Comedian Jerry Lewis died this morning at age 91. I never thought he was very funny, although I do think his care for children with muscular dystrophy was authentic, if not misguided. I recall reports about discrepancies between money pledged and money collected, and then, questions about how much money actually went for the cause for which it was raised. And, I remember reports that the muscular dystrophy community thought that the campaign revolved more around pity than anything else. Remember – it was called “jerry’s Kids.”
Since this is a book blog, in searching through Amazon.com, there are surprisingly few books about him. And, don’t get confused – there are more books about Jerry Lee Lewis, and that is not the same person.
But, there are a few. Here is information about two of them.
More books about Lewis exist about his relationship with Dean Martin, and the two of them made hit films for more than ten years. He wrote one himself, Dean and Me (A Love Story), with James Kaplan (Three Rivers Press, 2006). If you peruse through the different Amazon. com listings, you will find several books about their relationship, and I remember at least one made for television movie focusing upon it. This one is probably the most interesting, however, because it came from Lewis himself. Whether accurate or not, the cover claims it is a New York Times bestseller.
His own autobiography, Jerry Lewis: In Person, was published with Herb Gluck in 1982 (Atheneum). Likely due to his death today, sales of that book have spiked, and tonight stand in the top 100 of two Amazon.com best-selling categories.
Personally, I only had peripheral involvement. In 1975, the Texas DeMolay Association sponsored a year-long campaign to raise funds for his MD telethon. I was in my first year as an adult advisor at the time. We sent the top fund-raiser, Gary Whitley from Grand Prairie Chapter, to the national telecast in Las Vegas to present Lewis the check. I doubt Lewis had ever heard of DeMolay, but accepted the check live on the air with gratitude.
Again, I don’t think he was funny. And, at best, he was a mediocre interviewer and show host. But, obviously, enough people saw him differently to support a very successful career.
I had promised our blog readers additional information about the authors of The book, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip by Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, M.D., (Grand Central, 2017), which takes a very different approach to the unusual two combined viewpoints of medicine and finance. If you did not read my previous post, CLICK HERE
Who are these two authors?
Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s TODAY show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP’s personal finance ambassador and host of the pod…cast HerMoney with Jean Chatzky on iTunes. Jean is also a best-selling author. In 2015, Jean teamed up with Time for Kids and The PwC Charitable Foundation to launch Your $, a financial literacy magazine reaching two million schoolchildren each month. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York. www.jeanchatzky.com
Dr. Michael Fredric Roizen is an American anesthesiologist and internist, an award-winning author and the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. Roizen became famous for developing the RealAge concept and has authored or coauthored five number one New York Times best sellers.
He has been praised for encouraging Americans to exercise and live healthier lives – and has been an outspoken critic of politicians who use health funds for other purposes – particularly for taking tobacco settlement money and using it for unintended purposes. Besides advocating for a healthier lifestyle today, Roizen has speculated that by 2023 one of the 14 areas of aging might have a breakthrough that will allow people to live until 160 with the same quality of life as at age 45.
We discussed the business best-seller rankings today, and specifically, how fast books move on and off these lists.
The book that I presented a synopsis of this morning, Barking Up the Wrong Tree (Harper One, 2017) by Eric Barker, is no longer on a published list. I first saw it on the Wall Street Journal list a few weeks ago.
Yet, its performance is very strong on one source, and that is the Amazon.com list. This one continually updates the status of book sales, and has become one of our favorite sources for determining the books that we will present at the First Friday Book Synopsis.
As of 3:15 p.m. today (7/7/2017), Barker’s book is in the top 25 in three Amazon.com sub-categories, and is in the top 100 in three major categories. You can review all of those categories by CLICKING HERE.
There are many sources for business best-seller lists, and we do not confine ourselves to any single list. However, the New York Times list, due to its monthly publication, is the one that we consider the most reliable. These sources publish best-seller lists, and we look at all of them:
Bloomberg Business Week
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Kim Scott‘s new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017) entered the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list at # 7 in the list published today (April 1-2, p. C10).
The book is # 1 on two Amazon.com sub-categories, and has also appeared on the prestigious New York Times best-seller list. As you are aware, we rely heavily on that list as the source for our selections to present at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
Here is how the book is described on Amazon.com:
“Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging it’s ruinous empathy. When you do neither it’s manipulative insincerity.
“This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you’re all proud of.
“Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.”
You may not be familiar with Kim Scott. She was an executive at Google and then at Apple. Kim is also the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., which builds tools to make it easier to follow the advice she offers in the book. She is also the author of three novels. Prior to founding Candor, Inc., Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other Silicon Valley companies. She was a member of the faculty at Apple University, developing the course “Managing at Apple,” and before that led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google. Previously, Kim was the co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, a collaboration start-up, and led business development at two other start-ups, Delta Three and Capital Thinking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy advisor at the FCC, managed a pediatric clinic in Kosovo, started a diamond cutting factory in Moscow, and was an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund. Kim received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA from Princeton University. Kim and her husband Andy Scott are parents of twins and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Adapted from her website: http://www.kimmalonescott.com/biography/).
We have determined that we will feature this book for the May, 2017 book synopsis in Dallas. Continue to monitor our website for information.
Stephen A. Cohen, who was the focus of one of the most intensive insider trader investigation in history, is the subject of a new best-selling business book that debuted at # 3 on the Wall Street Journal best-seller list (January 18-19, 2016, p. C10).
The book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street (Random House), was released on February 7, and as of today’s writing is in the top four best-selling books in three Amazon.com sub-categories.
The author is Sheelah Kolhatkar, is a current staff writer at The New Yorker. She is a former hedge fund analyst. Her features focus upon Wall Street, Silicon Valley and politics. Kolhatkar has appeared on numerous business television programs, and also been a guest columnist in several business magazines, as well as the New York Times.
Who is Stephen Cohen, and what exactly is this book about? Please read this summary taken from the publisher’s website at http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/234210/black-edge-by-sheelah-kolhatkar/9780812995800/.
“The rise over the last two decades of a powerful new class of billionaire financiers marks a singular shift in the American economic and political landscape. Their vast reserves of concentrated wealth have allowed a small group of big winners to write their own rules of capitalism and public policy. How did we get here? Through meticulous reporting and powerful storytelling, New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar shows how Steve Cohen became one of the richest and most influential figures in finance—and what happened when the Justice Department put him in its crosshairs.
“Cohen and his fellow pioneers of the hedge fund industry didn’t lay railroads, build factories, or invent new technologies. Rather, they made their billions through speculation, by placing bets in the market that turned out to be right more often than wrong—and for this they have gained not only extreme personal wealth but formidable influence throughout society. Hedge funds now manage nearly $3 trillion in assets, and competition between them is so fierce that traders will do whatever they can to get an edge.
“Cohen was one of the industry’s greatest success stories. He mastered poker in high school, went off to Wharton, and in 1992 launched SAC Capital, which he built into a $15 billion empire, almost entirely on the basis of his wizardlike stock trading. He cultivated an air of mystery, reclusiveness, and extreme excess, building a 35,000 square foot mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and amassing one of the largest private art collections in the world. On Wall Street, Cohen was revered as a genius.
“That image was shattered when SAC became the target of a sprawling, seven-year government investigation. Labeled by prosecutors as a “magnet for market cheaters” whose culture encouraged the relentless hunt for “edge”—and even “black edge,” or inside information—SAC was ultimately indicted in connection with a vast insider trading scheme, even as Cohen himself was never charged.
“Black Edge offers a revelatory look at the gray zone in which so much of Wall Street functions, and a window into the transformation of the U.S. economy. It’s a riveting, true-life legal thriller that takes readers inside the government’s pursuit of Cohen and his employees, and raises urgent questions about the power and wealth of those who sit at the pinnacle of modern Wall Street.”
A less biased, although equally positive review appeared in the New York Times, written by Jennifer Senior on February 1, 2017. One of her points is: “But my hunch is that readers will most remember “Black Edge” for showing them just how alarmingly pervasive insider trading was in the years surrounding the 2008 collapse. It became commonplace, domesticated — dare I say it? — normalized.” You can read that review by clicking on this site: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/books/review-black-edge-an-account-of-a-hedge-fund-magnate-and-insider-trading.html?_r=0.
And, in case you feel sorry for Cohen, the last line in Senior’s review says, “[Kolhatkar] notes that in 2014, Cohen made $2.5 billion by trading his personal fortune alone. ‘He is making plans to reopen his hedge fund,” she writes, “as soon as possible.’”
Please continue to monitor our website at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com, to see if this book rates one of our monthly selections at the First Friday Book Synopsis for presentation. Randy and I will discuss this very soon!
One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Stuart Woods. I guess I have read all of his novels over the past 15 years. I just finished Sex, Lies & Serious Money (Putnam, 2016), and am reading his newest, Below the Belt (Putnam, 2017).
One reason I like the books so much is that many of them feature Stone Barrington as the primary character. Barrington is a former New York City policeman, who was injured on the job, and who now serves as counsel to a law firm in the region. He inherited a lot of money from his mother, who was a famous painter, and from an ex-wife who was murdered. Barrington owns four homes, including one in England, and he drives cars we only dream of, and is an established pilot with two of his own planes. Oh, and in case you wonder, he is single, and seems to always have a woman in tow, bouncing around his own and different beds. Some are recurring regulars, but others are just brief encounters. He is a very smart guy, who cannot stay out of trouble – in fact, trouble seems to find him. But, he can rest with comfort, because is best friend, Dino, is the commissioner of the police department in New York City.
I guess everyone has a character who we wish we could be like. Barrington’s life is too dangerous for me, but since I don’t have to live it, I will just enjoy reading it.
Stuart Woods is 79 years old, and according to Bookbrowse.com, is the author of more than sixty novels, including the New York Times–bestselling Stone Barrington series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in New Mexico, Florida, and Maine.
If you need some advice on where to start with his books, just contact me, and I will give you some ideas.