Book Review: Ninety percent of everything by Rose George


Author: Rose George Title: Ninety percent of everything : inside shipping, the invisible industry that puts clothes on your back, gas in your car, and food on your plate by Publication Info: New York : Metropolitan Books, 2013. Summary/Review: As the title implies, freight shipping is important, but overlooked.  The author looks into the industry which appears…

Book Review: The mom & pop store by Robert Spector


Author: Robert Spector Title: The mom & pop store : how the unsung heroes of the American economy are surviving and thriving Publication Info: New York : Walker Pub. Co., c2009. ISBN: 9780802716057 Summary/Review: This Library Thing Early Reviewers free advance review book is a tribute to independent business.  Through historical discussion – including the…

Book Review: Made To Stick


Author: Dan Heath & Chip Heath Title: Made To Stick Publication Info: Santa Ana, CA : Books on Tape, p2007. ISBN: 141593553X Summary/Review: This book is basically a guide for people who want to get their ideas across to other people and will be a useful managers, teachers, advertisers, and anyone else with a good…

Book Review: FREE: the future of a radical price by Chris Anderson


Author: Chris Anderson Title:FREE: the future of a radical price Publication Info: New York : Hyperion, 2009. ISBN: 9781401322908 Previously read by same author: The Long Tail Summary/Review: I downloaded Chris Anderson’s latest book as an audiobook from iTunes.  The price I paid was … FREE!  The entire book is based on the concept that…

Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell


Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2004) is Malcolm Gladwell‘s psychological and sociological investigation into the human ability to make quick decisions.  This power – which he calls thin-slicing – can be both advantageous and dangerous.  For good or for ill, Gladwell contends that we humans make snap judgments all the time and this…

Stadium Naming Rights


The recent hullabaloo over CitiGroup’s 20-year contract to name the New York Mets new ballpark has reminded me of some ideas regarding stadium naming rights. Corporate naming of venues is a trend already unpopular with sports’ fans but not really all that new.  After all, the oldest surviving ballpark in baseball was named to promote…

Book Review: Great Fortune by Daniel Okrent


Great Fortune : The Epic of Rockefeller Center (2003) by Daniel Okrent is a lively and engaging popular history of the origins of the most famous urban development in the world.  It’s chock-full of facts that I never knew. For example, the land Rockefeller Center is built upon was originally the “Upper Estate” of Columbia…

Book Review: Trawler by Redmond O’Hanlon


Trawler (2003) by Redmond O’Hanlon is one of those books where a novice goes on board a commercial fishing boat to see how hard life is for the trawlermen and finds it hard in ways one never imagined.  No big surprise there, but what O’Hanlon does in this book is write almost entirely in dialogue…

Book Review: Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky


Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) by Clay Shirky is yet another book about the effect of social networking on the internet.  And a pretty good one at that, kind of like Groundswell without the business management emphasis.  Shirky’s main point is not so much that new technologies are changing the…

Book Review: New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg


Following up on Ric Burns’ New York, I read New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg (2007) edited by one of the stars of that series Marshall Berman and Brian Berger. This collection of essays looks back with some nostalgia and some disgust at the City in the 70s, 80s, & 90s.  For most of…

Movie Review: New York: A Documentary Film by Ric Burns


New York: A Documentary Film is an 8-part film made by Ric Burns that debuted on PBS in 1999 (except for episode 8, which is from 2003).  Thanks to Netflix, I’ve finally seen this epic documentary about my ancestral homeland and one of my favorite cities. Ric Burns’ style is similar to his brother Ken…

Book Review: Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff


I learned about Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (2008) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff from the HBR IdeaCast Episode 91: Be a Social Technology Provocateur.  I was intrigued enough to check it out from the library that employs me but it was quickly recalled.  Luckily, I had gotten far enough…

Book Review: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan


In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008) is Michael Pollan‘s follow-up to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which he answers the question the most readers of that earlier book have when finished “Ok, so what should I eat?” Pollan’s simple answer is: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  A simple phrase, but it requires…

Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan


When I was a kid, my grandfather grew string beans and tomatoes in a planting box on his balcony 23-stories above a major elevated highway interchange in Brooklyn.  My sister and I would smirk as my grandmother proudly stated “Your grandfather grew these himself,” as she ladled the limp, brownish-green string beans on our plates. …

Two Commentaries on Immigration


“It is just so difficult to think that they don’t want us” in Larry James’ Urban Daily written in response to a municipal law requiring proof of citizenship from tenants. Supporters of the ordinance claim that these hard working, undocumented families use up the scarce resources of the community, including public education and health care….

Kudos for Dudos


This week’s Boston Phoenix cover article “Choosing Our Religion” is a fun historical and sociological analysis of Boston’s favorite chain Dunkin’ Donuts. The franchise dominates New England so much so that it is frequently cited in directions: “Take a left at the first Dunkin’ Donuts, pass through the rotary, and then at the second Dunkin’…

Independent Book Stores


Three recent articles of interest regarding bookstores: First an article about the people responsible for opening new independent book stores at a time when the independent book store is is said to be on it’s death bed: ‘We’re not in it for the money’ The number of independent bookstores has been steadly growing. But will…

Yumminess Returns to Davis Square


The Somerville News reports that Mr. Crepe is once again open in Davis Square. Susan and I were fond of noshing on their sweet and savory crepes in their old location on Holland Street and took to calling it Monsieur Crepe. It’s good that Mr. Crepe is open once again in a more central location….