Fuqua Staff Book Recommendations

June 11th, 2015

mr. willie green photo
The Ford Library adds 100 books to the collection each month. It takes teamwork to build a library collection – specialists who select, purchase, catalog and process the materials. Sometimes Fuqua staff members from other departments help by recommending titles that our students want to read. Willie Green from the Admissions Office recommends more titles than any other staff member outside the library and he has great taste!

Here are some of the books that Willie has recommended in the last 60 days:

Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs By David B. Yoffie

Print collection and OverDrive ebook

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City By Kelly Leonard

Print collection, OverDrive ebook, OverDrive audiobook

Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom By Tony Robbins

Print collection and OverDrive audiobook

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

Print collection, Audio CD, OverDrive audiobook, OverDrive ebook

Exist No More: The Art of Squeezing The Most Out of Life by Detavio Samuels

Print collection

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Print collection, OverDrive audiobook

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for May: Part 2

May 26th, 2015

Here are the remainder of this month’s new DVD titles:

Maps to the Stars Selma DVD cover
Mr. Turner
A Most Violent Year
The Wedding Ringer
Winter Sleep
You’re Not You
Boy Meets Girl
The Last Five Years

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

New Movies for May: Part 1

May 20th, 2015

Here are the first of the new DVD titles for May:

50 to 1Babadook DVD cover
The Babadook
Big Eyes
Black or White
Black Sea
The Boy Next Door
The Immigrant
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Life Inside Out
Little Accidents
Living is Easy With Eyes Closed
Lost River

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Movies You May Have Missed: The TV Edition

May 8th, 2015

We usually focus on movies for these posts, but TV shows have become just as popular so here are a few worth checking out. We have at least one season of all three.

  • Alpha House is a political comedy written by Gary Trudeau and released by Amazon. Four Republican senators rent a house in D.C. while Congress is in session, and their misadventures fuel seasons one and two. John Goodman plays the starring role as Senator Gil John Biggs from North Carolina, and the series features a slew of high profileLost Girl DVD cover
    guest stars like Wanda Sykes, Amy Sedaris and Stephen Cobert.
  • Lost Girl, one of our genre entries, is best described as fantasy/detective show about a succubus, Bo, and her human sidekick, Kenzi. Bo was raised as a human so she leaves a trail of dead lovers behind her until a random encounter leads her to discover her link to a supernatural race of beings call Fae. This Canadian series is great fun as Bo tries to uncover the secrets of her past.
  • Orphan Black is another Canadian genre show with a more sci-fi focus. As the show opens protaganist Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. On the run from a bad relationship, Sarah assumes the woman’s identity but soon learns she’s jumped from the frying pan into the fire. She and the dead woman are clones, they have several “sisters”, and someone is trying to kill them all off. SAG award-winning actress Tatiana Maslany plays all of the clones who look identical but act very differently.

Book Review: Age of Ambition

April 22nd, 2015

book cover imageOsnos, Evan. Age of ambition : chasing fortune, truth, and faith in the new China. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

One week from today, a group of 104 Fuqua students will depart from Durham for Fuqua’s China GATE, a unique opportunity for an academic/cultural experience in Asia’s vibrant superpower.  Among the group are Fuqua staff members Chris Shull (Accounting)  and world traveler Linda McCormick from the Ford Library.   Everyone who signed up for the trip has been preparing for months.  And the Ford Library helped, by purchasing  a collection of books that can help voyagers get the most out of their experience.

One of the best new books is Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos, Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker from 2008-13 and resident of China since 2005.  He has been observing the profound changes in everyday life for Chinese people resulting from the sweeping transformation in the economic sector.  Osnos uses the stories of everyday people to explain how life for the average Chinese person is changing.

Central to the story is the Chinese Communist Party, ruling the world’s largest authoritarian state for over 65 years.  Forty years ago, an individual had no choice in where to live or what to do for work; whom to marry or how many children to bear.  People had no opportunity to build a business or to travel outside of China.  When all of this began to change beginning in the 1980’s, tremendous risks and opportunities were created.  People began to imagine a better life for themselves.  They took steps to realize their aspirations.  Ambition was no longer a negative quality.

Osnos uses irony as he observes the inconsistencies that come with rapid change.  Chinese culture is deeply influenced by the group and the ideas of freedom and individuality take time to assimilate.  A favorite portrait in the book is a young woman who leaves her village for better opportunities in the city.  She begins a successful online dating website, a revolutionary idea as the traditional way to find a spouse is through the services of a village matchmaker. The goal of her business to avoid the pitfalls of matchmaking, and to offer to young clients a personal choice in potential mates.  Yet the entrepreneur becomes known as “China’s No. 1 Matchmaker.”  Her company is called Beautiful Destiny, while the idea of destiny is the antithesis of choice.

While the Party supports the economic progress that new freedoms have provided, it is reluctant to accommodate liberty as a potential threat to its survival.  Censorship and propaganda are two tools used to retain power yet in the age of the internet, ordinary people are connected in new ways, making it difficult to control information.  And as Chinese people prosper, they want to know more about the world around them.

This remarkable book is recommended for most readers.  If you are going on the China GATE trip, the insights in The Age of Ambition will bring more meaning to your personal observations.  And if you are staying in the U.S., the book is a readable sojourn into one of the most fascinating countries on the globe.

This book is also available as an eBook on OverDrive as well as on the Business Best Seller Kindles in the Ford Library.

Bon voyage and take care.  Wishing you the trip of a lifetime.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Movies for April: Part 2

April 17th, 2015

Here the remainder of our new DVD titles for the month:

Night at the Museum: Secret of the TombInterstellar DVD cover
Penguins of Madagascar
Imitation Game
Out of the Dark
The Rewrite

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Fine Forgiveness Fridays

April 15th, 2015

I Love Fridays CUTOUT image

The Ford Library Presents – Fine Forgiveness Fridays

Library fines got you down? Post a selfie taken in the Ford Library to our Facebook page and we will waive one of your overdue fines* during each Friday of the time period. Fine Forgiveness Fridays begin this Friday, April 17th and ends on Friday, May 8th.

FYI- If you don’t feel comfortable posting your image on our Facebook page, feel free to be creative. You just need to post a picture that you have taken in the library that infers that you were present. How you do that is up to you.

*Fine forgiveness will be applied to one Ford overdue fine incurred in the last 6 months (Nov. 2014 – April 2015). Forgiveness does not apply to fines incurred from recalled items, items that have not yet been returned, or for fines that were incurred for items owned by Duke University Libraries other than the Ford Library.

*This waive would be in addition to the once per year regular one-time waive for overdue materials that is already available to any Ford patrons. Maximum of 4 total fine waives is possible since the event will last through four consecutive Fridays. You must post one eligible picture per waive.  For any questions contact ford-library-circulation@fuqua.duke.edu.

Movies for April: Part 1

April 14th, 2015

Here are the first of our new DVDs for the month:

Alpha House, season 1Alpha House DVD cover
The Americans, season 2
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Person of Interest, season 3
Son of a Gun
Song of the Sea
Song One


You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: Marissa Mayer and the fight to save Yahoo!

April 14th, 2015

book cover imageCarlson, Nicholas. Marissa Mayer and the fight to save Yahoo! Twelve, 2015. Also available as a downloadable audiobook, eBook, and on Kindle

In the late 1990’s Yahoo was the place to work in Silicon Valley.  Yahoo attracted the best engineers.   The corporate culture was friendly, innovative and irreverent.   For customers, Yahoo was an easy to use interactive platform for email, chat rooms, shopping, travel and games.  For most users, Yahoo was the internet.

But in 2000, Yahoo’s good fortune began to change as advertising revenues declined and competition with startups like Google intensified.  Leadership changes designed to turn Yahoo into a next generation media company failed.  Frequent CEO changes produced additional corporate mistakes and missed opportunities.  In 2012 Marissa Mayer was hired from Google to end the long period of decline by transforming the company.

In Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!, business journalist Nicholas Carlson tells the complicated story of Yahoo and its famous CEO.  After graduating from Stanford in 1999,  Mayer accepts a position at Google as a coder to surround herself with smart people who would challenge her to grow.   Less than a year later, Mayer finds her niche, guiding the development of Google’s user interface and setting the agenda on the products that Google would make.

Like many others at Google, Mayer is smart and ambitious.  Some say she takes credit for the work of others.  She is confident, dismissive, self-promoting and insensitive to the feelings of others. But so are many other technology company icons, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and their behavior does not generate the same resentment.   In 2011 Mayer conflicts openly with other executives and is removed from the top spot at Google Search, the company’s most important product, and is moved to Google Maps.  She decides to leave.

When Mayer gets to Yahoo in 2012 the company is in bad shape.  The firm does not have a clear identity: Is Yahoo a media company or an internet products company?   Revenues are declining.  Employees are demoralized by layoffs and unmotivated due to lack of strategic direction.  Mayer is tough and intense, taking the lead on product reviews.   To improve transparency, she sets up weekly town meetings with Yahoo employees.  She replaces  company leadership, not always successfully.  Despite her efforts, she has yet to engineer a turnaround.  Fortunately, Yahoo has a strong presence in Asia, including a stake in Alibaba, which generates a fortune in cash when the Chinese e-commerce company goes public in 2014.

Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! contains an unflattering portrait of Roy Bostock, Yahoo chairman 2008-12.  Bostock has been a member of the Fuqua Board of Visitors and Duke Board of Trustees.  He and his wife Merilee are also generous donors to the university and in appreciation, Duke’s Bostock Library is named after them.  This book is recommended.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: The Circle

March 30th, 2015

book-coverEggers, Dave. The Circle : a novel. Alfred A. Knopf / McSweeney’s Books, 2013. also available in online audiobook and online e-book formats.

On his list of the best business books of 2014, leadership expert/author James O’Toole names a novel as one of the best books about organizational culture for the year.  The novel is The Circle by Dave Eggers, author of several best selling novels and memoirs.  It is rare that a work of fiction is cited as a leading business book — with the notable exception of The Goal by the late Eliyahu Goldratt, required reading at Fuqua and many other top MBA programs.

My initial reading of Eggers’ The Circle was disappointing.  The characters were superficially drawn and did not connect to me as a reader.  The dialog seemed stiff and some of the content was repetitive.  Yet the book was a quick read for 500 pages and made thoughtful points about social media, connectedness and privacy.

Two weeks later, I reviewed Invisibles by David Zweig, who describes the work culture of the people that he calls the “Invisibles” as the complete opposite of the work culture that Eggers creates in The Circle.  Zweig’s Invisibles are highly skilled professionals who work anonymously, deriving meaning from the craft itself and excellence in its performance. By contrast, the characters who work in The Circle receive instant numeric feedback after each task and are driven to relentless self-promotion to improve their metrics.

I went back to The Circle and my second reading gave it more stars.  In Eggers’ novel, the Circle is the name of the company that replaces Google, Facebook, Twitter with one unified corporation that offers a single account for email, banking, social media and all other identity needs.  The goal of the company is to improve the world, through utility, efficiency and transparency.

The Circle pushes their employees to share their experiences through social media and in company sponsored events.  Since people improve their behavior when all is visible, the Circle intensifies the habit of sharing into constant surveillance called “transparency.”  Individuals are conscious of everything they do and filter everything they say.  Communication sounds forced.  Relationships become superficial.  Life grows less spontaneous, less genuine.  Perhaps Eggers’ superficial characters and unnatural dialogue were purposeful choices by an exceptional author.

Or not.  Either way The Circle provokes ideas about workplace culture, and about our changing attitudes around sharing and privacy.  I recommend The Circle to anyone interested in the culture of organizations as well as those concerned about the changes in society arising from use of the internet.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.