into the primitive

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Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot Annual survey provides insight into sales and volume data collected for categories that include trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), K-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses and professional books. Interesting highlights from the press release include:

The area of largest growth for the trade category was Adult Books. Adult non-fiction books sold the most units and provided the most revenue in the trade category for the second consecutive year. Within the Adult Books category, the fastest growing formats in terms of units sold were downloaded audio (up 45.9%), hardback (up 15.1%) and paperback (up 9.1%).

For trade formats:

Downloaded audio: Revenue for downloaded audio has nearly doubled since 2012. From 2014 to 2015, the growth was substantial: 37.6% in revenue and 41.1% in units.

eBooks: After peaking in 2013 eBook revenue declined in 2014 and again in 2015. Unit sales also declined with eBooks now making up 17.3% of the trade book market.

Paperback books: Paperbacks remain the most popular format in terms of units sold, comprising 40.6% of the market.

Hardback books: Hardback books saw growth in both revenue and units over 2014.


The StatShot Annual Executive Report with all corresponding data will be available later this summer. To place an advance order:


Photo by Todd DeSantis via Unsplash

What business titles are popular with readers this summer? A glance at various published lists lets us know what is hot this summer.

The New York Times Monthly Business Best Seller List – July 2016

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell

The Power of Habit: Wht We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

Self-Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way, by Nely Galan

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, by Kevin Kelly

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World, by Ruchir Sjarma

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms, by Vishen Lakhiani

The Wall Street Journal Hardcover Business – Best-Selling Books, Week Ended July 3, With data from Nielsen BookScan

StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath

Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick M. Lencioni

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, by Jon Gordon

Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by Dave Ramsey

Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller

Living Forword A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues, by Patrick M. Lencioni

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg is the most borrowed and requested (placed on hold) business related book at public libraries throughout the United States, according to Library Journal, June 2016.

Business Insider has selected their “favorite business memoirs, career guides, and the most exciting research on the future of work,” to read on vacation. The first ten listed are:

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days, by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

O Great One!: A Little Story About the Awesome Power of Recognition, by David Novak and Christina Bourg

How to Have a Good Day, by Caroline Webb

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth

An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two, by Jim Koch

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success In a Distracted World, by Cal Newport

Ego Is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday





Photo by Adam Przewoski, via Unsplash

Mindshift’s Ki Sung reports on an interesting partnership between librarians at the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), which is an online education nonprofit organization. The article starts out with the statistic that about five percent of those enrolled in massive online courses (MOOCs) actually complete the course. Perhaps if online students had access to more support from others also taking the course, there will be greater success with completion rates.

Enter an innovative partnership that offers a Learning Circles program which, with the help of a facilitator, brings together people taking an online course for six to eight weeks. “Learning Circles add a social element to what is otherwise a solitary learning experience.”

As stated in the article, libraries are a perfect fit for Learning Circles because:

  • they already serve the local community
  • they are equipped with meeting spaces
  • many have computer stations
  • librarians know how to help people find answers

In the partnership, librarians, in their facilitator roles, promote discussion and help learners use research tools.

How can something so great not produce positive outcomes? These were mentioned (directly quoted) in the article:

  • CPL’s outreach efforts helped a new population of learners take advantage of MOOCs — 90 percent of those who attended a Learning Circle heard about it through the library and 65 percent of those had never taken an online course before
  • Retention rates were around 45 – 55 percent… [and] students were more compelled to take online courses on their own after the guided experience and continued to do work outside of the learning circles
  • Learning Circles also helped librarians interact with patrons in new ways. They found themselves forming friendships and building community through repeated interactions

Just outside of Las Vegas there is a new public artwork display. Artist Ugo Rondinone has created “seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders.” Having recently seen it, I don’t think there is a way to describe the breathtaking visual impact these vividly colored boulders have against the clear blue sky and desert landscape. It’s invigorating. Luckily, Vital Vegas, with the help of a drone, made this beautiful video.


Printerinks invites readers to explore their fun infographic: A History of Books that Forecast the Future. “Many writers of the past have predicted the facts of our present society with a level of detail that seems impossibly accurate. Some of them were even derided in their times for what were called outlandish and unbelievable fictions. Yet their imaginations were in reality painting portraits that would eventually be mirrored by history books a century later. Which seems to beg the question, Where does inspiration come from?  So to decide for yourself whether these writers were seers or just plain lucky…”


father's day

Photo by Liane Metzler via

Sunday is Father’s Day and recently there have been several posts and articles published that recommend gift ideas for the special dad in your life. Digging through the lists, there are many that include books, and within those are some interesting business titles. Not all of these titles are your typical “business book,” and that is just fine. Here are selected titles found in the lists:

The Monocle Guide to Good Business, by Monocle – Business Insider, “21 Great Coffee Table Books to Pick Up for Dad This Father’s Day”

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight – Book Clubbish, “10 Awesome Books For Father’s Day”

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by Michael Lewis – Book Clubbish, “10 Awesome Books For Father’s Day”

The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don’t – Nate Silver, Popsugar, “Father’s Day Gift Ideas: The Best Books for Every Type of Dad”

Dead Distillers: A History of the Upstarts and Outlaws Who Made American Spirits, by David Haskell and Colin Spoelman – Popsugar, “Father’s Day Gift Ideas: The Best Books for Every Type of Dad”

We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time, by Kara Platoni, The Cut, , “11 Books That Make the Best Father’s Day Gifts”

Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs, by Michele Malkin – Real Simple, “18 Father’s Day Books That Cover All of Dad’s Interests”

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance – Real Simple, “18 Father’s Day Books That Cover All of Dad’s Interests”

Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney – Barnes and, “Hooray for Dads! 15 Picture Books Perfect for Father Day” (Not a business book but I had to include this! It’s a classic.)


mook marcsEvery once in a while something new comes along that makes one wonder why it took so long for it to be conceptualized and created. It seems so obvious because it is such a marvelous idea. Book Marks, a book review aggregator, launched by Literary Hub is a perfect example of this. There are so many great things about this new literary offering. Book Marks can be thought of as a crowdsourcing site for book reviews, such as Goodreads, Amazon, or Library Thing, but how and why the particular books get selected for inclusion is key. A book grade is given to each book based on multiple critical book reviews that appear in the “the most important and active outlets of literary journalism in America.” Book Marks “aggregates reviews from more than 70 sources—newspapers, magazines, and websites—and average them into a letter grade, as well as linking back to their source.” The belief is “that Book Marks will lead more readers to reviews, and amplify critics’ voices in a way that benefits readers and writers alike…[and will] help readers discover books, while spotlighting books that deserve more attention.”

Categories of interest to business readers are Social Sciences and Technology. Selected books for business professionals so far on Book Marks include:

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg – B

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer – A-

Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art, by Virginia Hefferman – B

Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, by Duncan Clark – B

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, by Dan Lyons – B


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