Since we started this blog a few years ago, only a few books have ever debuted as high as the one this week by Brian Buffini. His work, The Emigrant Edge: How to Make it Big in America, came in at #2 on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list this weekend (August 19-20, 2017, p. C10). It was published by Howard Books, and released on August 1. As of today, it is in the top 25 best-sellers in two categories on Amazon.com.
Who is he? Well, he’s a real-estate mogul. Here is his biography:
His website is www.brianbuffini.com. What does he say about his book? “Take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of you and unleash the principles of the Emigrant Edge to build your own American Dream.”
And, on Amazon.com,
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.
The book has only been available for 11 days, but it has catapulted into a # 2 position and two #4 positions in three Amazon.com best-selling categories. It also debuted today on the Wall Street Journal business best-selling list at #5 (July 29-30, 2017, p. C10).
Of what book do I refer? It is Ryan Holiday‘s Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts (Portfolio). This book is already under our consideration, and is a prime candidate for presentation at an upcoming First Friday Book Synopsis.
Holiday, of course, is the author of five previous books, including The Daily Stoic, which we have raved about previously in this blog.
From his own website (https://ryanholiday.net/about),here is how Holiday characterizes himself:
“I am Ryan Holiday and I am a writer and media strategist. When I was 19 years old, I dropped out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. I went on to become the director of marketing for American Apparel (you might have seen some of the controversial campaigns I was a part of). My creative agency, Brass Check, has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors, including Neil Strauss, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. I am the author of five books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy and The Daily Stoic. The Obstacle Is the Way has been translated into more than twenty languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. Now I live on a ranch outside Austin, Texas where I do my writing and work in between raising cattle, donkeys and goats.
I originally started this blog nearly ten years ago to help me along in my journey of self-education. I wanted to write what I wished other blogs would talk about more often: life, dealing with assholes, how to be self-critical and self-aware, humility, philosophy, reading, learning, research and strategy. Aside from this site, I have written for the New York Observer, Thought Catalog, Entrepreneur, 99U, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Medium, Boing Boing, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review and multiple other outlets.”
Here is what a recent review of this book in Publisher’s Weekly had to say:
“Following in a long tradition in the self-help genre, Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way) brings a contemporary sensibility to the subject of making and marketing creative work. In clean, inspiring prose he lays out a process of setting goals, being diligent, making the product sell, and building a career out of what you love. Throughout the book, Holiday presents a playfully varied slate of examples of success: Seneca, Winston Churchill, Iron Maiden, and Kanye West, to name a few. Seeing Holiday’s ideas presented in a logical, step-by-step fashion is tremendously helpful. His injunctions include the following: be clear about what you are doing and what need it meets; think long-term, not short-term; pay attention to detail; be open to criticism; and test ideas. Creating is only the beginning and taking charge of marketing is just as important, he insists. The key here is building a platform for reaching an audience, which can mean anything from performing in small clubs to doing an author tour to compiling an email list….he builds a compelling road map to sustainable creativity.” (Taken from: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-14310-901-3)
I don’t know if I have ever seen this before. At # 9 on today’s Wall Street Journal best-selling business book list is a book about finance from a medical perspective (July 8-9, 2017, p. C10). As of this writing, the book is in the top 50 in three Amazon.com sub-categories.
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) takes a very different approach to the two combined viewpoints.
From Amazon.com, here is a description:
“Two of the world’s leading experts explain the vital link between health and wealth that could add years to your life and dollars to your retirement savings.
All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if we can’t get out of bed. And the healthiest body in the world won’t stay that way if we’re frazzled about five figures worth of debt. TODAY Show financial expert Jean Chatzky and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Dr. Michael Roizen explain the vital connection between health and wealth–giving readers all the tactics, strategies, and know-how to live longer, healthier, more lucrative lives.
The same principles that allow us to achieve a better body will allow us to do the same for our investment portfolio. For instance, physical and financial stability comes down to the same equation: Inflow versus outflow. Do we burn more calories than we ingest? Likewise, are we making more money than we spend? The authors detail scientific ways to improve our behavior so that the answers tilt in the readers’ favor. They also offer ways to beat the system by automating how we do things and limiting our decisions in the face of too much food or too much debt.
Chatzky and Roizen provide a plan for both financial independence and biological strength with action steps to get you there.”
In an upcoming post, I will give you some background about these authors, and explain why I believe this book may have long-lasting impact.
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
I wasn’t a baseball fan in 1957. I was alive, but had no idea that two New York baseball teams were moving west. The New York baseball Giants went to San Francisco, and the Brooklyn Dodgers went to Los Angeles.
So, sixty years later, a best-seller captivates the way that the Dodgers’ move transformed the city of Los Angeles. The book is by Jerald Podair, entitled City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles (Princeton Press, 2017).
Despite having been released in early April, the book is still in the top 25 in two Amazon.com sub-categories, neither of which have anything to do with sports! Rather, the categories are urban development, and city planning. Perhaps that alone will tell you the impact of the move on the region.
Here is a review of the book by Publishers Weekly, from March 3, 2017: “When Walter O’Malley dragged the Dodgers out of Brooklyn in 1957, he unwittingly triggered a battle over the future of Los Angeles. Lawrence University historian Podair recreates a protracted conflict that saw the suburbs face off against an unlikely alliance of unions and big corporations including oil, and the L.A. Times. Frustrated by the Machiavellian New York urban planner Robert Moses, O’Malley, like so many before him, headed west to a city that had deliriously morphed from orange groves to a tract-house megalopolis. Eager to shed their provincial status—and inflate the value of their real-estate—L.A. power brokers offered O’Malley a stadium site in Chavez Ravine, where a Mexican-American community had been devastated by a failed plan for public housing. The new stadium was a fait accompli until “the Folks” (mostly white middle-class homeowners) ignited a multi-year conflict that ranged from the courts to the voting booth and resonated across the country. Podair frames the Dodger Stadium struggle as a collision between two very different visions for L.A.: one an endless suburb of low taxes and minimal government, and the other more centralized and hierarchical, with generous state funding for cultural monuments that, not coincidentally, would make the rich even richer. Careful research and straightforward prose make this an excellent introduction, though unimaginative repetition of theses smacks of a high-school textbook. The semi-heroic portrayal of the team owner borders on partisan, but Podair does have a point: O’Malley sweated for his vision.”
And, here is a comment from John Buntin, in the Wall Street Journal: “By 1956, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Walter O’Malley, was a frustrated man. The rival New York Yankees, from a 67,000-seat stadium in the Bronx, ruled Major League Baseball. The Boston Braves had just moved to Milwaukee and increased home attendance by 600% — dramatically boosting their revenue and their advantage in the quest for talent. Decrepit Ebbets Field, by contrast, had only 32,000 seats, making it one of the smallest ballparks in the majors. O’Malley knew he needed a new stadium to compete. How “O’Malley came by that new stadium is vividly recounted in Jerald Podair’s City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles. It’s the tale of how the fight to bring the Dodgers west transformed not only Major League Baseball but Southern California as well, determining what kind of city 20th-century Los Angeles would be. . . . Podair is right to see this as a critical moment in Los Angeles’s history and is a sure-footed guide through the political fight.”
“I am Professor of History and the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I have taught since 1998. I’m a native of New York City and a former practicing attorney. I received my B.A. from New York University, a J.D. from Columbia University Law School, and a Ph.D. in American history from Princeton University. My research interests are in 20th century American urban history and racial and ethnic relations.
I am the author of The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis, published by Yale University Press, which was a finalist for the Organization of American Historians’ Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for the best book on the struggle for civil rights in the United States, and an honorable mention for the Urban History Association’s Book Award in North American urban history. My biography of the civil rights and labor leader Bayard Rustin, entitled Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer, was published in 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield. My co-edited book, The Struggle for Equality: Essays on Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction, was published in 2011 by the University of Virginia Press. I contributed an essay entitled, “An Awful Choice: Bayard Rustin and New York City’s Civil Rights Wars, 1968,” for that volume. I am also the co-author of American Conversations: From the Centennial to the Millennium, a collection of primary sources in American history after 1877, published by Pearson in 2012. I’m presently writing a book entitled Building Dodger Stadium: Land, Power, and the Fate of Modern Los Angeles for Princeton University Press, in which I use the struggle over the construction of the iconic ballpark between 1957 and 1962 to examine arguments over civic identity in an emerging 20th century American supercity.
My articles and reviews have appeared in The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, The Journal of Urban History, Reviews in American History, Radical History Review, Labor History, Film & History, and American Studies. I contributed an essay, “’One City, One Standard’: The Struggle for Equality in Rudolph Giuliani’s New York,” to Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era, published by Fordham University Press in 2011.
At Lawrence University, I teach courses on a variety of topics in nineteenth and twentieth-century American history, including the Civil War and Reconstruction; Abraham Lincoln; the Great Depression and New Deal; the 1960s; the JFK assassination; and the Civil Rights Movement. I also teach Lawrence’s first course in American Studies, which I introduced in 2007. Since 2004 I have taught Lawrence’s Senior Experience research seminar for history majors, “The Practice of History.”
I am the recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians for “literary distinction in the writing of history,” and a Fellow of the New York Academy of History. I was appointed to Wisconsin’s Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, on which I served from 2008 to 2009. In 2010, I was honored by Lawrence University with its Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and in 2012 with its Faculty Convocation Award. In 2013 I co-edited Learning for a Lifetime: Liberal Arts and the Life of the Mind at Lawrence University, a volume of essays by Lawrence alumni on the impact of liberal education on their professional, intellectual, and personal development.”
I don’t see much chance of us presenting this at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Its scope is beyond what we focus upon. But, we have many blog visitors who are both sports fans and urban enthusiasts who will like this book.