Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Triple Package

Most Americans suffer from misconceptions, particularly when it comes to ethnicity and business success. For example, why do Mormons, Jews, Chinese Americans, plus Indian and Nigerian immigrants outperform entrenched minorities, and even the majority of whites? According to authors (and Yale Law professors) Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld it's because they are outsiders, and so don't feel entitled to special treatment due to perceived inferiority or the inculcated baggage of fairness politics. In fact, what they feel is not that they are inferior or even just equal, but superior. THE TRIPLE PACKAGE outlines three major traits and misconceptions, the first fallacy being that we are taught to believe no ethnic group is superior to another in any way. Not true, say the authors. Each group has their own traits and history in relation to others, and so their approach to life is different. These approaches vary, and have a direct bearing on success due to one's individual perceptions, (most specifically attitude and the work ethic.) Ironically, the second misconception (that feeling good about oneself is the key to success) is also untrue, since these most successful groups actually feel insecure…and that they need to prove themselves. 

Also new is THE COUNTERFEIT AGENT by Alex Berenson, a timely suspense novel about Iranian nuclear terrorism, and the games played within the CIA. It all begins when a "test package" of radioactive content is sent via ship to America from Dubai. Veteran narrator George Guidall reads. And Guidall also reads Robin Cook's latest, a new novel that plays on our high tech obsession with smart phones. CELL postulates, of all things, a phone that is as smart as a surgeon. Called iDoc, this phone can not only diagnose you, but also treat you using nanotechnology and genomics (Cook's last book was NANO.) With such a phone, would you need a doctor anymore? (Or as the movie HER features a "Siri" type artificial intelligence in your cell, would you need a real girlfriend?) Of course things go very wrong in beta testing. After all, it's depressing to imagine that soon no one will need anyone for anything. With drones and robots on the way, we're almost there, as it is.  
Finally, the Audie award nominees have been announced. Looking over the list, I've picked a few of my favs, below. For the full list go to the press releases section of the Audio Publishers Association website.      

* World on a String by John Pizzarelli and Joseph Cosgriff, narrated by the authors
* Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan, narrated by Jonathan Davis
* Matilda by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet
* The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, narrated by Simon Vance
* The Good House by Ann Leary, narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
* Someone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary, narrated by the author
* The Son by Philipp Meyer, narrated by Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Sheperd, and Clifton Collins, Jr.
* William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher, narrated by a full cast
* Unleashed by David Rosenfelt, narrated by Grover Gardner 

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