Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It is Thomas Cromwell’s fault I have a bunch of new books.

What? Yes, I know he’s been dead for almost 500 years. Cromwell being the sort of guy he probably was, I’m sure he’d be pleased to know he was still influencing people. Especially a woman like me.

It happened because I wanted to read Wolf Hall, a novel about Thomas Cromwell by Hilary Mantel. So I went to That Big Electronic Bookseller and found it. Easy, right? I should have been gone in sixty seconds. But no. On the same page was this:

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles.
“A gripping, groundbreaking biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism. Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington’s presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation’s largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire. We see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation—in fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today.”
I am a total sucker for biographies. Not quite as bad as I am about “The History Of…” books, but close. So okay, into the cart. But you know how it goes. The crack dealers then showed me this one:

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
“Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world's richest man by creating America's most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Rockefeller was likely the most controversial businessman in our nation's history. Critics charged that his empire was built on unscrupulous tactics: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, industrial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officials. The titan spent more than thirty years dodging investigations until Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters embarked on a marathon crusade to bring Standard Oil to bay.”
Well, hell, if you’re going to read about Vanderbilt, you have to read about Rockefeller, right? Click. Oh, look, on the same page: business books!

Selling in Tough Times: Secrets to Selling When No One Is Buying by Tom Hopkins
Hopkins lobbies for a return to basics to maximize sales in an economic downturn. The first step is to save existing business by going the extra mile, making human contact, and initiating loyalty-building campaigns. Hopkins shows how to quickly tell if a client is right for you, reduce sales resistance, woo clients from the competition, and cut costs while continuing to appear successful.
Yep, that’s my dirty little secret. I don’t read a lot of BDSM porn. I read sales-technique manuals, and they make me kinda… hot. Look, don’t judge me, okay?

But that one led me to: Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod and then Fascinate by Sally Hogshead. I did not ignore. I was fascinated. And it is very dangerous for me to have a Kindle and a credit card.