--currencies, stocks, and bonds. The very rootlessness of America's immigrant leaders gave them a better understanding of money, credit, and banks, and the way each could be made to serve the public good.

Click for availability and more information Global Tilt: Leading your business through the great economic power shift , by Ram Charan
The global tilt is nothing less than an irreversible shift of economic power--jobs, wealth, and market opportunities--from a small part of the world to its entirety. It is improving the lives of millions of people around the world, and while it is creating immense opportunities, it is disrupting the world as you know it with dizzying speed. In Global Tilt, Charan gives business leaders the guidance they need to succeed in a tilted world, including gaining an edge by cutting through the complexity of demographics, different forms of government, and even the global financial system, to identify "unstoppable trends" better and sooner than others. Charan discusses challenging your reliance on core competence and the incremental improvement that results. Instead, look "outside-in" and "future-back," determine the capabilities you need to build, and muster the psychological fortitude to make occasional strategic bets that can potentially alter the competitive landscape. For a brief overview, read this recent interview from The Economic Times" with Charan where he discusses discusses the "Global Tilt."

Click for availability and more information The Impact Equation: are you making things happen or just making noise?, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Brogan and Smith offer guidelines for getting customer attention and building community online through social media and social networks. Rather than offering technical details on how to use social media, the authors instead explain how to build ideas, how to move the ideas through a platform so they will be seen and discussed, and how to build a strong human element around those ideas so that people know you care about their participation. You can watch the authors discuss the book on their YouTube channel .

Click for availability and more information Indispensable: when leaders really matter, by Gautam Mukunda
Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda offers afresh look at how and when individual leaders really can make a difference. By identifying and analyzing the hidden patterns of their careers, and by exploring the systems that place these leaders in positions of power, Indispensable sheds new light on how we may be able to identify the best leaders and what lessons we can learn, from both the process and the result. Profiling a mix of historic and modern figures?from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to Winston Churchill and Judah Folkman?and telling the stories of how they came to power and how they made the most important decisions of their lives, Indispensable reveals how, when, and where a single individual in the right place at the right time can save or destroy the organization they lead, and even change the course of history. 

Click for availability and more information Leading So People Will Follow, by Erika Andersen
Exploring the 6 leadership characteristics that inspire followers to fully support their leaders, and featuring examples from forward-thinking organizations as Apple and MTV Networks, Andersen, a popular Forbes blogger and renowned leadership coach provides a proven framework that creates loyalty, commitment and results.

Click for availability and more information The Org: the underlying logic of the office, by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan
The world is full of organizational cynics. Look around, look in the mirror. We sit in our cubes, adjust our chairs, sharpen our pencils and stare at our computer screens with the sense that we're immersed in dysfunction. We could, we're sure, do a far better job of running things if we were given the chance. But we know we won't get the chance and so sink into doubt, distrust, and pessimism. But it doesn't have to be that way. Authors Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan take readers through the logic of organizations using basic economic principles as their guide. Examining why organizations exist in the first place, The Org explores the tradeoffs that every corporation faces-from how to select members to how to inspire and discipline them-and then looks at the components of the whole structure from cubicle dwellers to CEOs. Using the tools of organizational economics, The Org provides readers with a concrete, logical, and practical way of thinking about how organizations ought to work. The insights unearthed in The Org may surprise you and may also explain how, with a few tweaks, the dysfunctional nature of today's office may nonetheless provide the ideal structure for getting the job done. More from the authors on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" here

Click for availability and more information The Physics of Wall Street: a brief history of predicting the unpredictable, by James Owen Weatherall
A Harvard scholar challenges popular beliefs to argue that mathematical models can provide solutions to current economic challenges, citing the pivotal historical contributions of physicists to Wall Street while explaining that the economic meltdown of 2008 was based on a misunderstanding of scientific models rather than on the models themselves. 

Click for availability and more information Vested: how P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are redefining winning in business relationship , by Kate Vitasek and Karl Manrodt with Jeanne Kling
What do Procter and Gamble, Microsoft, McDonald's and The Department of Energy have in common? They have all recently implemented a vested relationship with their partners and suppliers, leading to innovation and a better bottom line. Here the authors show how P&G partnered with Jones Lang LaSalle to manage over 14 million feet of facilities in 60 countries and how the Minnesota Department of Transportation turned tragedy into success after the I35 bridge crumbled into the water by rebuilding the bridge with state-of-the-art design under budget in less time than anticipated. Working with partners is the future of business. 

Click for availability and more information The Zen of Steve Jobs, by written by Caleb Melby; concept, design, and illustration by Jess3
An illustrated depiction of Steve Jobs' friendship with Zen Buddhist Kobun Chino Otogawa and the impact it had on Jobs' career. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy. Was the revolutionary circular scroll wheel on the Apple iPod inspired by kinhin, the Zen practice of walking in circles while meditating? Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.

New Cookbooks

Tired of cooking the same things all the time? Do you want to branch out and try some new recipes? Here is a sample of new cookbooks that have just arrived. Bon Appetit!

Click for availability and more information Baking Out Loud, by Hedy Goldsmith
The Food Network-featured executive pastry chef of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink presents a collection of recipes inspired by popular supermarket treats, from Red Velvet Twinks and Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars to Dunk in Da Trunk Cookies and Banana Toffee Panini. 

Click for availability and more information Clean Eating for Busy Families: get meals on the table in minutes with simple & satisfying whole-foods recipes you & your kids will love, by Michelle Dudash, R.D
Clean Eating for Busy Families takes the challenge out of putting delicious food on the family table on a nightly basis by providing you with a clear plan for dinner success. With streamlined weekly grocery lists, simple-yet-delicious recipes, and practical tips for healthy family eating, you'll find it a cinch to trade in that uninspired takeout for wholesome meals that don't just put your tummy to ease, but your mind too. 

Click for availability and more information Cooking With Love: real comfort food from Carla's kitchen, by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko
Carla Hall is co-host of ABC's daily lifestyle series The Chew. Carla first won the hearts of fans nationwide on Bravo's Top Chef. When she returned for Top Chef All-Stars, she went on to win Fan Favorite with her warmth, enthusiasm, and delicious food. In this book, she serves up more than 100 fantastic recipes that revolutionize comfort food by using fresh ingredients in her twists on tried-and-true classics. 

Click for availability and more information The Epicurious Cookbook , by Tanya Steel
Organized seasonally and by meal type, The Epicurious Cookbook offers everything from 30-minute weeknight dinners to weekend warrior show-stoppers. Also included are comfort food favorites, small dishes perfect for parties and plenty of repertoire-building mains and sides, plus breakfasts, breads, and desserts. Throughout are Epicurious member suggestions for tweaking recipes, ideas for menu planning, smart substitutions, and homespun recipes from dozens of Epicurious members newly tested for this cookbook. 

Click for availability and more information Gran's Kitchen: recipes from the notebooks of Dulcie May Booker , compiled by Natalie Oldfield
Seventy-six of the best tried-and-true homemade recipes from a bygone era, lovingly selected from the notebooks of 95-year-old Dulcie May Booker. This edition, Compiled by her granddaughter, talented foodie Natalie Oldfield, Gran's Kitchen is sure to satisfy the current interest in traditional cookery in a very personal way. A little of the old, a little new, it is full of simple, comforting, and easy-to-make cakes, breakfasts, dinners, and desserts, as well as her secrets to award-winning baking and preserving. Not only is this book a beautiful cookbook, but it is also filled with wonderful family love and community spirit. 

Click for availability and more information The Hamptons & Long Island homegrown cookbook : local food, local restaurants, local recipes, by Leeann Lavin
Profiles twenty-seven of the well-known chefs and restaurant owners of the region and the farmers who supply them with fresh ingredients, with seventy-five recipes for seasonal dishes. 

Click for availability and more information The Latin Road Home : savoring the foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru, by Jose Garces
The essential book for experiencing the joy of sitting down to dinner in a Latin household. Capture the vibrant regional flavors of Latin America and Spain with ease in your home kitchen with Jose Garces as your guide. 

Click for availability and more information Now Eat This! Italian: favorite dishes from the real mamas of Italy, all under 350 calories, by Rocco DiSpirito
Weight-conscious food lovers no longer need to deprive themselves of the ever-popular cuisine of Italy. In his signature style, Rocco DiSpirito has recreated 100 classic Italian recipes to be healthy and low in calories and fat-yet still full of flavor. After traveling to Italy and perfecting the dishes side-by-side with the chefs who make them best-the Italian mamas-he offers sinful pastas, sauces, and desserts you never thought you could eat while keeping healthy. 

Click for availability and more information Real Snacks : make your favorite childhood treats without all the junk, by Lara Ferroni
Imagine homemade Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, and Cheez-Its made in your own kitchen, even with gluten-free and vegan variations. Make your favorite snacks with whole grains and natural sweeteners full of wonderful flavors and nutrients not artificial colors and preservatives. Lara Ferroni shows you how with this collection of 50 nostalgic childhood treats that satisfy your junk food cravings, but without all the junk. Gluten free and vegan options are included for every recipe. 

Click for availability and more information Sweet Paris : a love affair with Parisian pastries, chocolate and desserts, by Michael Paul
More than just a cookbook, this is a sweet-toothed guide to Paris. With more than thirty distinctly Parisian recipes, ranging from tarts and macarons to madeleines and chocolates, let your taste buds do the walking. A sophisticated design and stunning images help to make this book a timeless keepsake that will be cherished for years to come. 

Click for availability and more information Try This at Home, by Richard Blais
From Bravo's Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais comes his very cool debut cookbook for home cooks looking to up their game with more excitement in the kitchen. This is accessible and fun, and includes the signature recipes, flavor combinations, and cooking techniques that have made him such a popular chef.

Click for availability and more information Vietnamese Home Cooking, by Charles Phan
When Charles Phan opened his now- legendary restaurant, The Slanted Door, in 1995, he introduced American diners to a new world of Vietnamese food: robustly flavored, subtly nuanced, authentic yet influenced by local ingredients, and, ultimately, entirely approachable. In this same spirit of tradition and innovation, Phan presents a landmark collection based on the premise that with an understanding of its central techniques and fundamental ingredients, Vietnamese home cooking can be as attainable and understandable as American, French, or Italian.

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