As a historian and global archaeology professional, Patty Civalleri has traveled for 17 years to the deepest corners of our ancient past in search of lost civilizations all over our planet. She has had the privilege of doing so with some of the foremost archaeologists and scientists in the world.
She presents the world with the same intellectual excitement that has driven her through lost caves, ancient tombs, and historical personalities that have been lost to time.
Civalleri enjoys the honor of serving on the Director's Council of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), and on the Board of the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at California State University in Long Beach (CSULB), and as the 2017 Commodore of the Alamitos Bay Chargers boating club in Long Beach, Ca.
As a writer, photographer, graphic designer, and technology professional, Patty has had the pleasure of building websites, photographing, marketing and writing for over 200 commercial business clients around the country.
Civalleri is an avid cook, sailor, singer and classical pianist residing in Long Beach, California.
“While this work looks like a traditional Florence guidebook, the author’s expert use of facts and illustrations sets it above the rest.”
– Kirkus Reviews
The founder of the popular grocery store chain delivers a memoir wrapped in a handbook for would-be entrepreneurs.
Coulombe (1930-2020) was a born wheeler-dealer, turning a 1958 partnership with Rexall Drugs in Los Angeles into a small grocery chain called Pronto Markets. The chain flourished for lack of competition, with market leader 7-Eleven effectively held back from the region until California laws changed and barriers to entry fell. Annual sales at Pronto and its successor, Trader Joe’s, “grew at a compound rate of 19 percent per year” from the founding until Coulombe left the company in 1988; he reckons sales and net worth growth to be about that today. Success in a business with historically tight margins came from an ability to pivot nimbly, drop products that didn’t work (including, in Southern California, bullets until the assassination of Robert Kennedy), and procure products wisely from suppliers with as few middlemen as possible. “The fundamental job of a retailer is to buy goods whole, cut them into pieces, and sell the pieces to the ultimate consumers,” he writes, going on to gloss each of those mandates. Unusually for the sector, Coulombe also offered high rates of pay, which kept turnover—a huge hidden cost—low. The author, who takes a gruffly scholarly approach to many business problems, keyed Trader Joe’s to demographic changes that recognized the anti–mass-market sentiments of the counterculture and the rise in international travel that led Americans to appreciate such things as high-quality coffee and wine. Any student of social trends, logistics, and supply chains will learn much from Coulombe’s pages and the stern dicta they contain, as, for example, when he offers this formula: “my preference is to have a few stores, as far apart as possible, and to make them as high-volume as possible.”
Sure to be required reading in business school—and for fans of Coulombe’s creation as well.
Pub Date: June 22, 2021
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Review Posted Online: May 3, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021
A historian and armchair archaeologist shares her knowledge of Florence.
Most travel guides do not open with definitions of Stendhal syndrome and humanism, but this unusual introduction sets the tone for the debut book. As delineated in the subtitle, the work focuses on Florence’s “Gems” (noteworthy places) and “Giants” (diverse luminaries). Before these two main sections, there is a checklist of things to do and see in the city, presented in the form of provocative questions (for example, “Who broke Dante’s heart?”), followed by textual and image tables of contents and a background section. The last includes a map of Florence and a brief overview of its history and development, beginning with the plague in the 1300s and continuing through the Renaissance (1500s). The “Giants” section is the lengthiest and provides biographies of the Medicis, Petrarch, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and other well-known figures associated with Florence but also lesser lights like Masaccio and Ghirlandaio. The relatively shorter “Gems” presents tidbits on some prominent tourist sites, including the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio. The final section, “Wandering Around Today’s Florence,” gives a list of piazzas and offers tips on the best views, art, and day trips. While readers looking for information on hotels and restaurants will be disappointed, Civalleri gives more in-depth information on the history and significance of Florence’s celebrities and sites than traditional guides. Despite the reams of history, the work is still a light, entertaining read. The extensive use of illustrations—primarily photographs, but also maps—enlivens the text. Numerous sidebars supply anecdotes, definitions, and brief topics. The various font styles, sizes, and colors keep the book visually intriguing (although it occasionally verges on becoming a little busy). Ultimately, Civalleri delivers on her promise to teach readers about Florence through its fun stories.
While this work looks like a traditional Florence guidebook, the author’s expert use of facts and illustrations sets it above the rest.
Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2016
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: 1-Take MultiMedia
Review Posted Online: June 28, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017
Long Beach, CA
Passion in life
Family, Archaeology, History
Unexpected skill or talent
Sailor, Classical Pianist
FLORENCE: A TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO ITS GEMS & GIANTS: International Book Award Finalist, 2017
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