Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 3: Business/Science/Current Events, with Books on Amazon, Telecommuting, & How the Brain Connects

Berns, Gregory. How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Mutt Decode the Canine Brain. New Harvest. Oct. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780544114517. $25. PETS/DOGS
Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, Berns has used imaging technology for many years to learn how the human brain works. Acquiring Callie, a gentle terrier mix, made him wonder whether he could peer into the canine brain. Here he reveals how he’s been training dogs to sit still in an MRI scanner and what he has discovered. Dog books go like dog biscuits at the dog run, so the 30,000-copy first printing is not a surprise.

Brewster, Joe & Michelle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION
The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became concerned when their son, Idris, began slipping behind at his private New York school. Both a wake-up call and a practical guide, this book is companion to the authors’ documentary film, which will air on PBS’s POV this fall.

D’Souza, Dinesh. Party of Hypocrites: What I Learned from the Morality Police. Broadside: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780062280039. $27.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE
Dismissed as president of a Christian college in fall 2013 owing to sexual scandal, best-selling conservative commentator D’Souza found himself condemned by liberal bloggers not for adultery but for hypocrisy. Here he responds by distinguishing between “good” and “bad” hypocrisy—it’s the bad hypocrisy of liberals that gets his goat—while insisting that Republicans must rethink their attitudes on social issues to garner broader support. Not an easy argument to render, but as the 100,000-copy first printing suggests, there will be readers.

Fried, Jason & David Heinemeier Hansson. Remote: Office Not Required. Crown Business. Oct. 2013. NAp. 9780804137508. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780804137515. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BUSINESS
One in five workers worldwide telecommutes often and one in ten does so daily, and Fried and Hansson—founders of the cutting-edge software company 37Signals—address the issues while showing how this burgeoning trend is benefitting businesses. Take that, Yahoo president Marissa Mayer.

Greenspan, Alan. The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 496p. ISBN 9781594204814. $36. CD: Penguin Group (USA). ECONOMICS
The crash of 2008 blasted the old models of risk management and economic forecasting right out of the water, and Greenspan, former chair of the Federal Reserve Board, was as surprised as anyone. Here he considers the history of economic prediction, the current work of economic behaviorists, and the new technologies now available to suggest how we can improve economic forecasting—and how we can’t. Okay, do we still trust him?

Hartmann, Thom. The Crash of 2015. Twelve: Hachette. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780446584838. $26. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. BUSINESS
An internationally syndicated talk show host heard by over 2.75 million listeners weekly and the New York Times best-selling author of two dozen books, Hartmann decries a system that staggeringly benefits the rich and predicts that the really scary crash is coming in 2015. He’s here to suggest reform—and a little idealism. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Lieberman, Matthew D. Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Connect. Crown. Oct. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780307889096. $26; ISBN 9780307889119. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Professor in the Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, Lieberman takes us to the cutting edge of neuropsychology to show us what the brain seeks out whenever it has the chance: social connection. So let’s network!

Palin, Sarah. A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas. Broadside: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 208p. ISBN 9780062292889. $19.99. lrg. prnt. POLITICAL SCIENCE/MEMOIR
At over two million copies, Palin’s Going Rogue was the best-selling nonfiction book of 2009, and her America by Heart has nearly a million copies in print. So don’t be surprised by the 250,000-copy first printing for this defense of celebrating Christmas. With Palin’s personal recollections on Christmases past; look for a one-day laydown on October 29.

Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780316219266. $28. BUSINESS
Currently a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, Stone has been covering Amazon and, more broadly, Silicon Valley technology for 15 years. Here he gives a corporate history of Amazon, chronicling Jeff Bezos’s move from delivering books through the mail to creating “the everything store”—and transforming retail in the process. No quarrels with the 100,000-copy first printing.

Vaynerchuk, Gary. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story in a Noisy World. HarperBusiness: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780062273062. $29.99. BUSINESS
In business, there’s the jab—engaging with customer time after time to build solid relationships—and there’s the right hook—clobbering an opponent with that well-placed product and campaign. The jab and the hook work in tandem, and hugely best-selling business writer Vaynerchuk argues that with the new social media the jab-and-hook pattern is different. Now the name of the game is developing content that best fits the new social media and mobile devices. Okay, I’m on it; with a 150,000-copy firs printing.

Vogelstein, Fred. Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution. Sarah Crichton Bks: Farrar. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780374109202. $28. BUSINESS
As a contributing editor at Wired magazine, Vogelstein has been chronicling the Apple–Google head butting for more than a decade. Here he details not just the butts but what they mean for the future of social media.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.