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In Print: Alumni Books
New books by alumni
It’s a common complaint in the business world that a company maintains a disconnect between the decision-making executives and regular employees. In The New How: Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy (O’Reilly, 2010), Nilofer Merchant MBA ’00 identifies this problem as the Air Sandwich, with elites and workers separated by a lot of emptiness—and she calls it a fundamental reason business strategies fail. To avoid this trap, businesses should involve more employees from all levels in developing and examining far-reaching business strategy. This forward-thinking approach is the crux of The New How, and it offers a way for even bulky, long-standing institutions to become more collaborative and dynamic. The founder of the strategy and marketing firm Rubicon Consulting, Merchant invokes Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Mahatma Gandhi in her highly readable call to a more inclusive and value-based approach to business.
The setting of All Unquiet Things (Delacorte, 2010) is Brighton Day School, perched in the foothills of Northern California’s fictional Empire Valley. The school is a place of privilege, where the children of doctors prepare for lives of easy success. But when student Carly Ribelli is found shot to death on a town bridge, the sickness at the community’s core may be exposed. Though the victim’s uncle is soon convicted of the crime, Carly’s teenage ex-boyfriend as well as her cousin are convinced that the real killer is still at large—and may be walking the halls of Brighton. This debut young adult novel by Anna Jarzab ’05 rises steadily to a boil, with assured storytelling and convincing characters that will appeal to adult readers as well.
On the morning of Easter Sunday in 2004, Jill Mason ’99 and her boyfriend Alan Liu were bicycling in Santa Rosa as part of their training for a triathlon. They were both hit by a drunk driver. Liu was killed, and Mason— then 26 years old—was paralyzed. Couldn’t Happen to Me: A Life Changed by Paralysis and Traumatic Brain Injury (Booksurge, 2009) chronicles Mason’s personal story during the past five years. Always a determined athlete, she has, with grit and the help of family, embarked on a new life—one that has included numerous speaking engagements at high schools, warning about the dangers of drunk driving; and one that included, in 2008, carrying the Olympic torch in San Francisco.
Freeman Michaels ’90 takes issue with the very language used around weight loss in his anti-diet, anti-scale guidebook Weight Release: A Liberating Journey (Morgan James, 2010). He advocates “reprogramming and healing old patterns” with friendly, b een-there advice (he lost 70 pounds), constructive exercises including affirmations and journaling, and an underlying positive, spiritual philosophy.