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PREVIEW Columnist and library staff
Many of you will remember a book called “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook” by Ben Mezrich. It tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius who launched Facebook and then faced the battles over ownership that followed its incredible success. The book later became a popular movie called “The Social Network.”
Now we have two new books about two more Internet sensations — Amazon and Twitter. Both are authored by talented journalists who write in a readable, fast-moving style that easily keeps readers’ attention.
The book about Amazon is called “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone, a technology reporter for Newsweek and The New York Times. This is a fun read for anyone who shops at amazon.com.
And it is more. While much of its information is unique to Amazon (and you will not want to emulate founder Jeff Bezos’ un-family friendly management style), business and nonprofit leaders will find many operating principles that are applicable to all organizations. Bezos is known for articulating clear and simple goals that reflect his personal values.
Three examples of his business thinking: “Always start from the customer and work backwards,” “Is that skill a commodity or a core competency?” and “Even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation.” Also, PowerPoint presentations are banned at Amazon. Instead, staff proposals must be written in a press release format that requires the main points up front and encourages clear thinking and a customer-first focus.
The book about Twitter is called “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal.” It is written by Nick Bilton, a columnist and reporter for The New York Times who covers technology.
This is not a book about creative thinking or innovative leadership. Rather, it is filled with drama, political intrigue and power grabs. Twitter has had a massive impact on the worlds of politics, revolutions, business, love and friendship. But some of its success seems to have happened almost by accident, as users found purposes for their tweets that Twitter’s four founders (all hackers) never imagined.
Regardless, it is an entertaining book to read whether or not you are a Twitter user. With all its soap opera elements, it’s no surprise that it has been optioned by Lionsgate for a possible TV series.
All three of these books are available for your reading pleasure at the Sisson Library. Additional copies are available through AspenCat, the Colorado Library Consortium that gives you access to 748,000 items from 48 libraries in Colorado. AspenCat also has “The Social Network” on DVD.
Movies for adults
Every Friday at 10 a.m. this month, you are invited for coffee, donuts and a movie event for adults that celebrates Black History Month by showcasing films with African-American actresses and actors. The contract that we have for the movie licensing does not allow us to promote the title of what we’re showing outside the library, such as in the newspaper or on the radio. If you want to know what show is playing on a given date, pick up the monthly activities for adults flyer at the library, check the home page of our website or phone the library to ask. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Tweens book club
If you’re in the fourth through sixth grades, like to read and share what you read with friends, this is the club for you. Tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 14) from 2-3:15 p.m. we’ll be discussing “A New Single Chard,” and you’ll get your new book to read.
Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays. Join her for one-on-one informal help with your computer or tablet issues. A more formal session requiring registration is about Skype on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. where you will learn how to make free video calls on your computer.
Every Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m. we host Teen Gaming (X-box, Wii, board games and Pokemon card battles), and you are welcome to bring other trading card battle games. Snacks provided.
“Blue Jasmine” is the Woody Allen film starring Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett. “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks is the true story of a pirate hijacking of a U.S. container ship. Last year’s “Downtown Abbey Season 4” is now available on DVD. “Much Ado About Nothing” is Joss Whedon’s sexy and contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s classic comedy. “Shakespeare Uncovered” is a unique look at six of the Bard’s great plays including “Hamlet,” “Richard II” and the comedies.
“Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival” by Jennifer Chiaverini is a novel of politics featuring the Secretary of the Treasury and his daughter. “Standup Guy” by Stuart Woods is the latest in the Stone Barrington mystery series. “The New Countess” by Fay Weldon is the final novel in the Habits of the House English aristocracy trilogy. “Hazardous Duty” by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV is the latest in the presidential agent adventure series.
Thrillers and mysteries
“Apple Tree Yard” by Louise Doughty is a suspense story centering on a woman charged with murder who has been a happily married, successful scientist and mother of two. “Dirty Magic” is a paranormal thriller by Jaye Wells. “The House on the Cliff” by Charlotte Williams is the first in a new series featuring therapist Jessica Mayhew.
Other new novels
“The Wind is Not a River” by Brian Payton follows a woman trying to find her journalist husband shot down by the Japanese in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. “Perfect” by Rachel Joyce tells of a young boy whose life is turned upside down. “The Emperor’s Blades” by Brian Staveley is book one of the new Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne fantasy series. “Andrew’s Brain” by E.L. Doctrow takes readers on a radical trip into the mind of a man who has been an inadvertent agent of disaster.
Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Richard Clare, Doris King, Danyelle Leentjes, Patsy Linblad, Jim Mudroch and Sue Passant.
“Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.” — Jack Lemmon (1925-2001), American actor, musician and two-time Academy Award winner.
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.