fallenleavesaFallen Leaves by Christopher Leon Cussat

Fallen Leaves is the first published volume of poetry by Christopher Leon Cussat. Cussat’s writing has been described as compelling, heartfelt, intricate, passionate, powerful, striking, surrealistic, and thought-provoking.

Fallen Leaves is winner of the 2015 Vibrant Poetic Voices Award which recognizes poets whose contributions to the written word are redefining the genre. Shade Seekers Press, First Edition, 2015, 35p ISBN-10: 0-9827534-0-3 / ISBN-13: 978-0-9827534-0-8

Shade Seekers Press, First Edition, 2015, 35p ISBN-10: 0-9827534-0-3 / ISBN-13: 978-0-9827534-0-8

$12.95 available on 

Facebook for Seniors

With more than a billion active users, Facebook plays a huge role in how we share our lives and connect with others. While more than half of all internet users in the U.S. are over age 65, social media can still be overwhelming for a generation that didn’t grow up surrounded by computer screens, smartphones, and the internet. Fortunately, a new book from No Starch Press promises to make it easy for boomers everywhere to use Facebook to connect with friends and family.

Facebook for Seniors ($24.95, 332 pp., full color, December 2016) is a straightforward, step-by-step guide to learning how to use Facebook. Based on the authors’ award-winning computer classes for seniors, the book’s 12 easy-to-follow, illustrated lessons will show readers how to:

  • Sign up for Facebook and connect with family and friends
  • Share news, messages, and photos
  • Keep up-to-date with friends, send birthday messages, and see family photos
  • Join discussion groups on cars, travel, investing, gardening, or whatever else interests them
  • Play games
  • Navigate online safety essentials like privacy protection and account security

“Half of the people on the internet aren’t millennials,” said No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock, almost a senior himself. “The Facebook interface can be confusing to those new to social media, and with Facebook for Seniors, I hope to make the world of social media more accessible and just a bit simpler.”

Facebook for Seniors will be in bookstores everywhere this month.

Scratch Coding Cards (for kids)

The latest release from No Starch Press, the market leader in kids programming books, offers an exciting new way to learn to code.

The Scratch Coding Cards ($24.95, 75 laminated cards, December 2016) are a colorful collection of activities that introduce children to creative coding. The illustrated activity cards provide a playful entry point into Scratch, the graphical programming language used by millions of children and teens around the world. The deck of cards makes it easy for kids to learn how to create a variety of interactive projects that connect to their interests. They can create a racing game, animate an interactive story, design a virtual pet, and more!

Each card features step-by-step instructions for beginners to start coding. The front of the card shows an activity kids can do with Scratch—such as animating a character or keeping score in a game. The back shows how to snap together blocks of code to make the projects come to life. Along the way, kids learn key coding concepts, such as sequencing, conditionals, and variables. This collection of coding activity cards is perfect for sharing among small groups in homes, schools, and after-school programs.

The Scratch Coding Cards were developed by Natalie Rusk, a lead researcher on the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab. “Every day we’re amazed to see the diverse types of projects that young people create with Scratch, but many newcomers aren’t sure how to begin,” said Rusk. “The Scratch Coding Cards make it easy for anyone to jump into programming.”

The Scratch Coding Cards will be available in bookstores everywhere this month, just in time for the holidays.

Real Estate Smart

Despite recent efforts to establish a healthier lifestyle, obesity is still a dangerous epidemic across the country. 250 million Americans are overweight or obese, and what’s worse—this generation of children will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. So what can we do to avoid becoming a statistic? Turns out, the answer may be in right in your own backyard—literally.

“If a healthy lifestyle is important to you and your loved ones, your home location is vital,” says real estate veteran Matt Parker. “In fact, where your home is located presents a buffet of simple fitness and lifestyle choices, and most of them are made subconsciously.”

In his new book, Real Estate Smart, Parker discusses:

• How your choice of a home has  direct impact on your overall health

• Why adults who live in the greenest urban areas are three times more likely to live a healthier lifestyle

• How presence of a park within walking distance of your home will stimulate weight loss, decreased health risks, less stress, and better sleep

• The importance of a “walkability” score on your home, which helps elderly people live longer, and increases your home value by approximately $4,200

• When purchasing or renting a home, you should choose a location that you can drive or walk up to. If you have to walk down into your home, it will be less enjoyable and more difficult to sell

Screen Shot 2017 03 01 at 10.12.02 AMValue as a Service

Making predictions about the future is always tricky. But there is one prediction that author Rob Bernshteyn is quite confident in making: Across a host of industries, we will move to a model that he calls value as a service.

It is already common knowledge that many traditional-products companies are converting the delivery of their offerings to the as-a-service model. With the completion of this transition assumed, the coming disruption will focus less on the delivery model and more on the value delivered.

Value as a Service is the simple idea that measurable value delivered for customers will be the ultimate competitive battleground. Every customer will want to understand the exact value that they are being provided. They will want a quantifiable difference as they compare their options.

Is your business ready to embrace this coming disruption? Are you ready?

The Smile Prescription

Do you ever wonder why one person can be so drawn to another? Why is it that certain people have the ability to make others feel good? The answer is surprising. Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Dr. Rich “The Smile Dr.” Castellano shows the secret to happiness is through non-verbal communication, with the release of his latest book, “The Smile Prescription.”

Told through a first-person narrative, “The Smile Prescription” takes readers on Dr. Castellano’s journey to understand the unexpected and dramatic impact our non-verbal communication has on everyone we meet. From wacky Harvard research studies, to daily observations at his plastic surgery practice, Castellano proves that facial behaviors influence and reveal the wiring of the brain. As a facial analysis expert, Castellano has analyzed hundreds of thousands of faces, which allows him to provide a user-friendly and fun guide showing how facial expressions can be used as a tool to dramatically improve quality of life.

“Smiling and humor stimulate reward centers in our brain and it can radically change the way you think, live your live and interact with other people,” says Castellano, who is on a crusade to make the world a happier place one face at a time. “Cultivating your authentic smile will change the way you perceive the world and how the world perceives you.”

“The Smile Prescription” can be purchased at: 

Amazon (Hardcover, Paperback & Ebook) 

Barnes and Noble (Online and in Stores)

our-tableOur Table

A tavola in Italian means “at the table.”  The table is where we gather to talk, to socialize, to catch up, and most importantly…eat! At our table is where it all comes together because it’s not just about the food, its about stopping whatever we are doing and carving out some much-needed time to nourish our souls and bodies in the company of loved ones.

Food stylist and recipe columnist, Renee Muller, invites home cooks to come to the table and partake in some her family’s favorite kosher recipes in her beautiful new cookbook, Our Table (Artscroll/October 2016; Hardcover/$34.99).  Renee’s recipes are refreshingly simple, distinctively delicious and crafted from common ingredients and vividly presented with beautiful full color photos. 

Through heartwarming stories and culinary wisdom, Our Table is as readable on the couch as it is useful in the kitchen.  “As a child growing up in Lugano, Switzerland, I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother watching them talk and cook, always with passion and dedication to the task at hand, no matter how mundane,” Renee says. “From them I learned that meals shared with family and friends are memorable, especially when imbued with love and care.”

Throughout the pages of Our Table, Renee walks readers through each recipe with subtle suggestions, insights and techniques that turn good food into great food.  Recipes are arranged in chapters such as: Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Fish & Dairy, Meat, Chicken & More, Snacks & Sides, and Desserts and Breads, providing everything needed to create an easy weeknight meal or a special holiday dinner. Some of the recipes in Our Table include:

• Sweet Chili Salmon Cubes

• Mushroom Barley Soup Done Right

• Crunchy Asian Salad

• Silan, Lemon, and Mustard Salmon

• Tangy and Succulent London Broil

• Fall of the Bone Tender Flanken

• Pulled French Roast Sliders

• Oven-Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

• Homemade Egg Kichel

• Light as Air Marble Cake

• Buttery Chocolate Scones

• Wähe – Swiss Fruit Tart

There is also a special selection of recipes with links to online video tutorials, just as if Renee was right in the kitchen cooking with you.

las-legendary-restaurantsLA’s Legendary Restaurants

Generations before Entertainment Tonight and TMZ, fans of the big and little screen longed to capture the Hollywood glamour of their favorite stars, most notably where they liked to eat and play. Hollywood lore has it that Elizabeth Taylor had chili from Chasen’s flown to the set of Cleopatra in Rome; Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn were regulars at The Coconut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel, and Shirley Temple enjoyed ice cream at the Pig ‘n Whistle. 

From Trader Vic’s to Perino’s, there are stories to tell and food to talk about. Best-selling cookbook author and chef, George Geary, takes readers on a journey to where the rich and famous ate in the golden age of Hollywood in his new book, L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS (Santa Monica Press/October 2016), an illustrated history Los Angeles’ landmark eateries. The book features over 100 celebrity favorite recipes, from classic eateries such as the Musso & Frank Grill and The Brown Derby in the 1920s, to the see-and-be-seen crowds at Chasen’s, Romanoff’s, and Ciro’s in the mid-twentieth century, to the dawn of California, chef-inspired restaurants Ma Maison and Spago. L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS is a celebration of where Hollywood royalty ate, drank, and played.

Geary gives us an insider’s tour of Hollywood through its restaurants, sprinkling in fun facts and trivia such as Bob Hope’s favorite place to enjoy a hot fudge sundae after hosting the Academy Awards, or where a table was sawed off to accommodate a pregnant Lana Turner, to the soda fountain where composer Harold Arlen wrote “Over the Rainbow” for The Wizard of Oz.  And what book on L.A.’s restaurants would be complete without tales of ice cream sundaes at C.C. Brown’s, cafeteria-style meals at Clifton’s Cafeteria, late-night breakfasts at Ben Frank’s, or mai tais at Don the Beachcomber?

Some of the restaurants Geary has featured include: Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakery, Formosa Café, Tick Tock Tea Room, Miceli’s, Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, Cyrano, Chez Jay, Hamptons, L’Orangerie, Tam O’Shanter Inn, Bullock’s Wilshire Tea Room, Zebra Room at the Town House of Lafayette Park, Don the Beachcomber, Cock ‘n Bull, Hollywood Palladium, Scandia, La Scala, Trader Vic’s at the Beverly Hilton, Dan Tana’s, Le Dome, and many more.  L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS provides an interesting history of each restaurant profiled, from their original address and phone number to who designed it and a few of their famous recipes. 

Most of the locations chronicled in L.A.’S LEGENDARY RESTAURANTS no longer exist, but George Geary has brought their memories and tastes back to life with updated recipes that remind us why customers kept coming back to their favorite haunts time and again.

earning-itEarning It

More than 75% of millennial women identify gender bias as a workplace problem: stereotyping, unequal pay, not being treated as an equal, inequality of opportunities, being held to different standards, sexist jokes and harassment. 

On the flip side, women ran 4.2% of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index as of December 2015. While these women and their counterparts in the upper rungs of companies across the field—retailing, manufacturing, finance, high-tech publishing, automotive, pharma—encountered a variety of setbacks in their career, these challenges often provided useful leadership lessons that helped propel their ascent and success.

In EARNING IT: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World (Harper Business; October 18, 2016), Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joann S. Lublin, Management News Editor for the Wall Street Journal, brings together candid and compelling stories about workplace experiences and advancement advice from 52 female corporate leaders.

These women represent a unique elite that has radically reshaped the business landscape in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, having dismantled the old boys’ club, destroyed myths about capabilities of female leaders and continue to serve as role models for female associates and relatives. These trailblazers shared incredible tales of courage and with great candor, they provided vivid and deeply moving examples of their good and bad work experiences. Thanks to them, you’ll know what to do when you confront the challenges of the workplace—and equally important, what not to do.

Drawing on interviews with present and past female CEOs of Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Hearst Magazine, Avon, Sara Lee, Campbell Soup, Ogilvy & Mather, and many other companies, Lublin gleans important lessons from these women’s revolutionary business achievements. Their experiences offer a road map that will enable other women to find their way when it comes to launching their career, pursuing crucial promotions, tackling “mission impossible” assignments, inspiring fierce loyalty among skeptical male lieutenants, polishing their executive presence and much more. Their lessons are neither sugarcoated bromides nor shrill calls to demand your rights at all costs. These powerful women often reached the apex of companies because they figured out that effective leaders need a complicated yet nuanced set of professional experiences and relationships.

Using street smarts, a sense of humor, strong belief in themselves, and empathetic ability to walk in their employees’ shoes, the women who share their wisdom in EARNING IT crafted innovative approaches that helped them win at work.

diabetesThe Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection

Most of us, including those with health issues such as heart disease or people with diabetes, and their families, have four or five go-to dishes they love to make. They may occasionally break out of routine and try new dishes, but they always end up coming back to the tried and true dishes they know and love. In The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection: 9 Essential Recipes You Need to Create 90 Amazing Complete Meals (American Diabetes Association/October 2016), Robyn Webb, author of the bestselling Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook, focuses on 9 favorite comfort foods and makes 10 variations of each to give home cooks new, healthy twists on the meals they crave.

“Growing up I remember fondly the meals my mother used to cook for us,” Robyn explains.  “My mother was a person with diabetes so we always ate healthy and because she worked full time our meals were simple and she relied on simple techniques in order to get dinner on the table quickly.  The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection is designed to make cooking easy and simple, yet delicious.”

Along with 90 classic recipes beautifully photographed, this book also features a meal-planning section that helps home cooks match a favorite comfort food dish with simple sides to create hundreds of complete, nutritionally balanced meals designed to help control blood glucose levels and promote heart health.

Let go of any preconceived notions you might have about Diabetes recipes; Robyn has created meals that anyone will love. From Stir Fry to Tacos, Salads and Soups and Meatloaf to Burgers, Pastas and Sauces, the books covers a wide range of favorite foods.  Each chapter starts with a “basic” recipe followed by 9 variations.  Each recipe has complete nutritional information to make meal planning easier.

Whether you have health issues that require you to watch what you eat, or you just want to eat better, The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection combines the elements everyone loves – healthy foods that are prepared quickly and come out tasting amazing.

Your Best Health Care Now

Investigative journalist Frank Lalli empowers readers with the strategies to get the best and least expensive health care in YOUR BEST HEALTH CARE NOW: Get Doctor Discounts, Save With Better Health Insurance, Find Affordable Prescriptions (on-sale September 20; Touchstone).

And it recounts Lalli’s sobering story of how in 2012 he was able to get a life-saving cancer drug to treat multiple myeloma that cost $571 daily for only $2 day, by putting his investigative journalist skills to work. Please read his popular 2012 New York Times essay about his experience here:

Frank Lalli eventually acquired the drug for free—by savvy negotiating and a lot of legwork. Lalli’s methods were so effective that Tom Brokaw wrote in his latest book that Lalli was his guide when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2013. Frank Lalli is healthy today.

YOUR BEST HEALTH CARE NOW is based on three years of research and first-hand interviews with more than 300 experts, giving readers the tools to make informed and empowering decisions that could save hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars.

Lalli shares many money-saving (and surprising!) tips in the book, including:

• Skip your routine annual check up: Medical experts say you can safely skip your annual check up, at least until you approach your senior years. Unless prompted by a symptom or complaint, check ups can be a waste of time and money. A 2013 study by the Cochrane Collaboration shows check ups do not improve health, nor reduce the risk of death, including death from heart disease or cancer. Those who opted to have a routine exam did not have fewer hospital admissions, less disability, or fewer sick days.

• Don’t accept the subsidized Health Savings Account (HSA) offered by your employer:  Before you can open an HSA, you must enroll in a high deductible health plan. As long as you have a choice, you should stick with traditional group health coverage with reasonable deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. HSAs can be the best choice, but only for a select group—the young and fortunate. If you are young, remain healthy, and make a good income during your career, you could accumulate more than enough in your HSA to pay for your family’s health care and pass on the rest to your heirs.

• Even if your back hurts for weeks, skip the MRI: Most back pain subsides within a month and those who have MRIs within the first month of feeling pain are eight times as likely to have back surgery. One in six X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs don’t help relieve the pain—and waste $175 million a year. With insurance, imaging is often $150, $300, and $350 respectively. Without insurance, you pay much more: Up to $1,000, $1,500, and $6,000. 

• Stay away from antibiotics and over-the-counter cough medicine for kids: More than 40 percent of antibiotics don’t help kids recover—but they do waste $116 million annually. Overuse of antibiotics also leads to resistance. Over-the-counter cough medicine wastes more than $10 million a year and doesn’t guarantee relief.  

As a prize-winning investigative journalist for Forbes, Money, and a current contributor to Parade Magazine, Lalli has devoted his career to getting to the bottom of a good story.

The Science of Selling

The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal (TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House; November 15, 2016) by David Hoffeld, the CEO and chief sales trainer at Hoffeld Group, one of the nation’s top research-backed sales and consulting firms.

This book is not just for sales people. It’s really about the influence: Influence is what everyone wants more of. Everyone wants to get more “Yes” in their life. 

The good news is there are decades of behavioral science research that reveal the specific behaviors that will improve your ability to positively influence others. The problem has been that these insights lie dormant in academic journals—until now. 

David Hoffeld has spent nearly a decade applying this science into the world of selling and business.

Here are just a few areas where David’s concepts can be applied:

• In the Work Place:  What if you had some simple, easy to use strategies that were based on the latest findings from behavioral science that would help you win over a negative co-worker, better negotiate a raise and improve your interactions with customers? Now, because of the findings of behavioral science we now have the science-backed strategies to do this and more. 

• Business Leaders:  What are the best ways to motivate employees?  How can you make better hiring decisions?  How can you improve your ability to communicate your ideas? All of these questions have been answered by science as there are decades of behavioral science research that reveals how to lead in a way that inspires heightened levels of performance in others.

• Everyday life/parenting:  How can you inspire your children to listen more? How can you improve your ability to speak in public or effectively engage in small talk when at a Christmas party? There are real, science-based answers to all these questions and when you begin to deploy this science, you’ll be able to more compellingly present yourself and your ideas to others.

• Sales:  Data shows that 1 out of every 9 employees in the United States works in sales—making sales the second largest occupation in the country. Yet, the profession of sales is in crisis. According to industry authorities such as Harvard Business Review and CSO Insights, 63% of the behaviors salespeople deploy on sales calls hinder the sale from occurring and nearly half of all salespeople fail to meet their quota annually.  However, this does not have to be the case.

Performance Principle

The holiday season is just around the corner, but keeping morale and productivity high can be challenging. According to managing consultant Mackenzie Kyle, there are a number of ways to help employees stay motivated through the end of the year—without breaking the bank.

“In workplace culture, rewards are powerful, but underestimated,” says Kyle. “The key is to make sure your holiday-associated gift is aligned with your business goals. Next, ask yourself: ‘is this reward actually rewarding to my employees?’”

The Performance Principle is written for any manager, supervisor, or business leader who feels there must be a better, more systematic way to motivate their team and achieve phenomenal results. It tells the fictional story of Will Campbell, the newly promoted executive in charge of the Hyler manufacturing facility. The company has fallen on hard times and Campbell is given a year to turn around Hyler’s fortunes, a feat made all the more challenging because of the discontent among all of Hyler’s employees, from management to sales to the unionized shop floor. Over the course of several tumultuous months, Campbell and his team learn the unique principles of performance management and the powerful results it can deliver.

Bright Line Eating

Do you ever wonder why it’s so hard to resist overeating at the holidays?

The answer is simple, says Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., a brain and cognitive scientist specialized in the psychology of eating:

Willpower isn’t a dimension of personality, or character, it’s simply a cognitive function available to us in limited doses.

In fact, as she points out in her upcoming book, Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin and Free (Hay House, March 2017), research shows that we all have as little as 15 minutes of willpower at our disposal at any given time before it runs dry.  

It’s no surprise then that when there are temptations everywhere, we cave!  This is what Susan calls the “Willpower Gap.”

But there are ways to expand willpower to better manage holiday eating.  The key is to be aware of the Willpower Gap and plan accordingly so you don’t fall into it.

Successful Philanthropy

The holidays are a time when the spirit of giving and good deeds are all around. To keep the spirit throughout the year, give the gift of Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give by philanthropist Jean Shafiroff.  

Philanthropy is often associated with wealthy donors writing big checks, but anyone can be a philanthropist. Successful Philanthropy offers a new perspective on what it means to give back by redefining philanthropy and encouraging others to make a difference through a myriad of ways.

Successful Philanthropy removes the guesswork on how get started in philanthropic work, and offers inspirational, yet practical advice on giving back in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling. The inspirational book is chocked full of motivational examples of how others gave of their time and resources to make big differences in the lives of many individuals. Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give retails for $15.00 and is sold at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and all major book retailers.

Big Change, Best Path

 Big Change, Best Path: Successfully Managing Organizational Change with Wisdom, Analytics and Insight, authored by Accenture Strategy’s Warren Parry and published by Kogan Page, has been shortlisted in the Management Futures category for this year’s Management Book of the Year prize, which was revealed earlier this month by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the British Library.

The shortlist for the overall £5,000 prize – sponsored by Henley Business School – reflects and offers guidance on the challenges professional leaders face in managing multi-generational workforces increasingly shaped by technology and engaged through ethics. 

Using ground-breaking modelling, Big Change, Best Path brings unique insights to the process of organizational change, understanding success and failure, defining and describing the drivers and conditions of change, and the patterns and paths of organizational change. Warren Parry, managing director for talent and organization in Accenture Strategy, demonstrates that a new way of managing change is possible, from empirical benchmarking, predictive approaches that highlight the specific actions needed at any point of a change programme, and visualization for senior managers to better understand how each part of an organization is responding.

Parry also challenges many of the myths of change management and the dynamics of how organizations respond to change, clearly showing the common pitfalls and misunderstandings. Big Change, Best Path explains a new, more analytical way and process for driving successful change, and presents a ground-breaking vision for the future of how organizations can become more agile and resilient.

Commenting on his shortlist announcement, Warren Parry said: “I’m delighted that Big Change, Best Path has been shortlisted for this year’s Management Book of the Year prize. We’re in an era of major changes for organizations. Digital transformation and the culture change associated with it is a major challenge for leaders and my hope is that the insight-driven research and approaches discussed in the book will help guide organizations through these changes and lead them on the best path forward.”

Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said: “Many thousands of books on how to become a better manager are published every year. Our shortlist directs managers and leaders to those books that will make a definite difference to how they think and act as true management and leadership professionals. For those passionate about their career, the progressive and practical lessons within these books must be considered essential reads.”

A record 156 books were entered into this year’s competition across five categories: Management Futures; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Practical Manager; Commuter’s Read; and Management and Leadership Textbook. The winner of each category, as well as the overall winner will be announced at an awards evening at the British Library Conference Centre on 6 February 2017 – with the winning author taking home a £5,000 prize.

Phil Spence, Chief Operating Officer at the British Library and a Companion of the CMI said: “The British Library is very proud to be hosting the CMI Management Book of the Year awards again. Not only are we the UK’s national research Library with a world-class collection of management studies resource, but also we have a long and successful relationship with CMI and are delighted to be supporting them in their mission to develop management and leadership.”