Intriguing stories for business executives looking to deepen their leadership skills.


52 Leadership Lessons


Good business leadership skills have something in common with forest fires, Christopher Columbus and symphony conductors, according to Stewart (52 Leadership Gems, 2012, etc.).

Fires are beneficial when they clear debris from forests and keep them uncluttered and fresh; Columbus proved the value of not being restricted by old ways of thinking; and a strong symphony conductor brings diverse elements into harmony. These are just a few of the 52 lessons that can be applied to business leadership, as laid out by Stewart, an internationally recognized leadership coach, teacher and lecturer. The stories follow his Lead Now! model, which contains 21 leadership “dimensions.” Each story lists the dimensions to which it relates and summarizes the lesson provided. Each summary is followed by several questions that readers may use to connect the story to their own situations. As with other volumes in Stewart’s Leadership Series, this book is short and its chapters brief, so busy executives don’t have to absorb huge chunks of text in a single sitting. Like parables and fables, the stories all contain deeper meanings, and while some of the tales seem to be right on point, others are a bit of a stretch. A story comparing drug-sniffing dogs to the training of employees may require a few readings to become clear, even with the hints provided, and a story that links a sloth’s behavior to the idea of finding something memorable may cause some readers to scratch their heads. Still, there are far more hits than misses here, and at best, the stories are both interesting and instructive; one story tells of how Kleenex tissue went from being used to treat wounded soldiers in World War I to being a product now used the world over. Such information, like this volume as a whole, is nothing to be sneezed at.

Intriguing stories for business executives looking to deepen their leadership skills.

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-1930771390

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Leadership Excellence

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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