Books

Books

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    On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary Poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation.  At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.  

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    What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture. Ben Horowitz has long been fascinated by history, and particularly by how people behave differently than you’d expect. The time and circumstances in which they were raised often shapes them—yet a few leaders have managed to shape their times. In What You Do Is Who You Are, he turns his attention to a question crucial to every organization: how do you create and sustain the culture you want? To Horowitz, culture is how a company makes decisions. It is the set of assumptions employees use to resolve everyday problems: should I stay at the Red Roof Inn, or the Four Seasons? Should we discuss the color of this product for five minutes or thirty hours? If culture is not purposeful, it will be an accident or a mistake. What You Do Is Who You Are explains how to make your culture purposeful by spotlighting four models of leadership and culture-building—the leader of the only successful slave revolt, Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture; the Samurai, who ruled Japan for seven hundred years and shaped modern Japanese culture; Genghis Khan, who built the world’s largest empire; and Shaka Senghor, a man convicted of murder who ran the most formidable prison gang in the yard and ultimately transformed prison culture. Horowitz connects these leadership examples to modern case-studies, including how Louverture’s cultural techniques were applied (or should have been) by Reed Hastings at Netflix, Travis Kalanick at Uber, and Hillary Clinton, and how Genghis Khan’s vision of cultural inclusiveness has parallels in the work of Don Thompson, the first African-American CEO of McDonalds, and of Maggie Wilderotter, the CEO who led Frontier Communications. Horowitz then offers guidance to help any company understand its own strategy and build a successful culture. What You Do Is Who You Are is a journey through culture, from ancient to modern. Along the way, it answers a question fundamental to any organization: who are we? How do people talk about us when we’re not around? How do we treat our customers? Are we there for people in a pinch? Can we be trusted? Who you are is not the values you list on the wall. It’s not what you say in company-wide meeting. It’s not your marketing campaign. It’s not even what you believe. Who you are is what you do. This book aims to help you do the things you need to become the kind of leader you want to be—and others want to follow.  

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    The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

    Ksh 1499

    Brief Summary A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed. Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year. An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees—how they approach worker safety—and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones. What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. They succeeded by transforming habits. In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.  

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    Success Built to Last by Jerry I Porras

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary Success Built to Last: Creating a Life That Matters. Imagine discovering what successful people have in common, distilling it into a set of simple practices, and using them to transform your life and work. Authored by three legends in leadership and self-help — including Built to Last co-author Jerry Porras — it challenges conventional wisdom at every step. Success Built to Last draws on face-to-face, unscripted conversations with hundreds of remarkable human beings from around the world. Meet billionaires, CEOs, presidents of nations, Nobel laureates and celebrities — the rich, the famous and the unknown. Meet unsung heroes who've achieved lasting impact without obvious power or charisma. Famous or not, most started out ordinary.  Discover how successful people "harvest" their strengths and their weaknesses, their victories and their surprising failures. Discover how you can find meaning in your life and work just as they did and summon the courage to follow your passions. Above all, see how they've sustained success for decades and you can too.  

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    The Art of Statistics Learning from Data

    Ksh 2599

    Brief Summary The definitive guide to statistical thinking. Statistics are everywhere, as integral to science as they are to business, and in the popular media hundreds of times a day. In this age of big data, a basic grasp of statistical literacy is more important than ever if we want to separate the fact from the fiction, the ostentatious embellishments from the raw evidence -- and even more so if we hope to participate in the future, rather than being simple bystanders. In The Art of Statistics, world-renowned statistician David Spiegelhalter shows readers how to derive knowledge from raw data by focusing on the concepts and connections behind the math. Drawing on real world examples to introduce complex issues, he shows us how statistics can help us determine the luckiest passenger on the Titanic, whether a notorious serial killer could have been caught earlier, and if screening for ovarian cancer is beneficial.  The Art of Statistics not only shows us how mathematicians have used statistical science to solve these problems -- it teaches us how we too can think like statisticians. We learn how to clarify our questions, assumptions, and expectations when approaching a problem, and -- perhaps even more importantly -- we learn how to responsibly interpret the answers we receive. Combining the incomparable insight of an expert with the playful enthusiasm of an aficionado, The Art of Statistics is the definitive guide to stats that every modern person needs.  

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    Conquer the Chaos by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau Hardcover

    Ksh 3299

    Brief Summary Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy Create the business you want without sacrificing the lifestyle you deserve The majority of new entrepreneurs (and even those with a little more experience) are finding themselves trapped, controlled, and consumed by their own businesses. They are struggling just to keep their businesses running, let alone actually growing their companies and experiencing the success they anticipated. Conquer the Chaos speaks to you as a small business owner by making sense of the overwhelming demands on your business and providing a twenty-first century recipe for success with sanity. With engaging stories, quotes, and examples, Conquer the Chaos leads you through the six strategies you can incorporate to bring order to your business today. Find the money, time, and freedom in entrepreneurship that inspired you in the first place • Successfully juggle customers, prospects, management of employees, marketing, sales, accounting, and more • Get from just surviving to growing your company and experiencing success Conquer the Chaos gives you the no-nonsense, ready-to-go guide that gets your business exactly where you want it to be.  

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    Narrative Economics by by Robert J Shiller Hardcover

    Ksh 3299

    Brief Summary Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events. From Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller, a new way to think about how popular stories help drive economic events. In a world in which internet troll farms attempt to influence foreign elections, can we afford to ignore the power of viral stories to affect economies? In this groundbreaking book, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times bestselling author Robert Shiller offers a new way to think about the economy and economic change. Using a rich array of historical examples and data, Shiller argues that studying popular stories that affect individual and collective economic behavior--what he calls "narrative economics"--has the potential to vastly improve our ability to predict, prepare for, and lessen the damage of financial crises, recessions, depressions, and other major economic events. Spread through the public in the form of popular stories, ideas can go viral and move markets--whether it's the belief that tech stocks can only go up, that housing prices never fall, or that some firms are too big to fail. Whether true or false, stories like these--transmitted by word of mouth, by the news media, and increasingly by social media--drive the economy by driving our decisions about how and where to invest, how much to spend and save, and more. But despite the obvious importance of such stories, most economists have paid little attention to them. Narrative Economics sets out to change that by laying the foundation for a way of understanding how stories help propel economic events that have had led to war, mass unemployment, and increased inequality. The stories people tell--about economic confidence or panic, housing booms, the American dream, or Bitcoin--affect economic outcomes. Narrative Economics explains how we can begin to take these stories seriously. It may be Robert Shiller's most important book to date.  

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    Stick with It by Sean Young

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary An award-winning psychologist and director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior shows everyone how to make real, lasting change in their lives in this exciting work of popular psychology that goes beyond The Power of Habit with science and practical strategies that can alter their problem behaviors—forever. Whether it’s absent-minded mistakes at work, a weakness for junk food, a smart phone addiction, or a lack of exercise, everyone has some bad habit or behavior that they’d like to change. But wanting to change and actually doing it—and sticking with it—are two very different things. Dr. Sean Young, an authoritative new voice in the field of behavioral science, knows a great deal about our habits—how we make them and how we can break them. Stick with It is his fascinating look at the science of behavior, filled with crucial knowledge and practical advice to help everyone successfully alter their actions and improve their lives. As Dr. Young explains, you don’t change behavior by changing the person, you do it by changing the process. Drawing on his own scientific research and that of other leading experts in the field, he explains why change can be difficult and identifies the crucial forces that combine to make transformation permanent, from the right way to create new habits to how to harness emotional meaning to motivate change. He also helps us understand how the mind often interferes with creating lasting change and how we can outsmart it, including using "neurohacks" to shortcut the brain’s counterproductive instincts. In addition he provides a powerful corrective to the decades old science of habits, offering a next generation discussion of how habits can change behavior with the right approach. Packed with pragmatic exercises and stories of real people who have used them successfully, Stick with It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, become more social, exercise regularly, stop compulsively checking e-mail, and overcome problem behaviors—forever.  

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    The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we're not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens? When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives -- from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to the depredations of the AIDS crisis -- Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.  

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    A Rope from the Sky by Zach Vertin

    Ksh 3599

    Brief Summary A Rope from the Sky: The Making and Unmaking of the World's Newest State. The euphoric birth of South Sudan was celebrated around the world - a triumph for global justice and a sign that one of the world's most devastating wars was finally over. But the party would not last; the Republic's freedom-fighters soon plunged their new nation back into chaos, shattering the promise of liberation and exposing the hubris of their Western backers.  An epic tale of paradise won and lost, A Rope from the Sky is an extraordinary journey into the rise and fall of the world's newest state. Weaving together narratives local and global, this is a story of hope, power, greed, compassion, and conscience-shocking violence from the world's most neglected patch of territory. But it is also the story of an audacious attempt to forge a state from scratch, an intervention that reflects both the best of the West and its uncomfortable reckoning with the limits of Western power amid a world in disarray.  The author's first-hand accounts, from deadly war zones to Washington's halls of power, bring readers inside this unique episode in global history - an unprecedented experiment and a cautionary tale. From moonlit battlefields and glitzy hotel ballrooms to the emerald marshes of the Nile, South Sudan's story is a richly painted canvas. Present before, during, and after independence, the author has taken tea with everyone: guerrilla fighters and corrupt ministers, teenage cattle rustlers and shadowy intelligence agents.  Coupling his years on the ground with a role in the Obama administration, Zach Vertin is uniquely positioned to give the insider account of this modern-day Greek tragedy.  

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    Conspiracy to murder The Rwandan Genocide by Linda Melvern

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary Conspiracy to Murder is a gripping account of the Rwandan genocide, one of the most appalling events of the twentieth century.  Linda Melvern’s damning indictment of almost all the key figures and institutions involved amounts to a catalogue of failures that only serves to sharpen the horror of a tragedy that could have been avoided.  

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    The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

    Ksh 3599

    Brief Summary The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?” Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics. HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible. CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth. Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right. To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.     

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