A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jamie’s Bookshelf: Eleven recently published nonfiction selections for your spring reading list

By Jamie H. Vaught
KyForward Columnist

This is the first of a two-part series about recently published nonfiction books.

“Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From The Best In The World” by Timothy Ferriss (Hougton Mifflin Harcourt, $30) is a 598-page hardcover that contains life lessons and career guidance from today’s top performers or achievers from around the world, revealing the wisdom they shared for success and happiness. The author has been called “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk” by the New York Times. His new book is similar in format but different in content to his No. 1 bestselling book, “Tools of Titans.”

“Happiness In This Life” by Pope Francis (Random House, $27) is a new collection of homilies, speeches and “messages of the day” that delivers a lesson on how to find joy and fulfillment in our daily lives. In 2013, Pope Francis became the Bishop of Rome and the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.

“Start A Successful Business: Expert Advice To Take Your Startup From Idea To Empire” by Colleen DeBaise (AMACOM, $19.95) is filled with inspirational startup stories. The useful material gathered for this paperback actually comes from Inc. magazine which has provided advice, education and inspiration to business leaders or entrepreneurs for nearly four decades. The book charts a clear path through seven stages in the life of a startup made to survive beyond those first five tough years to keep on growing, adapting and prospering. You will find many stories about successful entrepreneurs — some of them well-known — who shared ideas that worked for them.

“The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency” by Lanny J. Davis (Scribner, $25) attempts to show how Comey’s announcement — just 11 days before the election — swung a significant number of voters away from Clinton, helping Trump win an Electoral College victory and the presidency. A former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, the author traces Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Comey’s July 2016 appearance before Congress, in which he said the Clinton email matter was effectively closed. From that moment until Comey’s late October letter to Congress, Hillary Clinton was destined to be elected president by substantial popular and electoral vote margins. The author shows state by state, using polling data before Oct. 28, and on election day, how voter support for Hillary Clinton eroded quickly. He proves that had the election been held on Oct. 27, Clinton would have won the presidency by a substantial margin. The author is also an attorney who counsels individuals, corporations and others on crisis management and legal issues.

“Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump” by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (Twelve, $30) is a story of political deception, weaving together tales of how U.S. democracy was hacked by Moscow establishment to influence the presidential election and help Donald Trump win the White House. Isikoff — who has written several books, including the Bill Clinton presidency/scandal and the Iraqi War — is a longtime investigative reporter who has worked for the Washington Post, Newsweek and NBC. Like Isikoff, Corn has written several books and is a veteran Washington journalist and political commentator.

“BETABALL: How Silicon Valley and Science Built One of the Greatest Basketball Teams in History” by Erik Malinowski (Atria Books, $26) is a story about how the NBA’s Golden State Warriors went from being one of the worst franchises in sports to becoming the “Sports Team of the Year,” the “Entrepreneurial Company of the Year,” and the “Best Analytics Organization.” And they won two NBA championships. The 390-page hardcover looks at the owners’ organizational philosophy that is similar to how a tech firm constructs a successful product in the “beta” stage.

“Billionaire At The Barricades: The Populist Revolution From Reagan To Trump” by conservative voice Laura Ingraham (All Points Books, $27.99) is a 307-page hardcover that traces the rise of the populist movement from President Reagan to President Trump from her first-hand perspective. With an insider’s access and knowledge, the author also reveals unreported details behind Trump’s stunning victory in the 2016 presidential election and the possible pitfalls that lie ahead for his populist agenda. The author, by the way, was a young speechwriter at the White House during Reagan’s second term.

“Baseball Prospectus 2018” by editors Aaron Gleeman and Bret Sayre (Turner Publishing, $27.99) is a must-have volume for serious baseball fans. The 596-page annual contains all of the important regular and advanced statistics, player predictions and insider-level commentary. It also provides fantasy players and insiders alike with prescient PECOTA projections, which The New York Times called “the überforecast of every player’s performance.” With major league baseball campaign now in full swing, this volume will get you ready for 2018 and help you become an MLB expert.

“The Immaculate Inning” by Joe Cox (Lyons Press, $27.95) is a new hardcover filled with fascinating stories about the unusual feats in baseball history. It shines a light on the miracle of baseball’s endless possibility — the way that on any given day, someone (maybe a star or maybe a scrub) could perform the rarest of single-game feats or cap off a seemingly unobtainable chase for a record. Cox is also the author of “Almost Perfect: The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching’s Holy Grail” as well as several other sports books. He also covers UK football for the growing KySportsStyle.com Magazine where he is the contributing editor.

“The Art Of The Donald: Lessons From America’s Philosopher-In-Chief” by Christopher Bedford (Threshold Editions, $19.99) is a fascinating guide that provides motivational self-help advice from President Trump on topics such as self-confidence, leadership and achieving success along with the author’s presidential campaign-trail tales and lessons on Trump’s long career as a profitable businessman. Whether in government, business, church or the military, the book attempts to offer motivational advice and show real skills from the international stage that you can use on a daily basis.

“The United States Football League, 1982-1986” by Paul Reeths (McFarland, $39.95) is a fascinating history about one of the most ambitious undertakings in pro sports history. Along with tons of research and interviews with owners, coaches and players, the 419-page paperback covers the football league’s formation, its three seasons of play during the mid-1980s, and its long-term effects on pro sports. The USFL, which played a spring schedule with broadcast and cable TV contracts, featured an abundance of talent that included top rookies such as Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie as well as National Football League veterans. As you may recall, flamboyant Donald Trump also was the owner of the New Jersey Generals. Author Paul Reeths, a web developer from Appleton, Wisconsin, founded OurSportsCentral.com, the largest resource of minor league sports news, along with the original USFL website. More information about the book can be found at McFarlandpub.com.

Jamie H. Vaught, a longtime columnist in Kentucky, is the author of four books about UK basketball. He is the editor of KySportsStyle.com magazine and a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro. You can follow him on Twitter @KySportsStyle or reach him via e-mail at KySportsStyle@gmail.com.

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