Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The bestseller hits just keep a-comin'....

Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum Series #19) by Janet Evanovich

From Barnes & Noble –

Her job title Fugitive Apprehension Agent might sound a bit fancy-schmancy, but make no mistake, this Trenton bad guy go-getter is one regular gal: "My name is Stephanie Plum...I have should-length curly brown hair, blue eyes currently enhanced by a swipe of black mascara, decent teeth, a cute nose in the middle of my face, and I can almost always button the top snap on my jeans." And, oh yes, she's actually usually better at roping in the culprits than at solving her own personal problems. The nineteenth installment of Janet Evanovitch's mystery series demonstrates why we keep coming back.

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw

Kirkus Reviews –

Sprawling, highly readable biography of the dynast and larger-than-life figure whose presence still haunts American political life. Working from his subject's extensive archives, Nasaw (Andrew Carnegie, 2006, etc.) pieces together a sometimes-sympathetic, sometimes-critical view of Joseph P. Kennedy (1888–1969), father of John F. Kennedy and most definitely a man of parts. Born into wealth, he learned the ropes in the banking business before heading to Hollywood to try his hand at filmmaking. In the last pursuit, he charted only some successes, but he made great use of the perks of the job in bedding starlets, notably Gloria Swanson. Kennedy left Hollywood to return to finance, moving among several palatial homes in Florida, New York and Massachusetts and building a massive fortune thanks to what Nasaw calls "an almost uncanny knack for being in the right stock." His children, including future politicians John, Robert and Edward, grew up surrounded by opulence, though the patriarch took care that they not become spoiled by too much too soon. Yet, by Nasaw's account, when the Depression hit and reduced his fortune along with everyone else's, Kennedy's mood seemed to turn, and he spent the rest of his long life in brooding and contrarian turns, courting plenty of trouble along the way. Accused, as Nasaw notes, of various crimes and moral failings, ranging from bootlegging to anti-Semitism, Kennedy nevertheless instilled in his family a sense of dedication to service and of the necessity of hard work. As he writes, Jack Kennedy recognized that despite the advantages of wealth, he had obstacles to overcome that were at least due in part to his father: "If I were governor of a large state, Protestant and 55," he said, "I could sit back and let it come to me." It did not, and nothing came easy to any of the Kennedys, that tragic clan, who continue to fascinate. Exhaustive yet accessible, Nasaw's book illuminates.

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book by Carol J. Loomis

Publishers Weekly –

This fascinating collection presents a selection of articles about the financial mogul, many by Loomis and twelve12 by Buffett himself, published in Fortune Magazine from the time he first burst on the scene as a young financial genius up until today. As a longtime personal friend, she brings a unique perspective into his mindset, but readers will likely treasure Buffett's own insights most of all, such as his view of inheritance, reported in 1986: "To him the perfect amount to leave children is â??enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.'" More recently, in 2010, he explained, "My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery." His common sense and wry humor can be appreciated by everyone, but investors will be especially intrigued by gems like this explanation of Berkshire Hathaway's management philosophy: "We want people to join us because they want to be with us until they die." Loomis has created an engaging picture of a great influencer of our time. 

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