CDO Chief Daddy Officer

THE BUSINESS OF FATHERHOOD

In this sweet memoir and parenting guide, a seasoned CEO tells how fatherhood has netted him rewarding results.
Efessiou, in his debut, gently offers parenting advice as he tells his own story of fatherhood. As a young, up-and-coming executive, he read a 1990 article in Fortune magazine titled “Why Grade ‘A’ Executives Get An ‘F’ as Parents.” According to the author, the article highlighted how the same personality traits that create successful executives—such as ambition and a willingness to work long hours—can often create neglectful, absent parents. Determined to not make the same mistakes, he decided to eschew endless office hours and use his management skills to be the best father he could possibly be. After a bitter divorce, his 7-year-old daughter chose to live with him, and he put his philosophy into action; he raised his little girl using the same guiding principles he used in business. Using a common-sense approach, Efessiou discusses practices such as “viewing the big picture” and “examining the bottom line,” and applies each principle to child-rearing. Getting children’s respect is paramount, he writes; just as bosses shouldn’t strive to be their employees’ friends, parents shouldn’t try to be their children’s buddies. Similarly, he writes that effective communication and clearly defined rules are as important at home as they are in the office. Although children are not employees, and it may seem a bit cold to compare an adult child to a return on an investment, Efessiou’s anecdotes are anything but harsh. For example, like many working parents, he scrambled to rearrange his business plans so he could attend his daughter’s childhood events. In another memorable and somewhat humorous story, he tells of how he foiled his teenage daughter’s plans for a party at their house while he was out of town on business. However, although the author’s advice is often wise, much of it is rather general, and sometimes feels like it could be displayed on motivational posters: “To achieve our bottom line goals with our children, we must teach them that they do not need to do anything unwise to be special or conform thoughtlessly to earn acceptance.” The book also includes pictures, as well as appreciative notes and letters from Efessiou’s daughter and her friend.

Affable inspiration for the harried parent.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-1599322490

Page Count: 198

Publisher: Advantage Media Group

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better...

EVERYTHING IS F*CKED

A BOOK ABOUT HOPE

The popular blogger and author delivers an entertaining and thought-provoking third book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times.

“We are a culture and a people in need of hope,” writes Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 2016, etc.). With an appealing combination of gritty humor and straightforward prose, the author floats the idea of drawing strength and hope from a myriad of sources in order to tolerate the “incomprehensibility of your existence.” He broadens and illuminates his concepts through a series of hypothetical scenarios based in contemporary reality. At the dark heart of Manson’s guide is the “Uncomfortable Truth,” which reiterates our cosmic insignificance and the inevitability of death, whether we blindly ignore or blissfully embrace it. The author establishes this harsh sentiment early on, creating a firm foundation for examining the current crisis of hope, how we got here, and what it means on a larger scale. Manson’s referential text probes the heroism of Auschwitz infiltrator Witold Pilecki and the work of Isaac Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Immanuel Kant, as the author explores the mechanics of how hope is created and maintained through self-control and community. Though Manson takes many serpentine intellectual detours, his dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. He is at his most convincing in his discussions about the fallibility of religious beliefs, the modern world’s numerous shortcomings, deliberations over the “Feeling Brain” versus the “Thinking Brain,” and the importance of striking a happy medium between overindulging in and repressing emotions. Although we live in a “couch-potato-pundit era of tweetstorms and outrage porn,” writes Manson, hope springs eternal through the magic salves of self-awareness, rational thinking, and even pain, which is “at the heart of all emotion.”

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288843-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2019

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