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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Since 2009 VIDA has tracked the review coverage of major print publications to analyze how many women and gender minorities are represented.

For the 2017 VIDA Count, they looked at 15 major print publications over the course of the year. Even though many, if not all of the publications also have an online presence, they only counted the reviews in the print versions because it is "too easy to confine women, gender minorities, and other marginalized writers to cost-effective web platforms, which frequently pay differently (or don't pay at all), compared to their print counterparts."

Of the 15 publications, only 2 published 50% or more women writers: Granta (53.5%) and Poetry (50%).

Five had women representing between 40% and 49.9% of their total publication: Harper's, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review and Tin House.

The majority, 8 out of 15 publications, failed to publish enough women writers to make up even 40% of their publication's run in 2017: Boston Review, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and The Times Literary Supplement.

The New York Review of Books had the most pronounced gender disparity with only 23% of published writers who are women but it was close to gender parity in terms of contributors, with 47% women.

Renowned surgeon and best-selling author Atul Gawande will lead a major new company aimed at reducing health-care costs, a joint venture by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.

The company, which will be based in Boston, was announced in January with a mission to use technology to make health care more transparent, affordable and simple for the companies' more than 1 million employees.

Gawande, a Harvard physician and writer for the New Yorker magazine, has written on issues at the core of American health care, including why it is so expensive and how to improve end-of-life care. He will take charge July 9.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigation has cleared author and creative writing professor Junot Díaz to return to the classroom for the fall semester. The Associated Press reported that "the inquiry into Díaz's actions toward female students and staff yielded no information that would lead to restrictions on Díaz's role as a faculty member at the university in Cambridge."

Oxford University Press is asking members of the public to submit local words, phrases and expressions from around the world for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary:

"Whether you're in Manchester, Mumbai, Manila, or Massachusetts, the OED would like to hear from you. Please use the form below to tell us about the words and expressions which are distinctive to where you live or where you are from. We're looking forward to reading your suggestions."

After writing novels on artificial intelligence, neuroscience and genetics, Powers' has turned to trees with The Overstory. While on a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains, he talks to The Guardian about environmentalism and not having children.

Seattle officials repealed a corporate "head tax" on Tuesday "that they had wholeheartedly endorsed just a month ago, delivering a win for the measure's biggest opponent--Amazon--and offering a warning to cities bidding for the retailer's second headquarters that the company would go to the limit to get its way," the New York Times reported. The tax would have raised about $50 million a year to help the homeless and fund affordable housing projects in a city where the homeless population is the third largest in the country, after New York City and Los Angeles.

Amazon has come under fire for removing reviews from its online book listings, with some customers having had all their reviews removed or being blocked from posting further reviews on Amazon.

Authors, bloggers and publishers have criticized the development, with many sharing their frustration through the #giveourreviewsback hashtag. Amazon has blamed temporary "technical issues".

Mike McCormack has won the International Dublin literary award for his novel Solar Bones.

The judges hailed it as "formally ambitious, stylistically dauntless and linguistically spirited". It is written in a single sentence that flows over 270-odd pages, and spans a single day: All Souls' Day, when, according to superstition, the dead can return to the land of the living. Solar Bones is narrated by Marcus Conway – husband, father, civil engineer, a man gripped by "a crying sense of loneliness for my family" – and a ghost, a factor that, for McCormack, explains the experimental form. ("A ghost would have no business with a full stop," he once argued. "It might fatally falter and dissipate.")

In an extensive article in the New York Times, John Kidd reports on "The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar."

Two decades ago, a renowned professor promised to produce a flawless version of one of the 20th century's most celebrated novels: "Ulysses." Then he disappeared...

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the 2018 PEN Pinter prize. She was hailed by Harold Pinter's widow, the biographer Antonia Fraser, as a writer who embodies "those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired".

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