Jim O’Donnell, writing for Slate, is a professor of historical, philosophical, and religious studies and university librarian at Arizona State University. In the article, O’Donnell ponders the question, which is also the title of the article, “What Will Libraries Be Like in 2100?” The article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. O’Donnell provides interesting and optimistic predictions about collections and global accessibility.

Here is the best quote ever about libraries and librarians:

But we do need libraries. In a world of superabundant information, they curate and collect and discriminate and care for the good stuff—the stuff really smart people have worked to create and preserve, the stuff you can rely on when you want to understand the world deeply and accurately, the stuff too complicated to come into existence by crowdsourcing, too unpopular to be foisted on us by corporations or politicians. Librarians—smart, professional, dispassionate about everything but the truth—are the Jedi knights of our culture’s future and deserve to be respected for that.

Soundview is a company that has been providing audio summaries of business books for over 35 years to top executives needing to stay up-to-date on the latest business trends and practices. Every year they provide a best business book list. Soundview writes: “Our editorial board is continually watching the business books that are being prepared for publication, to choose those that we think provide new information, while giving principles and practices that can be put to immediate use by our subscribers.” This year they have chosen 30 titles. They are listed, with descriptions, in two blog posts (Part I and Part II). Here is a sampling of some of the books, with descriptions, directly quoted:

Bringing Strategy Back, by Jeffrey Sampler – Strategy expert Jeffrey Sampler introduces four “strategic shock absorbers” that enable leaders to build resilient organizations that can withstand even the most unexpected global turbulence.

The Good Ones, by Bruce Weinstein – Ethics expert Bruce Weinstein presents 10 crucial qualities associated with high-character employees that can enhance employee satisfaction, client relationships and the bottom line.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz – Ben Horowitz tells it straight as he shares insights gained from developing, managing, selling, buying investing in and supervising technology companies.

Low-Hanging Fruit, by Jeremy Eden & Terri Long – Jeremy Eden and Terri Long have distilled 77 of their most effective techniques for generating real performance improvements drawn from their success working with major companies.

Peers Inc, by Robin Chase – A co-founder of Zipcar, Robin Chase, introduces the collaborative economy in which companies and governments are using the Internet’s ability to facilitate collaboration by leveraging expertise, assets and resources outside their sphere of control.

The Power of Thanks, by Derek Irvine & Eric Mosley – Globoforce executives Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine explain how a Culture of Recognition can boost employee engagement and loyalty, stronger teamwork and a more innovative culture.

Triggers, by Marshall Goldsmith – Goldsmith details six engaging questions that can help us enact meaningful and lasting change in order to become the person we want to be.


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Marc Goodman’s Future Crimes is the Amazon editors’ pick for the best book of 2015 in Business & Investing. Here are 10 of the top 20 of editors’ picks in best-selling order:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fearby Elizabeth Gilbert 

Rising Strongby Brené Brown

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Futureby Ashlee Vance

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Predictionby Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner 

Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Fewby Robert B. Reich 

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell 

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Leadby Laszlo Bock

Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economicsby Richard H. Thaler 

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Futureby Martin Ford

Financial Times has announced the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. The winner is The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment, by Martin Ford.

In the announcement, Dominic Barton,editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, is quoted, “While no one can be certain how the future will unfold, this year’s winner delivers an important message: Companies and governments are racing into a world where both work and the work force will need to be radically redesigned.”

The Winners of the National Book Award were announced on November 18. There are four National Book Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. From the National Book Foundation: “The National Book Award is one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes and has a stellar record of identifying and rewarding quality writing.” Here is the winner, along with the finalists and longlist for nonfiction:


Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House)


  • Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)
  • Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (Atria/Simon & Schuster)
  • Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran
    (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf)


  • Cynthia Barnett, Rain (Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House)
  • Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press)
  • Susanna Moore, Paradise of the Pacific (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Michael Paterniti, Love and Other Ways of Dying: Essays (The Dial Press/Penguin Random House)
  • Michael White, Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir (Persea Books)

Ben Hughes, head of content at Blinkist, has created a great list of “little-known gems” for readers to collect “the tricks and tips that nobody will see coming.” Mr. Hughes draws us in by referring to companies that found an “open secret” (Peter Thiel) “in the intersection between groups who had and groups who needed, connected the two, and struck it rich.” Read the entire post, with descriptions of the titles, Here are the titles:

1. The Soul of A New Machine by Tracy Kidder

2. The Introverted Leader by Jennifer Kahnweiler

3. Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz

4. Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer

5. Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips

6. How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins

7. Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

8. Risk Savvy by Gerd Gigerenzer

9. You Only Have To Be Right Once by Randall Lane

10. Lead With A Story by Paul Smith


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