I’m not much of a reader; I’m a skimmer and a scanner. I like magazines and articles with lots of visuals. But there’s a permanence about books that still makes the task of authorship an acheivement I greatly respect and admire. Knowing I’ll never, ever write a book, I’m damned lucky to have wound up in these pages:
Velocity Overdrive: The Road to Reinvention by Dale Pollak is the third book in the Velocity series that lays out Dale’s vision of a new marketplace efficiency that is transforming the world of car sales, largely replacing the tradition of wheeling and dealing, hassling and haggling due to the economics of transparency in a digital age.
The section I’m in discusses a continuing controversy over the tactics of one advertising vendor (Truecar.com) that came to a head several years ago, and our dealership’s view that it was more an opportunity than a problem.
That index above is a Who’s Who of some of the top digital marketers in automotive. And me. I’m still a Zelig-like character in this world.
I also got a chance earlier this year to write an endorsement for a textbook-style survey of the field I’m in, authored by a very knowlegeable practitioner, Brian Pasch:
Mastering Automotive Digital Marketing: Volume One by Brian Pasch is a comprehensive survey designed to train dealerships in the rigors of a relatively new role in dealerships, the marketing manager, that’s similar, but not the same, as a sales manager or an internet sales manager or an internet manager. A must-read if you’re in this business. Or if you want to be in this business. Or, like me, if you want to figure out this business you’re in.
The Kissing Sailor by Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi tells my mom’s story of VJ Day and the photograph that everyone knows, and the search for the identity of the sailor and the nurse over the next 70 years.
A Guide to NIH Grant Programs by Samuel M. Schwartz and Mischa E. Friedman is a book co-written by my dad, who spent close to 20 years at the National Institutes of Health. Equally dry as a book about digital marketing, unless you are a scientific researcher. Then, you’d want to read the book that Science reviewed as “…lucid and straightforward. This authoritative and clearly written book should be in libraries or departmental reading rooms wherever NIH-supported research is done.”
A more thrilling and compelling read on scientific research for the non-scientist would be Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William Broad, three top reporters for the New York Times. It’s a thorough look back at the formerly top-secret history of biowarfare,from the War on Terror and the anthrax scare, back to the Cold War era, where the laboratories of Fort Detrick, Maryland, played a prominent role. This is where my dad was employed before his years at NIH, from the 1950s to the 1970s.
My mom may have grown up in New York, but she was a refugee from Europe at age 14. The town of Wiener Neustadt, outside Vienna, held a remarkable reunion with its survivors in 1995, chronicled by one in this remarkable and well-told first-person account, Reluctant Return: A Survivor’s Journey to an Austrian Town by David Weiss. My mom did not go back with this group, but her oldest sister did.
Speaking of World War II refugees, the “University in exile” provided an unusally rich environment for learning within the New School for Social Research. Shown above is my mom’s original script from her class in the New School’s Dramatic Workshop production in 1948.
Am I well read? I haven’t read anything by Jerzy Kozinski, but Blind Date is also there on the bookshelf, waiting for me, like Charlie the Tuna, “to show Starkist my good taste.” Hopefully I can ease into it by viewing Being There on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Hurry Up, American, and Spit by Pearl Bailey is my kind of book. Each chapter is three paragraphs in length, on average. I’ve read a few of these… paragraphs.
Naked City by Weegee (Arthur Fellig) is truly a classic. A great collection by the master of mid-century tabloid photojournalism.
This one I did read. The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Escaped Hitler and Changed the World by Kati Marton gives me pride in my Austria-Hungarian roots. While I’m on a family history binge, it’s a profile of nine remarkable Hungarian escapees, from movie makers Michael Curtis and Alexander Korda to photographers Robert Capa and Andre Kertesz to scientists Edward Teller and John von Neumann. And I’m going to finally watch Casablanca some time this week.
The New Architecture and the Bauhaus by Walter Gropius is all words, hardly any pictures. I’ll never read it. I did check out the reviews on Amazon.com. Which says this is a must-read for any and all lovers of art and architecture, like me.
Admittedly, I’ll never write a book myself — but I might just read another one today, if I get similarly inspired.