10 Best How-To Books Ever Written


Somebody once said there are more book titles beginning with the words "how to" than with anything else. Perhaps that's because we all want to learn to do things better.

I've spent hours combing library shelves for how-to titles. (I've also spent several minutes combing my hair, but that's another story.)

What follows is a completely subjective list of outstanding books that teach us how to improve ourselves. Warning: Some of these titles do NOT begin with the words "how to."

1. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - written in 1936 - offers great tips on "six ways of making people like you," "12 ways of winning people to your way of thinking," and much, much more. It's one of history's greatest guides.

2. "How to Make Your Advertising Make Money" by researcher John Caples provides great advice for just about anybody, especially those looking for ideas to help them write better.

3. "Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James offers "100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter."

4."The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" by David Niven, Ph.D. talks about the "traits, beliefs, and practices" successful people share.

5. "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom tells the true story of a dying professor who offers great lessons on living. It's a wonderful book for any reader.

6."Free Publicity" by Jeff Crilley. This "TV reporter shares the secrets of getting covered on the news."

7. "Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" by Charles Panati discusses the origin of hundreds of "items, expressions, and customs," and offers fascinating facts.

8. "The Practical Guide to Practically Everything" by Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma offers ideas and advice on many, many subjects.

9. "What Every American Should Know About American History" by Dr. Alan Axelrod and Charles Phillips discusses "200 events that shaped the nation."

10."Cracking the Network Code" by Dean Lindsay. This terrific book from Lindsay - a popular business speaker - offers ideas for "meeting, connecting, and developing long-term relationships with co-workers and others."

Rix Quinn wrote the new book "Words That Stick," a practical writing guide for people who hate to write. It's available from your local bookstore, or www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/


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A number of publishers, most of them university presses, are taking Target Corporation to task for redacting certain key words in the product descriptions of their books. They say the Minneapolis-based chain retailer has scrubbed certain words from their descriptions, including "transgender," "queer," and even the term "Nazi."

In celebration of its 150th anniversary year, across the USA groups are holding Little Women-themed exhibits, conferences and lectures. Penguin Classics recently published a fetching new annotated edition, with a foreword by the singer/writer Patti Smith, one of the book's vast army of admirers... A new film is in the works, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan and Laura Dern, right on the heels of a BBC mini-series last year.

Across the capital and around the country, booksellers reported brisk sales of Bob Woodward's Fear on its first day on the shelves. The title now has 1 million copies in print, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster, which added that a total of 750,000 copies were sold through the day of publication alone. (The combined sales figure includes pre-orders and first day sales of print books, e-books, and audiobooks in all formats.)

The Barnes & Noble roller-coaster ride continued last Friday, when the company's stock, which had dropped 8% the day before after another disappointing quarterly report, jumped 16.5%, to $5.30, on more than triple the usual volume. The cause: several pieces of news that suggested the company could be the subject of a takeover offer.

UK bookstore chain Waterstones is buying the 115 year-old family-owned chain Foyles, saying the deal will help to "champion" real bookshops in the face of online rivals.

The sale includes Foyles' well-known Charing Cross Road store in central London, which was relocated to larger premises in 2014.

Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami have been shortlisted for a substitute Nobel literature prize, created by cultural figures in Sweden after the Academy, rocked by a sexual assault scandal, was forced to postpone the awarding of 2018's prize.

The New Academy Prize was established, "to warrant that an international literary prize will be awarded in 2018, but also as a reminder that literature should be associated with democracy, openness, empathy and respect," the organisers said.

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A rare books dealer thought he had gotten lucky in 2013 when he managed to acquire a 1787 French first edition — inscribed by Thomas Jefferson when he was ambassador to France...

He had no idea that his seeming good fortune was a byproduct of one of the most expansive rare book thefts in history.

The dealer at a book fair who sold it to him, John Schulman, is now accused of conspiring with a library archivist, Gregory Priore, to steal and sell rare items from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

In a lawsuit filed August 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, former Barnes & Noble CEO Demos Parneros has charged the retailer with breach of contract and defamation of character. The suit contains numerous unflattering revelations about the inner workings of B&N, and includes the bombshell news that a deal to sell the company to another "book retailer" fell through in June.

Netflix has entered into a multi-year exclusive overall deal with international bestselling author Harlan Coben. As part of the deal, Netflix will work with Coben to develop 14 existing titles and future projects, including his upcoming novel Run Away, into English language and foreign language series, as well as films, to premiere on Netflix around the world. Coben will serve as an executive producer on all projects.

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