Friday, October 17, 2014

Randy Is Recommending:
Twenty years ago, Barney the Dinosaur told the nation's children they were special. We're still paying the price.

From "one of the funniest writers in America" comes a collection of stories culled from the front lines of the millennial culture wars. Rife with failing rock bands, student loans, and participation trophies, Spoiled Brats is about a generation of narcissists-and the well-meaning boomers who made them that way.

A hardworking immigrant is preserved for a century in pickle brine. A helicopter mom strives to educate her demon son. And a family of hamsters struggles to survive in a private-school homeroom.

Surreal, shrewd, and surprisingly warm, these stories are as resonant as they are hilarious.
Between the pages of Ask Anna, you'll find advice better than a belly rub. Dogs everywhere run to Anna with their questions about love, food, proper etiquette in the dog park, sibling rivalry, how to cope with lazy owners and a myriad of other topics. , and Anna's advice solves all problems and brighten every dog's day.

Anna begins her counseling by putting dogs at ease. Her motto: "Let Me Hold Your Paw and Help."

Anna' advice to owners is: "Read this book and get a clue about what your dogs really think of you!"

Here's a special message from Anna:

"Dear Person,

My dad, Dean Koontz, is a writer, as you might be aware. For years his first golden retriever, Trixie, also wrote books, which sometimes made the best-seller list. I vowed never to be a writer.

I barely have enough time for all the belly rubs, ball chasing, bird chasing, tug-of-war, and posing cutely that is required of me as a golden retriever, not to mention all of my non-professional interests, such as the new translation of Proust that I have undertaken, and learning to pilot a hot-air balloon.

Nevertheless, I have written a book of advice for dogs. It's not a matter of ego, which anyone who knows a golden retriever will attest. It's not about money, because all the earnings I receive from Ask Anna will be given to Canine Companions for Independence, which provides assistance dogs for people with disabilities. What it's about is giving back to my community--which I feel obliged to do especially because of all the park grass I've ruined with little round brown spots.

Thank you for your support."
In an age when scandal can destroy a company's brand or anyone's reputation in an instant, Glass Jaw is an Art of War guide to modern crisis management.

In boxing terms, a tough-looking fighter who can't take a punch is said to have a "glass jaw," and so it is these days with targets of controversy. Down the rabbit hole of scandal, the weak are strong and the strong are weak. Just consider this slate of recent reputational body blows: Toyota, Susan G. Komen, Paula Deen, Tiger Woods, Joe Paterno, BP, the Duke Lacrosse players, Lance Armstrong, and Anthony Weiner. GLASS JAW is a manifesto for these times, written by crisis management veteran Eric Dezenhall, who has spent three decades dealing with some of the most intense controversies, both known and . . . handled with discretion.

In the current digital age, the fundamental nature of controversy is viral, rendering once-mighty organizations and individuals powerless against scandal. In GLASS JAW, Dezenhall analyzes scandal and demystifies the paper tiger "spin" industry, offering lessons, corrective measures, and counterintuitive insights, such as:
*How there really is no "getting ahead" of a bad story (and other clich├ęs from the media)
*The perils of navigating the "Fiasco Vortex"
*The art (and transaction) of the public apology
*Why a crisis is not an opportunity
*The Nixon Fallacy: if only he had just said "I screwed up," the whole thing would have gone away (not a chance)
*How you are the enemy: the self-sabotage of selfies, tweets, emailing before thinking, technology creep, the privacy vacuum, and the industrialization of leaking.

From the boardroom to the parenting messaging board, scandals erupt every day. Glass Jaw explains this changing nature of controversy and offers readers counterpunches to best protect themselves.
A fiftyish graphic designer forced into retirement discovers, via a parade of unlikely events, that it may still be a lovely day in the neighborhood, by "the master of the low-key epiphany." (The New Yorker)

Wallace Webster lives alone in Kemah, Texas at Forgetful Bay, a condo development where residents are passing away at an alarming rate. As he monitors events in the neighborhood, Wallace keeps in touch with his ex-wife, his grown daughter, a former coworker for whom he has much averted eyes, and a somewhat exotic resident with whom he commences an off-beat affair.

He sifts through the curious accidents that plague his neighbors, all the while reflecting on his past and shortening future. Required to reflect upon his own mortality, he wonders if "settling for" something less than he aspired to is a kind of cowardice, or just good sense.

Beneath the arresting repartee and the ever-present and often satisfying banality of our modern lives--from Google searches to real life mysteries on TV--lies Frederick Barthelme's affection for and curiosity about our human condition. There Must Be Some Mistake is warm and wry, beautifully written, and completely irresistible.
The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book Review

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
In Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, John C. Maxwell delves into the process of becoming a successful leader by examining how questions can be used to advantage. What are the questions leaders should ask themselves? What questions should they ask members of their team? He then responds to the toughest problems leaders have presented to him. Using social media, Maxwell offered the floor to followers with unanswered questions about what it takes to achieve their professional best, and selected seventy questions on the most popular topics, including:

-- How can I discover my unique purpose as a leader?

-- What is the most effective daily habit that any leader should develop?

-- How do you motivate an unmotivated person?

-- How would you work with a difficult leader who has no vision?

This book is a thorough, insightful response to those readers and anyone who feels they have plateaued on their journey to develop their ultimate potential. Every leader has room to grow, and the advice in these pages will help readers assess their current position, and structure an effective plan to achieve their goals.
According to Michael Savage, our nation is in real trouble and the seeds of a second conflagration have been sown.
Not between the states - but between true patriots who believe in our nation's founding principles and those he believes are working every day to undermine them and change the very nature of the country.
Not a war of bullets and blood - but one of commitment to freedom and courage of conviction. Michael Savage is convinced that we face more than just political differences now. He believes the split between right and left is possibly irreparable - unless we understand what's really happening and how we must act to stop it.
Savage has been raising his voice for over 20 years as America's most outspoken and incisive talk radio host and bestselling author. He argues that the situation is urgent and he is raising his voice even louder by telling his Savage Truth in Stop The Coming Civil War, starting with a title that will galvanize every liberty-loving American and warn the enemies of our way of life that, difficult as the path ahead may be, the time has come, the facts are clear, the line must be drawn.
Savage cut his teeth exposing the political left's goals, tactics and actions as they attempt to tilt the country's axis ever closer to socialism. In these pages, he lays out his beliefs about what lefties in our government don't want people to know, connecting the dots between their many frightening moves and raising the not-so-obvious issues they don't want discussed:
Why have so many of our top military commanders been summarily pushed aside, after years of brave service?
Is the falsification of records by VA personnel in order to cover up the horrific neglect of our brave soldiers a sign of what's to come with Obamacare?
How is Obama's irresponsible foreign policy not just weakening us in Russia, China, and the Middle East, but actually endangering our security at home as well?
What does it mean for our freedom and our way of life that negligent immigration law enforcement allows illegal aliens to cross the southern border into our country with little fear of penalty?
Stop The Coming Civil War is a no-holds barred tale as gripping as any movie script in which some super hero or secret agent saves the day, but according to Savage, true patriots can save the country. A page-turner from start to finish, his fervent warning offers the Savage truth -- a call to action beginning in the voting booth - in order to defend the freedoms our Constitution so brilliantly established.
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite -- a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system -- even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.
But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.

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