Kevin Rose – Young Money

Young Money coverKevin Roose author of Young Money by Jening ChangBecoming a young Wall Street banker is like pledging the world’s most lucrative and soul-crushing fraternity. Every year, thousands of eager college graduates are hired by the world’s financial giants, where they’re taught the secrets of making obscene amounts of money– as well as how to dress, talk, date, drink, and schmooze like real financiers. YOUNG MONEY Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits YOUNG MONEY is the inside story of this well-guarded world. Kevin Roose, New York magazine business writer and author of the critically acclaimed The Unlikely Disciple, spent more than three years shadowing eight entry-level workers at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and other leading investment firms. Roose chronicled their triumphs and disappointments, their million-dollar trades and runaway Excel spreadsheets, and got an unprecedented (and unauthorized) glimpse of the financial world’s initiation process. Roose’s young bankers are exposed to the exhausting workloads, huge bonuses, and recreational drugs that have always characterized Wall Street life. But they experience something new, too: an industry forever changed by the massive financial collapse of 2008. And as they get their Wall Street educations, they face hard questions about morality, prestige, and the value of their work. YOUNG MONEY is more than an exposé of excess; it’s the story of how the financial crisis changed a generation-and remade Wall Street from the bottom up. The book is a New York Times bestseller, Fox TV has optioned it for a series, and author Kevin Roose was the featured interview last week on The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart. To hear out interview with Kevin Roose, click on the grey podcast bar below.

Joshua Zeitz – Lincoln’s Boys

Joshua Zeitz largeLincoln's Boys coverA timely and intimate look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House through the lives of his two closest aides and confidants

Lincoln’s official secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. Hay and Nicolay were the gatekeepers of the Lincoln legacy. They read poetry and attendeded the theater with the president, commiserated with him over Union army setbacks, and plotted electoral strategy. They were present at every seminal event, from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address—and they wrote about it after his death.

In their biography of Lincoln, Hay and Nicolay fought to establish Lincoln’s heroic legacy and to preserve a narrative that saw slavery—not states’ rights—as the sole cause of the Civil War. As Joshua Zeitz shows, the image of a humble man with uncommon intellect who rose from obscurity to become a storied wartime leader and emancipator is very much their creation.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.

Mike Mullin : Sunrise is a superb ending to the Ashfall trilogy

mike mullin 300Sunrise coverMike Mullin has been building fans since the arrival of Ashfall, the first novel in his trilogy about the scary aftermath to an eruption of the very real super-volcano that lies under Yellowstone Park. Part post-apocalypse survival story, part coming-of-age novel, part action adventure and with an appropriate touch of romance, Ashfall was both a critical and popular success. He followed that with Ashen Winter, which expanded the story in a highly satisfactory way. Now, with Sunrise, Mullin has really stepped up his game. The storyline is more complex, brings in more elements, adds some can’t-forget’em scenes and a thoroughly satisfying ending that follows some startling plot twists. Mullin is exploring some of the same territory as the best of Heinlein’s juveniles did, and earns a spot alongside them. This is the Good Stuff. Most highly recommended.

To listen to our interview with Mike Mullin, click on the grey podcast bar below.

Allison Pataki – The Traitor’s Wife

Allison Pataki author of Traitor's Wife 300The Traitor's Wife cover 300The day we interviewed novelist Allison Pataki capped what had been a golden week for her. It began Feb. 11 when her first novel, The Traitor’s Wife, was released. It drew rave reviews from some of the most respected writers and historians in the country, and the morning of the interview sat at the top of the list for new releases at Amazon and number two of all Amazon books. In that week, she appeared on Fox and Friends, and Katie Couric told The Today Show audience that she couldn’t put it down. The full title of the work is The Traitor’s Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America. It is a work of finely-researched history presented in a page-turning fictional style, and the rave reviews are right on target. It’s a gem of a book, and we hope to see many more from Ms. Pataki.

By the way, if the name Pataki sounds familiar, it’s because she is the daughter of George Pataki, who served a dozen years as governor of New York.

Alex Woolfson – Artifice

ARTIFICE_COVER_FINAL_FRONT 300Alex Woolfson 300Artifice is a fascinating graphic novel that puts a twist on several science fiction themes. Here’s the description of the plot from the Amazon website: Deacon, a prototype android soldier, was ordered by his corporate masters to eliminate a team of scientists who knew too much and he has failed spectacularly. Not only did he let one of his targets live — 19-year-old human outcast, Jeff Linnell — he attacked the team sent to retrieve him. Now the Corporation demands answers and they have employed the brilliant and ruthless robopsychologist Clarice Maven to get them. Deacon seems desperate to conceal the shocking events that took place on Da Vinci 4, but what chance does he have fighting an adversary who can control his every move?

Artifice was written by Alex Woolfson and illustrated by Winona Nelson

Alex Woolfson grew up loving science-fiction and action movies, but never got to see what he really wanted to see—tough genre stories with real heroes who just happened to like other guys. After Alex started a successful career as a filmmaker in the Bay Area, he soon realized the best way to make the “big-budget” adventure stories he craved would be as full-color comics. Inspired by the sci-fi thrillers he loved as a kid, he teamed up with illustrator Winona Nelson to create the science-fiction graphic novel, Artifice.

In addition to writing and publishing comics, Alex enjoys eating other people’s cooking, talking to strangers in the far parts of the world and spending weeks at a time on silent meditation retreat. He currently lives in San Francisco where he is writing scripts for his latest story with gay action heroes, the superhero webcomic The Young Protectors.

You can hear our interview with him by clicking on on the grey podcast bar below the sample art.

winona_nelson 200Winona Nelson, artist for the graphic novel Artifice by Alex Woolfson, has worked in comics, video games, and illustration for the past ten years. She trained in classical realism applied to entertainment art in San Francisco and worked in video game studios before going freelance. She now focuses on comics, fantasy and science fiction book covers, and card game art.

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Peter Baksa – Faith Wave

Peter Baksa author of Faith Wave 300 cover_faith_wave 300This book is for those that need a drastic change in their lives.

In Faith Wave, Peter Baksa reveals that everyone of us has a capacity of becoming a superhuman by ‘training’ our brain to achieve anything we desire and become the best version of ourselves. Peter spent time in Beijing China, studying the daily rituals of Tibetan Monks while living amongst them near the Lama Temple. The observation and interviews sought to link with neuroscience and the work of Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, C.G.Jung, Albert Einstein, Max Planck.

Peter presents the truth about how we can manipulate and interact with the universe to create life we love:

“The idea is that we create our lives using our thoughts, which are essentially energy that can be measured in frequency and can be shown to be a wave of a particular frequency. The life situations, people, and matter that we manifest are directly related to the frequency of our thoughts. We attract who we are. This seemed to fall into place without disrupting any of our current scientific theories that describe the universe. We create our own reality. We attract what we think about, we attract ourselves; if you want to change who or what you are attracting, change yourself, and the rest will follow in accordance.”

Faith Wave gives the reader a path, which if followed, will be the most direct efficient path to manifest the life that one desires. It does not matter where you are in life in the natural, how much money or how well educated you are, you will be able to use the laws and processes described herein to manifest whatever it is you desire. By following a simple sequence “Intend, Declare, and Detach,” you can, at will, and without concern for your current state of affairs begin to respond to life situations with “right action.”



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Dr. Norman Rosenthal – The Gift of Adversity

Dr Norman Rosenthal - 300The Gift Of Adversity by Dr Norman RosenthalDr. Norman Rosenthal is a gifted psychiatrist and researcher. When he first  showed that dark winter months can cause depression and that it could be effectively treated by bright light, he was met with more than a little skepticism. Today, Seasonal Affective Disorder or  SAD, as he called it, is a widely accepted mental condition. That was good news for both Dr. Rosenthal and his wife, since they both used to suffer from it.

Fortunately, he was not only an excellent researcher, but a talented author having the gift of making complex subjects clear and easily understood to the reader.

The Gift of Adversity, which sounds like an oxymoron at first glance, is subtitled “The Unexpected Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks, and Imperfections.” In it, he says that we can and should learn from all experiences, whether positive or negative. In fact, he believes that adversity is by far the best teacher most of us will ever encounter.

It’s a startling assertion, but Dr. Rosenthal successfully makes his case that, contrary to society’s current prevailing message that “excellence” must always be aspired to, and failure or mistakes of any sort are to be avoided at all costs, Rosenthal shows that engaging with our own failures and defeats is one of the only ways we are able to live authentic and meaningful lives, and that each different type of adversity carries its own challenges and has the potential to yield its own form of wisdom.

He uses stories from his own life—including his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa, his years after suffering a violent attack from a stranger, and his career as a psychiatrist—as well as case studies and discussions with well-known figures like Viktor Frankl and David Lynch, Rosenthal shows that true innovation, emotional resilience, wisdom, and dignity can only come from confronting and understanding the adversity we have experienced. Even when life is hardest, there are meanings to be found, riches to be harvested, and gifts that can last a lifetime.

The book is divided into short, easily-read chapters, each examining a particular point. It’s excellent reading, with the added benefit of a first-hand account on what it was like growing up Jewish in segregated South Africa.