In the Mail: Non-Fiction Edition


–> Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry

Publishers Weekly

McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) calls this “a book about my life with books.” He begins with his Texas childhood in an isolated, “totally bookless” ranch house. His life changed in 1942 when a cousin, off to enlist, gave McMurtry a box of 19 adventure books, initiating what eventually became his personal library of 28,000 books. “Forming that library, and reading it, is surely one of the principal achievements of my life,” he writes, deftly interweaving book-collecting memories with autobiographical milestones. When his family moved to Archer City, Tex., he found more books, plus magazines, films and comic books. In Houston, attending Rice, he explored the 600,000 volumes in the “wonderful open-stack Fondren Library… heaven!”

In 1971, after years of collecting, he opened his own bookstore, Booked Up, in Georgetown, Tex., relocating in 1996 to Archer City, where he created a “book town” by filling five buildings with 300,000 books. McMurtry offers opinions on everything from bookplates and audiobooks to the cyber revolution and 1950s paperbacks: “Paperback covers, many very sexy, were the advance guard of the rapid breakdown of sexual restraint among the middle classes almost everywhere.” While there are anecdotes about bookshops and crafty dealers, McMurtry is at his best when he uses his considerable skills as a writer to recreate moments from his personal past.

–> Your Government Failed You by Richard A. Clarke


Richard Clarke’s dramatic statement to the grieving families during the 9/11 Commission hearings touched a raw nerve across America. Not only had our government failed to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks, but it has proven itself, time and again, incapable of handling the majority of our most crucial national security issues, from Iraq to Katrina and beyond. This is not just a temporary failure of our current leadership—it is a systemic problem, the result of a pattern of incompetence that must be understood, confronted, and prevented.

Clarke’s first book, the number one bestseller Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, explained how the United States had stumbled into a struggle with violent Islamist extremists. Now, in Your Government Failed You, Clarke looks at why these unconscionable failures have continued and how America and the world can succeed against the terrorists. Yet Clarke also goes far beyond terrorism, to examine the inexcusable chain of recurring U.S. government disasters. Despite the lessons of Vietnam, there is Iraq. A trail of intelligence failures litters the Washington landscape. From Katrina to color codes and duct tape, “homeland security” has been an oxymoron. Why does the superpower continue to bobble national security?

–> The New Gold Standard Joseph A. Michelli

Product Description

The New Gold Standard takes you on an exclusive tour behind the scenes of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Granted unprecedented access to the company’s executives, staff, and its award-winning Leadership Center training facilities, bestselling author Joseph Michelli explored every level of leadership within the organization. He emerged with the key principles leaders at any company can use to provide a customer experience unlike any other, such as:

– Understanding the ever-evolving needs of customers

– Empowering employees by treating them with the utmost respect

– Anticipating customers’ unexpressed needs and concerns

– Developing and conducting an unsurpassed training regimen

Sharing engaging stories from the company’s employees–from the corporate office and hotels around the globe – Michelli describes the innovative methods the company uses to create peerless guest experiences and explains how it constantly hones and improves them.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).


  1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my new book “The New Gold Standard.” By sharing your favorable thoughts through your blog, you are making a significant contribution to the positive impact of the book. I am extremely grateful.
    -Joseph Michelli

  2. Thank you again for taking the time to review my new book. I appreciated your comments so much that I have have posted a link to your blog on my blog. Thanks again, I am in your debt.
    Joseph Michelli, PhD

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