SO GOOD THEY CALL YOU A FAKE

An excellent guide for anyone wishing to achieve better brand recognition.

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Professional ghostwriter Lisec presents a systemic approach to success in this marketing guide.

In the modern marketplace, it’s not always enough to do good work for one’s clients. Instead, the author—who’s written more than 80 books for CEOs, celebrities, and other clients—asserts that talent must have a voice that can be heard over the noise of social media. A strong strategy, he says, can help one transition from being a silent expert in one’s field to being an undisputed authority with a reputation for consistent results. The key to his strategy is deceptively simple: systemization. Lisec asserts that most people are simply unaware of the full scope of their skills or the specific steps they need to take to achieve success. Without this knowledge, professionals can’t communicate their full value to others or reliably instruct others about their techniques when necessary. To address this, Lisec presents a straightforward approach to breaking down achievements into replicable frameworks. He points out that bold outcomes and great success may attract skeptics; however, he argues, criticism can be as effective as praise for increasing notoriety. Overall, Lisec offers an approach to professional advancement that’s valuable and logical. At one point, for instance, he simply notes that those who can’t deliver results will lose opportunities to those with less talent and better marketing. Still, he says, those who can deliver consistent, transformative outcomes will ultimately triumph. Although Lisec’s use of the word genius to describe this aptitude may feel intimidating, he suggests that many people possess a capacity for excellence already. Nonetheless, this guide doesn’t contain quick fixes or hacks to achieving fame in one’s field. Instead, he stresses hard work, using a “System Design Table,” recommended research, and exercises to clarify his points. Lisec also offers advice on topics ranging from writing and developing a book to fee negotiation. His actionable advice and real-world examples offer tangible benefits from the first chapter.

An excellent guide for anyone wishing to achieve better brand recognition.

Pub Date: June 15, 2023

ISBN: 9798988347422

Page Count: 170

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2023

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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ORDINARY NOTES

An exquisitely original celebration of American Blackness.

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A potent series of “notes” paints a multidimensional picture of Blackness in America.

Throughout the book, which mixes memoir, history, literary theory, and art, Sharpe—the chair of Black studies at York University in Toronto and author of the acclaimed book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being—writes about everything from her family history to the everyday trauma of American racism. Although most of the notes feature the author’s original writing, she also includes materials like photographs, copies of letters she received, responses to a Twitter-based crowdsourcing request, and definitions of terms collected from colleagues and friends (“preliminary entries toward a dictionary of untranslatable blackness”). These diverse pieces coalesce into a multifaceted examination of the ways in which the White gaze distorts Blackness and perpetuates racist violence. Sharpe’s critique is not limited to White individuals, however. She includes, for example, a disappointing encounter with a fellow Black female scholar as well as critical analysis of Barack Obama’s choice to sing “Amazing Grace” at the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in a hate crime at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. With distinct lyricism and a firm but tender tone, Sharpe executes every element of this book flawlessly. Most impressive is the collagelike structure, which seamlessly moves among an extraordinary variety of forms and topics. For example, a photograph of the author’s mother in a Halloween costume transitions easily into an introduction to Roland Barthes’ work Camera Lucida, which then connects just as smoothly to a memory of watching a White visitor struggle with the reality presented by the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. “Something about this encounter, something about seeing her struggle…feels appropriate to the weight of this history,” writes the author. It is a testament to Sharpe’s artistry that this incredibly complex text flows so naturally.

An exquisitely original celebration of American Blackness.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9780374604486

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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