January Book Recommendations / by Deborah Clague

Received a lot of books for Christmas (and then went and bought even more). Here are my recommendations for the month: 


HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE
Written by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas

Four thirty-something Frenchwomen discuss - in a spirited, enlightening and at times self-deprecating manner - the allure of the Parisian female and how to understand her mind, motives and raison d'être. This is a light but thoroughly enjoyable read with a wide range of topics from culinary arts to the fashion significance of navy blue, men to the "myth" of monogamy.  

Being a self-centred, unpredictable, opinionated snob, I'm pleased to learn that I'm already half-way to becoming Parisian. I just need to find a flat in the 5th arrondissement. 

Favorite line: "She concludes that you can indeed be orphaned by a fantasy and feel abandoned by a perfect stranger".

To purchase this book, click here


CREATIVITY, INC.
Written by Ed Catmull

Billed as a how-to on overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration, the book is an absolute must-read for anyone involved in managing a creative team, leading a creative initiative or feeling roadblocked by either of the above. Author Ed Catmull is the President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. He discusses in-depth the guts-and-glory of both iconic studios, and the challenges of maintaining (and retaining) a focused, engaged, INSPIRED workforce under internal and external pressures. The solid, practical advice seems logical but is far too often neglected in corporate culture in favour of complacency. 

Favorite line: All of Chapter 10 ("Broadening Our View").

To purchase this book, click here


THE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL
Written by Euny Hong

As mentioned in a previous post, the government of South Korea is actively trying to export their pop culture ("hallyu") as a means of mass global influence. While K-Pop may not be entirely appreciated, understood or even recognized here in North America, our eyes and ears are not the goal; emerging economies in this ever-transitioning world are the primary target market for the invasion. Getting these nations to believe that South Korea is "cool" and worthy of their ever-increasing disposable income for Samsung and Psy is the plan, with reunification of North and South Korea the ultimate goal. 

May seem far-fetched, but this book tells the intriguing story. 

Favorite line: "Perhaps the person who best expressed Korea's fearlessness, ambition and never-ending gall was Korean music mogul Jin-young Park. When asked by western music executives, "Where are you from?" he would reply "I am from the future."

Welcome to Korea. Welcome to the future."

To purchase this book, click here


THIS IS THE WORLD: A GLOBAL TREASURY
Written by M. Lasek

I ordered this book online believing it to be something else entirely. I was surprised to receive a children's book. Having said that, the lushly illustrated tome wouldn't be the first on my shelf and was well worth obtaining. It's a beautiful introduction to learning about various cultures and developing an appreciation for the wonderful world we live in. 

Favorite line: the illustrations are the main draw. 

To purchase this book, click here