What to Read this Winter

Sharing the reading list I’ve started over the past few months (book descriptions included from Amazon).  For those of you who don’t want to invest in a bunch of new books, here are some benefits of having a library membership in LA.  

Everything I Want to Eat  Jessica Koslow and her restaurant, Sqirl, are at the forefront of the California cooking renaissance, which is all about food that surprises us and engages all of our senses—it looks good, tastes vibrant, and feels fortifying yet refreshing. In Everything I Want to Eat, Koslow shares 100 of her favorite recipes for health-conscious but delicious dishes, all of which always use real foods—no fake meat or fake sugar here—that also happen to be suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or whomever you’re sharing your meal with.

 Dog Training the American Male Meet Dr. Nancy Beach, a relationship counselor who hosts a local radio show called Love’s a Beach. One problem: The relationship guru cant seem to make her own relationships work, sending her credibility and ratings into the toilet. Meet Jacob Cope, a walking thesaurus of phobias — a Lehman Brothers casualty who’s lost his job and swagger and now yearns to be a ventriloquist. When Nancy and Jacob are set up on a blind date and hit it off, their siblings, desperate to be rid of them, encourage the young couple to move in together. When the honeymoon stage abruptly ends, Jacob attempts to mend the fence by adopting a dog; a big dog and Nancy flips out . . . until she realizes the dog trainer’s techniques can be used to housebreak Jacob and save her radio career.

 The Heart of Hospitality is a hospitality management and customer service resource like no other, an essential guide to navigating customer service and consumer trends in the hospitality industry and others. Created by leading customer service expert Micah Solomon, with a foreword by Ritz-Carlton President/COO Herve Humler and contributions from top professionals in the hospitality industry (restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Tom Colicchio, Four Seasons Chairman Isadore Sharp, Virgin Hotels’ CEO Raul Leal, and many others), this compulsively readable volume helps you understand and serve guests of all generations, including the newly-prominent millennials, via first-hand stories and closely guarded hospitality secrets from top hotel, restaurant, and other hospitality professionals.

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency  An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling co-author of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun.  Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, greed, and personal betrayal. It is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business.

 A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st Century Winery A lively husband and wife team recounts their twenty-year climb from amateur winemakers to recipients of an almost unheard-of perfect score from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

 

 

 West of Eden: An American Place Jean Stein transformed the art of oral history in her groundbreaking bookEdie: American Girl, an indelible portrait of Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick, which was edited with George Plimpton. Now, in West of Eden,she turns to Los Angeles, the city of her childhood. Stein vividly captures a mythic cast of characters: their ambitions and triumphs as well as their desolation and grief.

 Sweetbitter A thrilling novel of the senses and a coming-of-age tale, following a small-town girl into the electrifying world of New York City and the education of a lifetime at one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan.

 

 

 Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets  The founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study legendary category-creating companies and reveal a groundbreaking discipline called category design. Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose.

Fantasy Man: A Former NFL Player’s Descent into the Brutality of Fantasy Football   The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Getting Up chronicles his descent into the madness of early retirement and fantasy football. In Slow Getting Up—hailed by Rolling Stone as “the best football memoir of all time”—Nate Jackson told his story face down on the field. Now, in Fantasy Man, he’s flat on his back. Six years have passed since the former Denver Broncos tight end wore a helmet, and every day he drifts further from the NFL Guy, the sanctioned-violence guy, the psychopath who ran head first into other psychos for money. But Nate hasn’t quite left the game. Bed-ridden by a recent surgery to remove bone fragments in his ankle, he’s trying to defend his title in one of the millions of leagues captivating America through modern fantasy football, the interactive human poker game started by rotisserie leagues, boosted by ESPN and Yahoo!, and now elevated to that rarefied world of vaguely-legal Internet gambling by FanDuel and DraftKings.com.

 Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give  A practical guide to modern giving that redefines philanthropy for today’s era. Far more than making monetary donations, philanthropy today encompasses giving time and knowledge, resources that can be just as valuable as financial contributions. Whether you’re a new philanthropist, a member of a charity’s Board of Directors, or just getting started as a volunteer, Successful Philanthropy offers the practical guidance and inspiring perspective that empowers all of us to take part in building a better world.

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley  Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble, from industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez, a former Twitter advisor, Facebook product manager and startup founder/CEO.

The Agile Startup: Quick and Dirty Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know An inspiring and impactful compilation of the most important lessons of entrepreneurship.  The tools of a digital age make it easier than ever to start a new business. And with billion-dollar IPOs and acquisitions making weekly headlines, the potential rewards are enormous. But even with all of the advantages and resources that today’s entrepreneurs have access to, the likelihood of any one business succeeding is slim. That’s why you need the simple, clear lessons found in The Agile Startup.

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