Book Review: Alone Together

April 12th, 2011

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Turkle, Sherry. Alone together : why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Basic Books, 2011.

When Duke’s Bostock Library was dedicated in 2005, the speaker from EDUCOM noted that the current generation of students used technology constantly to communicate. Students with cell phones and email were far more “connected” than students from the past. Yet while walking to the ceremony, I had passed a dozen students talking on their cell phones, and not one made eye contact as they passed by. They were oblivious to everything happening around them, as they gave their attention to someone far away.

Now we are in a world of texting, IMing and Facebook messaging through mobile devices 24/7. In a new book Alone Together, a faculty member at MIT says that young people monitor their smartphones constantly, at home, at school and when out with friends. They live in a world of continual partial attention. Instead of a personal and immediate contact of a telephone call, these young people text, making a connection when and where they want, with total control of their message. Texting allows them to keep in touch and keep at bay at the same time, substituting a quick message for connecting with each other face-to-face or voice-to-voice.

Read more …

New Movies for April

April 11th, 2011

Here are our newest DVD titles:

All Good Things
Black Swan
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Dark Fields
Fair Game
The Fighter
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
I Am Love
Little Fockers

Mad Men, season 4
My Name is Khan
Ramona and Beezus
A Shine of Rainbows
The Tourist
Tron : Legacy
Yogi Bear

Book Reviews: Writing About Thinking

April 5th, 2011

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Explaining how our brains work is a new preoccupation among economists, marketers, investors and professors. Three new books in the Ford Library help explain why we act as we do, and teach us better ways of thinking and deciding.

Mauboussin, Michael J. Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition. Harvard Business Press, 2009.

Deciding “from the gut” may work in static environments, but complex dynamic situations require deliberate analysis, where thinking twice often leads to counter-intuitive and better solutions.

Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. Pear Press, 2008.

A molecular biologist explains what scientists know about the workings of the human brain and shows how to improve its performance for ourselves and our daily lives. Also available as an audiobook.

Eisold, Ken. What You don’t Know You know: Our Hidden Motives in Life, Business and Everything Else. Other Press, 2009.

A practicing psychoanalyst shows how the unconscious mind shapes our thinking and behavior.

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

Book Review: What Women Want

March 29th, 2011

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Underhill, Paco. What women want: the global market turns female friendly. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

The author of the classic best seller Why We Buy describes the new economic and social power that women now bring to the market, influencing product design, marketing and service. With record numbers of women entering professions such as law, medicine and business, women control a significant percentage of household purchasing power and it is good business to cater to their preferences.

So what do women want? At the base level, Underhill says that women want cleanliness, and also control, safety and consideration. Products that address those desires will be successful and those that do not will lose sales. He discusses a range of topics including kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, hotel rooms, cosmetics and food, providing meaningful insights and clever observations about women’s preferences. The book is an entertaining and lively read into one man’s opinion about women and their values and desires, with occasional lapses into stereotypes.

Sometimes the writing is overwrought – Underhill describes newer bathrooms as the “space where hedonism, fantasy, luxury… collude in a miasma of mist, steam, fragrance, occasional candlelight, and a sense of delicious, unhurried aloneless.” And sometimes the associations seem forced. According to Underhill, McMansions are the “penultimate guy dwellings” and are on the way out. By contrast, the megakitchen, a woman’s showroom of gadgets, fixtures and appliances, such as a $30,000 stove, is a developing trend. Other observations and insights ring true. Bottom line, this book presents adaptations that companies can make to win female customers.

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

Lingua franca

March 24th, 2011

Many  Fuqua students travel – hmm – scratch that and replace with all Fuqua students travel.

Over the years we’ve collected a number of Pimsleur language instruction CDs which have been extremely popular campus-wide.  And though we have CDs for French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin, and Hindi, there were languages we didn’t have.

However, all that’s changed.  The Duke Libraries have recently subscribed to a new online language instruction resource called Byki Online.  With over 70 languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu, you’ll find blogs, flashcards, words-of-the-day, and many other tools to speed your conversational skills.

You can locate additional information here, and after signing up, start your new language adventure.

Book Reviews: Start Your Engines!

March 23rd, 2011

gm assembly line - image courtesy bentley library, univ. of michigan

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 race. I grew up down the street from the Speedway track and I can still remember the great drivers from my childhood, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, the Unsers. .

Beyond entertainment and transportation, the automobile was central to the lives and livelihoods of people from the industrial Midwest. Family destiny was entangled in the ups and downs in Detroit. My father felt that the industry was the ticket to the middle class and he pushed his children into automotive engineering. Only one child followed his advice, my younger sister, but by then the world changed and her experience has been laced with disappointment.

So goes the entire American auto industry. Here are five excellent new books in the Ford Library talk about the industry, in good times and bad.

Crash course : the American automobile industry’s road from glory to disaster, by Paul Ingrassia.

Pulitzer Prize winning author takes a deep look into the turning points in the history of the U.S. auto industry, highlighting the self-destruction of the automakers, their dysfunctional corporate culture and perverse union practices.

At the crossroads: middle America and the battle to save the car industry, by Abe Aamidor and Ted Evanoff.

The story of the auto industry crisis and its mark on small towns in Indiana, on the people who work in an industry in economic decline and who live in communities that are fading.

Read more …

New Movies For March

March 11th, 2011

Here are our newest DVD titles:

127 hours
Due Date
Eat, Pray, Love
For Colored Girls
Get Low
Inside Job
Last Train Home

Love & Other Drugs
Morning Glory
The Next Three Days
Night Catches Us
Wild Target
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Blood Ties

Browse our DVDs in the library catalog (latest titles will appear first).

Finding Deals is a Breeze with Zephyr

February 28th, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day of March, and in honor of the In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb month, I decided to feature Zephyr, the Bureau van Dijk corporate deals resource.  Of the M&A databases the Ford Library subscribes to, Zephyr is the easiest to access, search, and download current and historical deals worldwide.  In addition, the user can create league tables on deal vendors such as the firms providing legal representation or acting as the financial advisors.

Located on the Ford Library database page, users can either perform a simple company search or can select the expert search link to locate deals according to geographic location, deal type, industry, or financials.  Then the user can select from the tabs located at the top of the page to list the deals, see them as a brief record or in full.

If you have questions about using Zephyr, let me know.  Happy searching!

Book Review: Strategy from the outside in

February 22nd, 2011

startegy from the outside in - image courtesy

Day, George S. and Christine Moorman. Strategy from the outside in : profiting from customer value. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010.

Fuqua faculty member Chris Moorman and co-author George Day argue that, over the long term, the most successful companies focus on creating and keeping their customers. When designing their corporate strategy, the best companies start with the market. All parts of the enterprise are focused on understanding the customer, solving customer problems and seeking out opportunities in the market. Market driven companies work to sustain and improve customer value.

Authors Day and Moorman introduce the concepts of inside-out and outside-in strategies. Many companies employ inside-out strategies, maximizing shareholder value or leveraging competitive advantage. By contrast, the most profitable companies use outside-in strategy, viewing the market through the customer’s eyes. These companies also invest in market intelligence to determine patterns in customer behavior, and to identify market opportunities. They take specific steps to create and reinforce customer value and profitability. These actions distinguish market leaders from ordinary companies and are the focus of the book.

Author Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Her teaching and research interests include marketing strategy, new products and consumer behavior. For more details, you can visit:

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

Book reviews: Reach The Next Level

February 16th, 2011

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Three new books in the Ford Library collection are designed to power your career to the next level.

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Power : why some people have it–and others don’t. HarperBusiness, 2010.

Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shows that good performance on the job is not enough for career success. People who are more skilled politically are perceived to accomplish more on the job, and achieve more in their careers, than their less savvy coworkers. Pfeffer describes personal qualities that bring influence, such as confidence and empathy, and shows how to build personal networks. He discusses how to speak with power and to project confidence so that others will be inspired to follow.

Spaulding, Tommy. It’s not just who you know : transform your life (and your organization) by turning colleagues and contacts into lasting, genuine relationships. Broadway Books, 2010.

In this autobiographical self-help book, a popular kid with below-average grades and a learning disability grows up to become a CEO of a nonprofit and a leader in his community. He accomplishes this by cultivating his leadership potential. Spaulding argues that relationships based on trust and respect lead to influence, which he uses to help other people. Read more …