A smashing business-best seller on feminism has crashed the Wall Street Journal, debuting on its list at # 3 in the September 24-25 edition (p. C10).
Jessica Bennett’s work, Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (Harper), was distributed on September 13, 2016. At this writing, it is # 1 in three business books sub-categories on Amazon.com.
Who is Jessica Bennett? She is a columnist and feature writer for Time and for the New York Times. Her specialties with the paper include gender issues culture, and language. Bennett is also involved with special projects for LeanIn.org, which is Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit organization. Her major responsibility there is an initiative to change the depiction of women in stock photography. She earned a B.S. from Boston University. The New York Press Club honored her for outstanding web coverage and named her the city’s best young journalist. This is her first book.
Here is a summary of the book, from Amazon.com:
“Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women.
“It was a fight club—but without the fighting and without the men. Every month, the women would huddle in a friend’s apartment to share sexist job frustrations and trade tips for how best to tackle them. Once upon a time, you might have called them a consciousness-raising group. But the problems of today’s working world are more subtle, less pronounced, harder to identify—and harder to prove—than those of their foremothers. These women weren’t just there to vent. They needed battle tactics. And so the fight club was born.
“Hard-hitting and entertaining, Feminist Fight Club blends personal stories with research, statistics, and no-bullsh*t expert advice. Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist workplace archetypes women encounter everyday—such as the Manterrupter who talks over female colleagues in meetings or the Himitator who appropriates their ideas—and provides practical hacks for navigating other gender landmines in today’s working world. With original illustrations, Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheet, and fascinating historical research, Feminist Fight Club tackles both the external (sexist) and internal (self-sabotaging) behaviors that plague women in the workplace—as well as the system that perpetuates them.”
Given its status, this book is a certain upcoming selection for the First Friday Book Synopsis. Check our web site – click HERE – for the exact month that we will present it.
On Friday, August 5, I present a synopsis of the best-selling business book, Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Unocover Huge Trends” (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2016) at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. You can register by clicking HERE.
But, you may not know much about the author, Martin Lindstrom. Here is a bio from the Washington Speakers’ Bureau that represents him (see citation below).
“Martin Lindstrom was named one of TIME magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” and is the author of several New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling books, including Buyology (Doubleday, New York, 2008), Brandwashed (Crown, New York, 2011) and Small Data (St. Martin’s Press, 2016). He is a trusted brand-and-innovation advisor to numerous Fortune 100 companies, including McDonald’s Corporation, PepsiCo, American Express, Microsoft, Nestlé, The Walt Disney Company and GlaxoSmithKline.
“Lindstrom is recognized as one of the world’s leading brand experts, having pioneered the introduction of brands on the Internet (1994), using our five senses in branding (2004), introducing neuroscience in advertising (2007) and exploring the next generation of subconscious communication (2010). He was named a top “Thinkers50 Global Management Thinker” in 2015.
“Due to his groundbreaking work, Lindstrom often features in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Economist, Harvard Business Review, The Independent, The Guardian and Der Spiegel. He regularly appears on ABC, CNN, CBS, FOX and the BBC.
“Buyology was voted “pick of the year” by USA Today, and it appeared on ten of the Top 10 best seller lists in the U.S. and worldwide, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. His book BRANDsense was acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as “…one of the five best marketing books ever published.” His books on branding have been translated into more than 50 languages and published in more than 70 countries worldwide.
“Lindstrom is a regular contributor to Fast Company, TIME and NBC’s Today with his popular “Main Street Makeover” TV series.”
What an amazing concept that Siri Hustvedt exposes in her new best-seller, The Blazing World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014). As described in The Wall Street Journal, “to expose sexism, a female artist asks three men to be fronts for her work. The stunt goes terribly awry” (p. C8). The book has only been released one week, and it is rapidly climbing the list of fiction best-sellers on Amazon.com.
Who is Siri Hustvedt? She is the author of five novels, The Blindfold, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved,and The Summer Without Men. She also published three collections of essays, A Plea for Eros, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, and Living, Thinking, Looking, in addition to a nonfiction work: The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She is the recipient of the 2012 International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities.
I found this summary of the book on Amazon.com:
With The Blazing World, internationally bestselling author Siri Hustvedt returns to the New York art world in her most masterful and urgent novel since What I Loved. Hustvedt, who has long been celebrated for her “beguiling, lyrical prose” (The Sunday Times Books, London), tells the provocative story of the artist Harriet Burden. After years of watching her work ignored or dismissed by critics, Burden conducts an experiment she calls Maskings: she presents her own art behind three male masks, concealing her female identity.
The three solo shows are successful, but when Burden finally steps forward triumphantly to reveal herself as the artist behind the exhibitions, there are critics who doubt her. The public scandal turns on the final exhibition, initially shown as the work of acclaimed artist Rune, who denies Burden’s role in its creation. What no one doubts, however, is that the two artists were intensely involved with each other. As Burden’s journals reveal, she and Rune found themselves locked in a charged and dangerous game that ended with the man’s bizarre death.
Ingeniously presented as a collection of texts compiled after Burden’s death, The Blazing World unfolds from multiple perspectives. The exuberant Burden speaks—in all her joy and fury—through extracts from her own notebooks, while critics, fans, family members, and others offer their own conflicting opinions of who she was, and where the truth lies.
From one of the most ambitious and internationally renowned writers of her generation, The Blazing World is a polyphonic tour de force. An intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle, it explores the deceptive powers of prejudice, money, fame, and desire. Emotionally intense, intellectually rigorous, ironic, and playful, Hustvedt’s new novel is a bold, rich masterpiece, one that will be remembered for years to come.
You can read a full review of this book by Clare McHugh, published in The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2014, p. C8, at this link: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303795904579431460059821576?KEYWORDS=Vengeance+by+Deception&mg=reno64-wsj Ms. McHugh is an expert reviewer, currently an editor at Time, Inc.
You won’t see this one at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, because we do not present works of fiction, unless they are business-related. One example of that we might see is The Circle by Dave Eggers (New York: Knopf, 2013), as I gave this book to Randy Mayeux for Christmas. I’m not sure he’s finished it, and it is not on our selection list yet, but we only announce books one month in advance, so we will just wait and see.
Regardless, you might put this one on your escape reading list. It looks great!
Rick Stengel may have his shoulder in a sling, but when it comes to the newsmagazine wars, he’s the last man standing. The reason, says Time’s managing editor, is that “we saw what was coming. We wanted to fix the roof when the sun was shining.”
Howard Kurtz, Thinner Time magazine still manages to stand out
Throughout my life, I have nearly always taken at least one of the “big three” newsmagazines (sometimes, more than one at a time): Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Report. (The single most memorable paragraph I ever read in a newsmagazine was an item in “Washington Whispers” in US News many years ago that completely calmed a personal fear).
I have to admit, I take none of them now. I simply get my news from so many sources, including some from these three, but on-line.
But this quote grabbed my attention: “We wanted to fix the roof when the sun was shining.” So, kudos to Time for making smart decisions just ahead of the crisis. Newsweek and US News & World Report missed it.
But the business lesson in this: what are you doing to prepare for the storm while the sun is still shining? Because, for every business and industry, the storm is either here, or coming very, very soon.
My son recently asked me “How will you do the First Friday Book Synopsis when books are all electronic?” He loves to read, is well-read – but he is three decades younger than I, and lives in the computer/electronic world. He feels a slight tinge of sadness at the prospect of the electronic book taking over the bound printed-on-paper book, but he is not bothered at this as much as I am. (By the way, one of our regular participants asked me the same question just a couple of weeks ago). My simple answer is that a good book synopsis is valuable whether a book is printed on paper or in the cloud. But I sense the storm warnings.
I recently presented my synopsis of Mastering The Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-Growth Firm by Verne Harnish. Here is a line from the book:
The two most important attributes of effective leaders are their abilities to predict and to delegate.
I’ve been pondering that attribute, “to predict.” And I can think of a plethora of examples. Every time a company goes under, or drastically cuts back, because the world has changed and the company had not “seen it coming,” it signals a failure of “predicting” ability on the part of the company leader(s). I’m sure the ability to “delegate” is also important, but I am growing in my belief that Verne is right to put “to predict” at the top of attributes needed in a leader. Notice especially the first part of the Stengel quote: “We saw what was coming.”
This pace of change is only going to accelerate, and any business that thinks that it can wait until the storm arrives to make the changes is going to miss it. Just ask Newseek, US News, and so many others.