The Postcatastrophe Economy

Eric JanszenFormer tech CEO, venture capitalist, founder of finance community site, and author of the prescient Harper’s Magazine February cover article “The Next Bubble: Priming the markets for tomorrow’s big crash,” Eric Janszen‘s The Postcatastrophe Economy: Rebuilding America and Avoiding the Next Bubble, explaining the roots and complexities of the current financial and economic crisis and the fundamental restructuring that is the only hope to restore our economic strength, in a major pre-empt on the eve of a crowded auction to Adrian Zackheim and Tim Sullivan at Portfolio/Penguin.

The Back of the Napkin

Back of the Napkin coverUsed properly, a simple drawing on a humble napkin is more powerful than Excel or PowerPoint. It can help crystallize ideas, think outside the box, and communicate in a way that people simply “get.” In The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with PicturesDan Roam argues that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they can’t draw. Drawing on twenty years of visual problem solving combined with the recent discoveries of vision science, this book shows anyone how to clarify a problem or sell an idea by visually breaking it down using a simple set of visual thinking tools — tools that take advantage of everyone’s innate ability to look, see, imagine, and show. Publishers Weekly says “Roam has developed a remarkably comprehensive system of ideas. Everything in the book is broken down into steps, providing the reader with ‘tools and rules’ to facilitate picture making. For forward-thinking management types, there is enough content in these pages to drive many a brainstorming session.” (Portfolio/Penguin)

Fool Me Once

Ricky LaxLawyer Boy author Rick Lax’s Las Vegas memoir Fool Me Once, an investigation into the meaning of honesty and deception, from discussing epistemology with his philosophy professor to ingratiating himself with the impersonators and illusionists who populate America’s Sin City, all to find out if his own life is just one big lie, again to David Moldawer at St. Martin’s Press.

Marketplace, March 2008

Another fake memoir dupes publishers

Marketplace Radio, March 6, 2008

By Stacey Vanek Smith


TESS VIGELAND: You might have heard about that memoir “Love and Consequences” — the one written by Margaret Jones, about growing up in a foster home in South Central Los Angeles. Only her name is actually Margaret Seltzer and the memoir is actually a work of fiction.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It wasn’t that long ago that publishers recalled James Frey’s fake memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.”

We asked Stacey Vanek Smith to look into the price of publishing lies.

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The No-S Diet

The No-S Diet coverDeveloped by a problem-solving software engineer who was tired of diets that are too hard to stick with, The No-S Diet: The Strikingly Simple Weight-Loss Strategy That Has Dieters Raving — and Dropping Pounds has attracted a passionate following online thanks to its elegant simplicity – and its results. Unlike fad diets based on gimmicks that lead to short-term weight-loss followed by backsliding and failure, The No-S Diet is a maintainable life plan that reminds us of the commonsense, conscious way we all know we should be eating. In this book software engineer Reinhard Engels and health and nutrition writer Ben Kallen offer readers the tips, tricks, techniques and testimonials they’ll need to stick with No-S for life. (Perigee/Penguin)

The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion

Perfect Insult for Every Occasion coverForget apologies and excuses – sometimes, a well-spoken insult is the proper response. And now, with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other, fictional socialite Lady Arabella Snark (aka linguist A. C. Kemp) shows you how to use malicious language and stinging zingers to your advantage in The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion: Lady Snark’s Guide to Common Discourtesy. From dealing with drunks to sabotaging your husband’s mistress, The Perfect Insult for Every Occasion is a funny and offbeat tour of the dark side of manners. Aggravating coworkers, nasty neighbors, mean in-laws? They’re all rendered powerless when you have the perfect comeback-for any situation. Public radio’s A Way With Words says “It’s a humorous question-and-answer back-and-forth of what happens when high and low culture meet, with quizzes, example sentences, and smart-aleck remarks.” A.C. Kemp’s innovative classes on slang and American culture have been profiled in the Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor. (Adams Media)