Sincere, valuable insights from a self-improving businessman.

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The Road to Self

REFLECTIONS FROM A SOULFUL CEO

A property manager and developer shares his journey to a more enlightened view of business and life in this debut memoir.

In 1990, the 41-year-old Goodman, a managing partner of a Minnesota-based property management company that his father founded, was “alone and struggling in my relationships,” so he took a road trip to California “to find some answers and garner the peace I had been seeking.” This book is a distillation of the new perspectives he gained during that journey, and how he’s lived by them ever since. He organizes this book into 32 chapters that provide brief essays on various concepts, including “Trust the Universe,” “Heal Your Fear, Heal Your Anger,” and “Choose Social Responsibility.” Goodman also touches on some of his own key challenges, including being sexually abused by a housekeeper as a child and his difficulties finding a long-term romantic partner as an adult. He emphasizes the value of expressing emotions and developing good listening skills, outlining how he improved in these areas in order to improve his relationships, particularly with his father (now deceased) and his son. The author also shares several stories about his real estate business, including his championing of mind/body programs for residents and staff at his company’s senior living facilities. Goodman, now serving as chairman of his company, brings a charming humility to his narrative. For example, he explains how consultants had to tell him that he was “sending mixed messages” by looking over employees’ shoulders while also encouraging them to use their own judgment. He’s particularly touching on the topic of his father, expressing gratitude for his parent’s participation in therapy, which demonstrated “that change is possible at any age.” Other authors have certainly expressed similar views, including the epiphanies of a midlife California road trip, but this book offers a sweet, succinct discussion on how to live a better, happier life.

Sincere, valuable insights from a self-improving businessman.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9980001-0-7

Page Count: 152

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2015

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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