Mogavero provides a surfeit of palate-cleansing insight.

THE UNDERGROUND CULINARY TOUR

HOW THE NEW METRICS OF TODAY'S TOP RESTAURANTS ARE TRANSFORMING HOW AMERICA EATS

A book that not only goes behind the scene and through the kitchen, but into the metrics that distinguish a thriving restaurant from a floundering one.

As the founder of Avero, Mogavero provides data and analysis to thousands of restaurants worldwide, and he demonstrates how crunching the numbers need not be an impediment to culinary achievement. To the contrary, he writes, “I have told you something of a white lie in saying that this book is about data. It’s really about creativity.” He makes persuasive arguments that some of the best restaurants in the country—in one particularly interesting chapter, he cites the Brennan family of New Orleans fame—make creative use of data to enhance the customer’s satisfaction in an extraordinary dining experience. Though the various chapters seem more like independent pieces than a cohesive whole (more of a buffet than a multicourse meal), the ones that give the book its title are most revelatory, as Mogavero guides readers on “a tour [that] has taken on the lore of legend for foodies, long whispered about but never penetrated by journalists or other outsiders.” Each year, he invites a party of various movers and shakers in the restaurant industry to blitz through the New York City dining scene, hitting a bunch of places—from high end to food trucks—that are doing something particularly interesting or innovative. The guests are generally begging for mercy long before the eating and drinking stops, though the experience is easier to digest on the page, and the insights help point to what diners across the country are likely to appreciate next. As the author explains, because of the ubiquity of food blogs, other sites, and social media, “trends that used to take twenty years to go mainstream now take 12 months.”

Mogavero provides a surfeit of palate-cleansing insight.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-90330-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Crown Business

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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