Sincere and well-intentioned, if somewhat-formulaic, counsel on starting a business.

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EMBRACING FAILURE

Advice for budding entrepreneurs about the fear of failure.

The message of this debut can be easily summed up in a phrase from its opening chapter: “fear and adversity are not your enemies.” They are worthwhile, legitimate concerns, particularly for those who are pondering starting a business; indeed, fear of failure can be paralyzing for many entrepreneurs. Pelletier, a principal at Pelletier Construction Management, draws from his own experience to show how one learns from setbacks, overcomes them, and perseveres throughout one’s career. He refers to a few other figures who found success after failure—such as Matthew Webb, the first person to successfully swim the English Channel—but the book is more about providing advice, rather than examples. The content seems overly familiar at times; for example, goal-setting is found in virtually every self-help book, and a chapter on the downside of “doing nothing” is elementary. A “road map to success” is quite basic as well. However, the book does offer a few memorable ideas, such as the author’s four-step “recipe for success”: accepting risk, experiencing fear, learning from failure, and then repeating the process. The book’s focus on the contrast between the “abundance mindset” and the “scarcity mindset” is also engaging; although it’s essentially another way of expressing the difference between optimism and pessimism, Pelletier offers a clear explanation and provides decent advice on how to change a scarcity mindset. A discussion of “enablers,” who reinforce failure instead of providing encouragement, is similarly worthwhile. Pelletier’s advice about personal financial discipline may be most useful to young entrepreneurs, as when he counsels the reader to “live below your means,” “trust your nest egg,” and “remain humble.” An accompanying reading list of seven books is helpful but could have been more robust.

Sincere and well-intentioned, if somewhat-formulaic, counsel on starting a business.

Pub Date: May 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0330-1

Page Count: 142

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2019

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

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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