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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Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.

Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.

Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."

The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.

Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.

The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".

Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".

Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".

Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."

Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.

"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."

The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.

"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.

Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.

Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....

...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...

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