Buying a table tennis table will make your staff happier. Working eight hours a day, five days a week, will result in the most productivity. Paying higher salaries will always result in higher motivation. Really? There are a staggering number of myths and stereotypes that abound in the workplace and many of them are wrong. A new series: Myths published by Kogan Page are paperbacks, written in an engaging, anecdotal style while still being underpinned by research and clear, evidence-based conclusions. They take the most up-to-date academic research in business and psychology and combine it with practical insights, a lively writing style and a handy dip-in-and-out structure. These books bust through the fads, fiction and falsehoods to give readers the essential knowledge you need to be better at business – they’re the real deal. Foyles in Waterloo have done a superb window display for this eye-catching series – which you can see here! Myths of PR: All Publicity is Good Publicity and Other Popular Misconceptions (978 0749479596) was published in April and three more are out this month – they’re all £14.99. Myths of Work: The Stereotypes and Assumptions Holding Your Organization Back (978 0749481285), Myths of Management: What People Get Wrong About Being the Boss (978 0749480233) and Myths of Leadership: Banish the Misconceptions and Become a Great Leader (978 0749480745) have all had rave reviews, e.g.: "If I could marry a book, this would be the one!” and "If you want a cookie cutter approach on how to be a leader, buy another leadership book. If you want to understand the myths behind the cult of leadership and the practical steps you can take to improve as a leader, buy this one." The Financial Times said of Myths of Management: "This book is so true, so sensible and so snappily written, I wish I had written it myself. If every business person read it, all managerial stupidity would wither away." And the fabulous Nick Hewer of Apprentice and Countdown fame said of Myths of PR "At a time when telling the truth is a revolutionary act, Rich Leigh tackles misconceptions and strategy head on with facts, tact and wit. This book is required reading for current and aspiring communications professionals and, frankly, anybody affected by or contributing to the daily onslaught of misinformation; a practice exercised at present, most damagingly and disconcertingly, by even the highest offices in the world." Thanks Nick for this major thumbs up – now let’s remind ourselves here of your own “best bits” Ah, we do miss you on The Apprentice – it’s just not the same without you!
I’m sure we’re all well aware of the seemingly unstoppable rise and rise of the popularity of what use to be termed Mother’s Ruin aka gin. 101 Gins to Try Before You Die (£12.99, hb, 978 1780272993) has been a number one bestseller for Birlinn, and I feel Gin Cocktails (£4.99, hb, 978 0754833710) by Stuart Walton just out from Lorenz could also do very well. Stuart was recently interviewed on Talk Radio talking about this title which will help you enjoy gin in a myriad of ways. It contains a selection of fifty gin recipes, from best-loved blends such as Gin Swizzle and Dry Martini to trendy new mixes such as Arctic Summer and Lady Killer. It also outlines the history of gin and there are step-by-step instructions on the tricks of the trade, as well as professional bartending tips. This is a simple but very well executed (and well-priced!) little gift book - you can see a spread below.
The history of gin is a thought-provoking one that says much about society I feel and the change from what Historians sometimes term ‘England’s first drug craze’ in the 1700’s to today’s ‘Ginaissance’ is interesting. Have a look here at this pro-prohibition film entitled Episodes in the Life of a Gin Bottle made in 1925 (here with a modern soundtrack added). A gin bottle is personified with a spirit and as it changes hands the spirit of the bottle tempts the various possessors to take a drink. Different times indeed.
Stuff. We all have it, we all want it. But is it important? Why Stuff Matters (12.99, hb, 978 1911350224) is a compelling fictional ode to possession, why people like things and the curious lengths they will go to keep them. Jen Waldo’s first novel, Old Buildings in North Texas (pb, £8.99, 978 1911350170) attracted much praise for its quirky style and intriguing offbeat subject matter. Now in this new title (which is out this month from Arcadia) Jen Waldo returns to her fictional Caprock, and turns her wry wit on the lives of those afraid to let go of material things. When Jessica, a grieving widow, inherits an antique mall from her mother she also inherits the stallholders, an elderly, amoral, acquisitive, and paranoid collection. Into this mix comes Lizzie, Jessica's late husband's twelve-year-old daughter by his first marriage and it soon becomes apparent that Lizzie is as obsessed with stuff as Jessica's elderly tenants. Here's a nice pic of Why Stuff Matters on display at the Yellow Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury – thanks very much guys!
Over the past forty years, The Good Hotel Guide has established a unique position as a reliable and independent guide, which has won more media praise than any other hotel guide on the market. Whether your taste runs to luxury castles or simple B&Bs, The Good Hotel Guide has the answer. The entries are based on readers recommendations backed up by independent, expert inspections and specializes in hotels of individual character in outstanding locations. It is unusual in its ruthless independence and honesty. The Daily Mail will publish an article this Saturday in its Travel Mail section on this year’s Good Hotel Guide’s César Awards. The Daily Mail’s website will also run the article – and this is the biggest newspaper site in the world with 45 million unique users! The 2018 Good Hotel Guide (pb, £20, 978 0993248429) has plenty of buzz on social media at the moment – with all the individual hotels tweeting and retweeting their ratings – this guidebook is, as the Times says, “simply the best” – so there are lots of reasons to get it on display right now!
I love Tom Gauld’s cartoons – his new book features some hilarious book-related gems – have a look and a laugh here on BuzzFeed. I especially enjoyed The Snooty Bookshop and My New Novel!
Marking World Animal Day; here's a great piece in the Guardian by Gallic author Henrietta Rose-Ines featuring her Top Ten Books About Human Relationships With Animals. Green Lion (pb, £8.99, 978 1910709252) by Henrietta was published in August by Aardvark to widespread praise – The Telegraph gave it five stars calling it “muscular and lyrical” while Patrick Gale said “I love Henrietta Rose-Innes' work. With plotlines that are wittily subversive and language that is whippet-lean, it is long overdue for discovery by a wider readership.”
The winner of the 2017 BBC Short Story Award has been announced as Cynan Jones, who won for his story The Edge of the Shoal. Prize judge Eimear McBride called it “as perfect a short story as I’ve ever read” – you can read all about that in the Guardian here. All five shortlisted stories are included of course in The BBC National Short Story Award 2017 (978 1910974353, pb, £7.99) anthology, which has an intro by Joanna Trollope, and is published by Comma.
There was a big article in the Telegraph this week with the eye-catching and rather controversial headline “Imbeciles Should Certainly be Killed”. With the subtitle, “A Study of Bloomsbury that Embraces Science Shows a Darker Side to Virginia Wolfe et al” the piece reviews a fascinating book which has just been published by UCL Press called Bloomsbury Scientists: Science and Art in the Wake of Darwin by Michael Boulter (pb, £15.00, 978 1787350052). The review calls it “a confusing, ugly, fascinating account of the battle between arts and sciences” and says “this little volume is absorbing.” Bloomsbury Scientists is the story of the network of scientists and artists who viewed creativity and freedom as the driving force behind nature and whose collective energy changed the social mood of the era. Michael Boulter seamlessly weaves together the stories originating from Bloomsbury’s laboratories and libraries, narrating the breakthroughs of scientists such as Marie Stopes alongside the creative outputs of H. G. Wells and Virginia Woolf; intricately connecting them all through personal friendships, grievances, quarrels and affections. Bloomsbury Scientists offers a fresh and crucial perspective on this history at a time when the complex relationship between science and art continues to be debated.
Pascal Garnier's new title Low Heights (pb, £8.99, 978 1910477427) is actually reaching very high heights with a super review in the Guardian here calling his novels “startling and surprisingly moving” and we also found out recently on Radio 4 that Ian Rankin is a big Garnier fan – you can listen again to that interview here. The Financial Times said that “Low Heights has as much to say about ageing and emotional intelligence as many more overtly literary novels.” Low Heights is published by Gallic.
How many of us have thought "Once I have … in my life or … out of my life, then I'll be happy"? Filling the Happiness Gap by Will Foster (978 1781809440, pb, £9.99) is a 21-day programme designed to increase happiness through the use of Gratitude for what you have, Acceptance of what you don't and an ability to live in the Present moment (GAP) – and it’s published by Hay House on 7 November. Life coach Will Foster has researched hundreds of happiness experts, from Greek philosophers like Aristotle to modern-day positive psychologists. What’s different about Will’s approach is that his aim is to make you happier, which is a measurable, realistic and noticeable goal, rather than happy, which is vague, unattainable and unrealistic. He’ll be interviewed by Ben Comber who is the voice of one of the UK’s leading health and fitness podcasts during publication week and will also be writing some top tips for October’s Your Healthy Living magazine and will be on BBC Radio Scotland in November as part of their Happiness season. Will is also writing some tips to stay positive and calm for the festive season for Veggie Magazine.
Joanna Walsh's Worlds From the Word's End (978 1911508106, pb, £8.99) from And Other Stories has had glowing reviews all round and she’s also taken to BBC Radio 4 Open Book and the Guardian to discuss age discrimination in the arts (getting shared over 4000 times and sparking policy changes!) Here’s her impassioned piece in The Guardian about age discrimination in awards and fellowships which has prompted one arts organisation to amend the rules of their prize from 'young' writers to 'new/emerging' writers. Bravo Joanna! Worlds from the World's End is currently a bestselling title at the London Review Bookshop - you can see it here!
Drinks With Dead Poets: The Autumn Term (978 1786821409, pb, £8.99) the cult hit novel from poet Glyn Maxwell is now out in paperback from Oberon. The Guardian called it a “wholly brilliant evocation of a mysterious university campus, its students and visiting lecturers,” the Mail on Sunday said “readers will emerge enlightened and enthralled” and The Daily Mail said “it might just change the way you see the world.”
We love to feature the décor in inspirational bookshops – here you see some pictures by the immensely talented Natalia Gasson which adorn the walls of the lovely Warwick Books, the town’s only independent bookshop, established in 2004 and owned by Mog and Pauline. Gorgeous!
Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) by Margaret Rooke has a four-star review in the Sun today and Margaret will be on Women’s Hour next Tuesday, talking about the book and the creative power of kids with dyslexia. Dyslexia is My Superpower (Most of the Time) (£12.99, pb, 978 1785922992) contains lots of personal tips and tactics from over a hundred children and young adults revealing the creative benefits of dyslexia, which enable them to thrive in school and beyond. The first-hand accounts are inspiring in the way they normalise and celebrate dyslexia the book also contains some stunning illustrations by dyslexic children – you can see a couple below. It’s out now from Jessica Kingsley.
That’s all for now folks! More next week!
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