Nonfiction on Branding, Watercolor, Business Practice, Tula Pink, Timothy Leary | Xpress Reviews

A compelling if somewhat grandiose read for those interested in marketing, advertising, and brand development; those who haven’t touched their watercolor paints in years are the ideal audience for this guide; for every business or management collection; Pink's fans will enjoy putting their own spin on some of her best-known work; a fascinating look into Leary’s world

Week ending March 2, 2018


McKee, Robert & Thomas Gerace. Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World. Twelve: Grand Central. Mar. 2018. 256p. notes. ISBN 9781538727935. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781455541973. BUS

This ambitious book by McKee (Story) and Skyword CEO Gerace promises a solution to the advertising crisis brought about by modern media consumption habits while also outlining the evolution of human thought into “storied consciousness.” The path from A to B brooks no argument: human thoughts are presented as universal fact, as is the eight-part structure of all stories ever told throughout history. A third of the way in, the authors begin to connect these universal truths to advertising, showing how successful story-based commercials use careful structuring to turn passive viewers into active consumers. Examples from film and marketing illustrate points about narrative structure and impact, with the ultimate goal being to create loyal customers who reexperience the positive feelings associated with the brand’s story every time a purchase is made. The final section focuses on leveraging the elements of story for particular branding purposes and outlining how different people in the organizational hierarchy might be involved in the process of creation and delivery.

Verdict A compelling if somewhat grandiose read for those interested in marketing, advertising, and brand development.—Rebecca Brody, Westfield State Univ., MA


MacKenzie, Gordon. The Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook—Keep Painting! A Treasury of Tips To Inspire Your Watercolor Painting Adventure. North Light. Jan. 2018. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 9781440348778. $26.99. ART INSTRUCTION Seasoned watercolorist and instructor MacKenzie aims to inspire, enliven, and kick-start readers’ watercolor work with projects and techniques presented in an entertaining, occasionally humorous, illustrated prose format rather than the usual sequential step-by-step style. The first chapter includes a brief essay on accessing one’s creative energies. Other sections offer advice for changing up composition, working with color in new ways, portraying dramatic weather in landscapes, and using photographs as reference material. MacKenzie also explains how to teach a watercolor workshop.

Verdict Those who haven’t touched their watercolor paints in years are the ideal audience for this guide; it will also benefit more recent adopters of the medium to find fresh perspectives.—Heather Halliday, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York


Pfeffer, Jeffrey. Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It. Harper Business. Mar. 2018. 272p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062800923. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062800930. BUS

Pfeffer (Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Univ. Graduate Sch. of Business; Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t) has written numerous books in the fields of management and human resources. In this work, the author questions practices common to organizations today, arguing on behalf of employees and presenting vast documentation of modern management and personnel struggles. He suggests ways to improve on topics such as layoffs, health insurance, work-family balance, job autonomy, and toxic environments and sounds a clarion call for a better treatment of Human Resources. Pfeffer further contrasts the office environment and the natural environment and makes recommendations for the enhancement of each.

Verdict This book should be in every business or management collection in university, public, and special libraries.—Littleton Maxwell, formerly with Robins Sch. of Business, Univ. of Richmond


Pink, Tula. Tula Pink Coloring with Thread: Stitching a Whimsical World with Hand Embroidery. Fons & Porter. 2017. 96p. illus. ISBN 9781440248115. pap. $21.99. w/CD. FIBER CRAFTS

Popular fabric designer Pink is known for her fanciful designs showcasing animals and flowers as well as her contribution to the ever-growing embroidery trend featured in this collection, which provides ready-to-embroider patterns of some of the author’s most beloved creations. These designs were then put in the hands of Pink’s fans, who interpreted them in a number of ways. Each of the 17 projects is shown in several photographs (which indicate the decorative stitches used) and presented with a palette of Anchor embroidery floss colors and a color placement guide. Several transfer methods are suggested and an included CD assists with ease of application.

Verdict Pink has a large and dedicated following, and her fans will enjoy putting their own spin on some of her best-known work.—Nanette Donahue, Champaign P.L., IL


Ulrich, Jennifer. The Timothy Leary Project: Inside the Great Counterculture Experiment. Abrams. Apr. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781419726460. $27.50; ebk. ISBN 9781683351672. SOC SCI

Ulrich (archivist, New York P.L.) brings the processed archive of Timothy Leary (1920–96) to the public, documenting the evolution of the rebel psychiatrist from a conventional academic to one of the most iconic figures of the Sixties counterculture. Beginning with the premise that “Leary’s life is the history of the counterculture,” Ulrich guides readers through his subject’s correspondence with well-known figures (e.g., Marshall McLuhan, Aldous Huxley, John Lennon, Yoko Ono); the most intriguing chapters outline Leary’s early experiments with the psychological uses and impact of hallucinogenic drugs. One sees a variety of subjects self-reporting their widely divergent experiences with Psilcybin. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg envisions monsters and cartoon figures on his trip, while Harvard divinity student Paul Lee felt he was one in mind and emotion with his housemates. Later chapters follow Leary’s journey from cultural figurehead to outlaw and his interest in computers.

Verdict Ulrich provides a fascinating look into Leary’s world and a counterculture that firmly believed in better living through the use of mind-altering chemicals.—Bart Everts, Paul Robeson Lib., Rutgers Univ., Camden

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