Dan’s Bookshelf

Interview with Steven D. Lockshin, author of Get Wise to Your Advisor

All of us could use some advice on how to manage our finances. But Steven D. Lockshin says we ought to heed a billboard-sized warning: Be careful out there. “[T]he financial advice industry,” he says in his important new book Get Wise to Your Advisor: How to Reach Your Investment Goals Without Getting Ripped Off, […]


How to get ahead: 5 questions for Joel Garfinkle

Not everyone craves the proverbial key to the executive washroom, but nearly everyone wants to have influence in their workplace, have others think well of them, and attain success in a way that’s meaningful to their lives. Joel Garfinkle has coached countless executives in how to reach their goals, and now he’s written a book called […]


Is your focus prevention or promotion? 5 questions for Halvorson & Higgins

On the cover of Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence are a red light and a green light. The symbols nicely capture the central idea in this fascinating book (Buy it on Amazon, BN, 800CeoRead, or IndieBound), which debuts today. Heidi Grant Halvorson and E. Tory Higgins, who together […]


Why givers (often) succeed: 5 questions for Adam Grant

Every so often a book comes along that changes the way you see the world. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, which comes out today, is one of those books. In 305 insightful pages, Wharton professor Adam Grant recasts our notions of what it takes to succeed. Talent is a factor, of course. […]


Are meetings a force for good?: Some questions for the authors of The Org

There’s lots to dislike about the modern workplace. Dunderheaded managers. Snarls of bureaucracy. And all those endless meetings. But Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan say all those threats to our sanity might actually be helpful — the equivalent of sheep in wolves’ clothing. In their provocative and endlessly interesting new book, The Org: The Underlying […]


Be mindful, meaningful, and masterly: 3 questions for Bruce Nussbaum

First we had IQ. Next came EQ. Now, Bruce Nussbaum introduces CQ — Creative Intelligence. In his new book Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire (Amazon, BN, or IndieBound), Nussbaum, a former assistant managing editor of Businessweek and a current Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons-The New School of Design, makes […]


Anything you can do, I can do meta.

A passage in Al Gore’s new book, pointed out to me by Julio Ottino, caught my eye and got me thinking. In discussing the automation of work, the former Vice President* writes: And robosourcing is beginning to have an impact on journalism. Narrative Science, a robot reporting company founded by two directors of Northwestern University’s […]


30 Life Lessons From 1,000 Older Americans

Back in April, I blogged about 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, which turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2012. Cornell human ecology professor Karl Pillemer spent five years interviewing more than one thousand Americans older than 65. Then he distilled their wisdom into lessons […]


Can negative thinking be a positive?

Do we try too hard to be happy? Has the relentless pursuit of happiness and positivity poisoned our ability to live a meaningful life? Oliver Burkeman thinks so. And he’s given us The Antidote (Amazon, BN.com, IndieBound)  – a smart and entertaining new book that offers what he calls a “negative path” to happiness. Because […]


The Hows and Whys of Gamification: 4 Questions for Kevin Werbach

Gamification. It’s one of the year’s top memes. The idea is that the more we embed systems — on the job, for our health, in social movements — with the mechanics and grammar of games, the more effective their participants will become. Alas, like any white-hot meme, it’s often hard to sort the heat from […]