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Now a retired English professor at The University of Alabama, Dr. Noble's specialties are Southern and American literature. He also hosts Bookmark on Alabama Public Television. Don Noble's reviews can be heard most Mondays at 7:45am and 4:44pm. and have been made possible in part through grants from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities . To listen to the audio version of Dr. Noble's reviews, just click on the book title to be taken to the full ...
 
The best startup advice from Silicon Valley & beyond. Iconic CEOs — from Nike to Netflix, Starbucks to Slack — share the stories & strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands. On each episode, host Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn cofounder, Greylock partner and legendary Silicon Valley investor — proves an unconventional theory about how businesses scale, while his guests share the story of how I built this company. Reid and guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, m ...
 
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Harry's took a one-two punch in 2020 – right on the chin. First, the federal government blocked a $1.37 billion acquisition of the shaving and consumer products company; then Covid-19 lockdowns hit. Rather than reeling from the abrupt change in plans, though, Harry's kept its balance. Co-founder and co-CEO Andy Katz-Mayfield explains how the team l…
 
Your first hires are your cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. That's why Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri personally interviewed his first 500 employees. Today, with 12,500 employees and over $4b in annual revenue, Workday is consistently rated one of the best places to work. Learn the interview questions that can help you…
 
Five years of growth in five weeks. That's how Covid-19 lockdowns accelerated Instacart's business last spring. Now, a year later, the company faces another "crucible moment," says Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. He's leaning into what he describes as a four-sided market – including software services for grocers and advertising for product vendors – t…
 
“ Shared Secrets : The Queer World of Newbery Medalist Charles J. Finger ” Author: Elizabeth Findley Shores Publisher: Univ of Arkansas Press Pages: 249 Price: $29.96 The Complicated Life of an Award-Winning Author Elizabeth Shores is a hard-working, hard-researching author with two previous volumes, both with Alabama connections : a study of the b…
 
To win at scale, you need more than great players – you need a team of great coaches. This Strategy Session episode is full of great advice and tactics for building that deep bench of mentors, each with a role to play. Working with great coaches is a skill that Alex Rodriguez learned in his first career in baseball, working with legendary skippers …
 
With the pandemic, cooking at home got a renewed boost, and meal kit outfits saw a rise in demand. But a year in, the trend toward at-home dining now faces a new inflection point. We're talking with Linda Findley Kozlowski, CEO of meal-kit pioneer Blue Apron, because she’s on the frontlines of assessing which pandemic-fueled behaviors will persist,…
 
Frustration is an important signal: it indicates an opportunity, a problem to be solved. And if your solution also builds a community, you've unlocked a path to scale. Adi Tatarko founded the online home-design site Houzz with her husband as a hacked-together tool to find and share home design ideas, after their own home renovation turned into a fr…
 
"It's 12 months of no meaningful revenue," says Alamo Drafthouse CEO Shelli Taylor. "And then last weekend was phenomenal." Taylor returns to the podcast to explain why the hip, culture-forward movie theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, even as movie-goers began to return back to theaters, plus the unexpected lessons s…
 
"The future is sooner and stranger than you think," Reid Hoffman tells Rapid Response host Bob Safian in a frank, unfiltered conversation about the lessons of 2021 so far. "The rulebook will be changing month by month." The co-hosts dive into U.S. government stimulus efforts; GameStop, SPACs and potential froth in the investment markets; rising pre…
 
“ My Little Town; A Pilgrim’s Portrait of a Uniquely Southern Place ” Author: D. B. Tipmore Publisher: NewSouth Books Pages: 160 Price: $25.95 ( H ardcover) Reflections on a Decade’s Sojourn in a Small Alabama Town Tipmore , a professional journalist who wrote for a while for the “ Village Voice ” and many other magazines, has a clear, trustworthy …
 
With 75% of U.S. customers saying they'll soon be vaccinated, Delta is embracing a new phase, opening up middle seats as of May 1. CEO Ed Bastian bet at the start of the pandemic that focusing on consumer confidence and reinforcing Delta’s brand would ultimately pay big rewards. Now that strategy will be put to the test -- even as Bastian clashes w…
 
As the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown has spent years navigating misconceptions about plant-based foods. But smart entrepreneurs listen instead of arguing. Only by obsessing over what customers say they want has Brown been able to create a product that succeeds in the marketplace. What Brown has demonstrated, and what every entrepreneu…
 
Revenue for Morning Brew's booming email newsletter operation dried up when the pandemic hit, but its audience remained devoted. Morning Brew CEO Alex Lieberman, who started the business with co-founder Austin Rief as undergraduates at the University of Michigan, leaned into the brand's distinctive personality, fueling a sharp rebound. By last fall…
 
No one knows the fundraising game better than Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur, investor, and star of Shark Tank. For founders, identifying the right source of capital, under the right terms, can provide a thermal updraft. But as Cuban explains, there are always strings attached when you bring on a financial partner – and those strings can pull you …
 
“ Late Migrations: A N atural History of Love and Loss ” Author: Margaret Renkl Publisher: Milkweed Editions Pages: 248 Price: $24.00 ( Hardcover) Southern Memoir Weaves Together Stories of Nature and Family “ Late Migrations ” is a collection of 113 short pieces, little essays that run from a half page to 2 ½ pages , based on memories, observation…
 
In recent months, business leaders have been pressed to take public positions on politics in ways they never have before. That's good for business and good for democracy, says Daniella Ballou-Aares, co-founder and CEO of the Leadership Now Project. She argues that even businesses that don’t lobby are key players in building our communities of the f…
 
From Pixar to Marvel to Lucasfilm, Disney's Bob Iger defied expectations, acquiring world-renowned brands and meshing them seamlessly with the House of Mouse. In Part 2 of our epic conversation with Iger – Disney's executive chair and former CEO – we delve into the next phase of the process, how he helped build a diverse, sustainable ecosystem for …
 
“ Madness of the Q ” Author: Gray Basnight Publisher: Down & Out Books Pages: 349 Price: $ 18.95 Satisfying Thriller Based on Discovery of Papyrus Fragmen ts In 2015 Gray Basnight published “ Shadows in the Fire ,” his novel set during the last days of the siege of Richmond during the Civil War. Basnight, a native of Richmond, did a good job with t…
 
Headlines last April predicted death for Airbnb. How could it survive a pandemic that stopped their core business cold? As the business cratered (in 8 weeks, they lost 80% of revenue), CEO Brian Chesky realized: It was a moment to step back, rethink and do more than anyone expected. So after putting a planned IPO on hold, he and his team started pl…
 
“ Surviving Savannah ” Author: Patti Callahan Publisher: Berkley Pages: 419 $26.00 ( H ardcover) Novel of Shipwreck and Grief Addresses the Big Questions Patti Callahan H enry had 13 “popular” books and then, perhaps to signify more serious content, published the terrifically successful “ Becoming Mrs . Lewis ” as P atti Callahan. “ Surviving Savan…
 
To succeed in the modern business environment, you need to strut your stuff: to cultivate a personal brand that supports career growth. No one represents this better than Tyra Banks. As a model, a producer, and an entrepreneur, Tyra has forged a personal brand that has enabled her to make multiple pivots, building fame, wealth, and meaningful impac…
 
How does a start-up geared to healthcare workers balance giving back during Covid with the desire for growth? FIGS, an emerging lifestyle brand for medical professionals that built its name around premium scrubs, faced key choices amid the pandemic. Co-founder and co-CEO Heather Hasson explains why a commitment to offering free PPE, isolation gowns…
 
“ Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South ” Author: Rick Bragg Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Pages: 231 Price: $26.95 ( H ardcover) Collection of Pieces on Wide-Ranging Southern Subjects Will Please Rick Bragg Fans Not everyon e subscribes to “ Southern Living ” and “ G arden and Gun ” and enjoys Bragg’s short pieces there. So it is a service t…
 
For any distinctive brand or business, it can be a challenge to expand reach without diluting what makes you special. No one has a keener understanding of this issue than Bob Iger, executive chair and former CEO of the Walt Disney Company. In this special two-part episode, Iger takes us through how he supercharged the House of Mouse while acquiring…
 
When he became CEO on the eve of the pandemic, Nike's John Donahoe starting game plan revolved around listening and being out in the marketplace. But when lockdowns began rolling through, he quickly adjusted, assuming what he calls a "wartime" approach to leadership. Donahoe's view is that top-down stewardship matters now more than ever. To not onl…
 
Successful daredevils aren't really winging it, even if it looks that way from the outside. They have a method. No one knows this better – or does this better – than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Sir Richard has been willing to take death-defying entrepreneurial leaps again and again, into new markets and industries, establishin…
 
“ The South Never Plays Itself : A Film Buff’s Journey Through the South on Screen ” Author: Ben Beard Publisher: NewSouth B ooks Pages: 288 Price: $28.95 (Cloth) A Comprehensive Look at Films Set in the South from “GWTW” to “Gump” Readers cannot help but be astonished by the scope of this book, by the sheer number of films Beard has seen, studied …
 
Our all-new season of Masters of Scale features iconic leaders and rising stars of scale companies. This season, Reid Hoffman trades theories with Disney CEO Bob Iger, model/mogul Tyra Banks, investor Mark Cuban, Houzz founder Adi Tatarko, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown, Sir Richard Branson – and many more. Plus, we’ve got Live episodes, your favo…
 
Maintaining high performance in business has become harder than ever, between health challenges, economic obstacles, and political uncertainty. But we all still work to win. Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team and former NBA all-star, is focused on winning – in the near-term, and the long term. His experience …
 
“ Playing the Devil ” Author: R. J. Lee Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 291 Price: $15.95 (paper) Bridge-based Mystery Creates Multiple Suspects for Murdered Malefactor Murder mysteries lately come not singly, but in battalions, bound loosely by a theme or idea or a location. The Noodle Shop Mysteries— " Wonton Terror, ” “ Egg Drop Dead ” — are …
 
Call him the unofficial U.S. ambassador to Silicon Valley. As director of the Defense Innovation Unit within the U.S. Department of Defense, Mike Brown is tasked with bridging the gap between technology innovators and the U.S. government. Formerly CEO of Symantec, Brown knows the significant opportunity public-private partnerships can offer entrepr…
 
The pandemic era has ushered in a new wave of food insecurity, with some 50 millions Americans hungry for food aid. How could Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, meet the moment? CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot describes the immense challenge: volunteers unavailable, mass-distribution centers untenable, resources unreliable. But with…
 
How do you build expertise in new tech like quantum, crypto and AI? How much attention should you be paying to the stock market right now? How do you keep your company's culture fresh if you don't have an influx of fresh talent? Host Reid Hoffman and editor-at-large Bob Safian dig into the most-often-whispered questions of entrepreneurs right now –…
 
As we grapple with pandemic-charged change in business and as a society, we’ve become more fractured, more divisive, and more vulnerable. Adam Grant, best-selling author and professor at the Wharton School, argues that recognizing what we don't know is the key step on the road to insight, competitive advantage, and community peace. In his new book,…
 
Great entrepreneurs aren't just product obsessed; they're impact obsessed. Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, has spent most of her career thinking about how to project – and steward – the possible uses of artificial intelligence. Affectiva uses AI to read people's emotional states, but Rana won't put her software to work for just a…
 
“ Words to Die For ” Author: Lynn Kostoff Publisher: New P ulp Press (Reissue) Pages: 382 Price: $15.95 ( Paper) Dark Novel Explores the Ethics of Damage Control PR In the 1980s , Lynn Kostoff was an instructor at UA, then held the post of writer - in - residence at Francis Marion College in South C arolina for 32 years. R ecently he retired. K ost…
 
Expectations for solar are high under a Biden administration, says Lynn Jurich, CEO of the solar power company Sunrun. While Sunrun's stock price has quadrupled in the past year, Jurich faces not only high-profile competition but the complexities of a new-style energy utility and the vagaries of politics and policy in the most partisan environment …
 
The biggest challenge for founders often isn’t winning the strategic game – it’s winning the mental game. For a master class in mastering your emotions, we turn to Sam Harris, author, neuroscientist, and philosopher. His podcast “Making Sense,” his app “Waking Up,” and his many books have drawn a devoted following among entrepreneurs in Silicon Val…
 
“ His Very Best: J immy Carter, A Life ” Author: Jonathan A lter Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pages: 800 Price: $37.50 (Hardcover) Jimmy Carter Biography Reveals Complicated, Confident, Capable Former President Jimmy Carter has written 32 books himself, several of them memoirs , m ost notably the best-seller “An Hour B efore Daylight: Memories of a …
 
“ I’ll Be Here for You: Diary of a Town ” ( linked stories ) Author: Robert McKea n Publisher: Livingston Press Pages: 218 Price: $25.95 ( Hardcover) Prize-Winning Collection Tells Compelling Stories of Small-Town Life “ Diary of a T own ” is not a rewriting of Sherwood Anderson ’ s volume of co nnected stories, “ Winesburg, Ohio, ” but the similar…
 
“ Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir ” Author: Natasha Trethew e y Publisher: Ecco New York 2020 Pages: 213 Price: $27.99 (Hardcover) Former U.S. Poet Laureate ’s Memoir of Murder, Grief, and Buried Emotions Natasha Trethew e y , known primarily a s a po e t, won the Pulitzer P rize for h e r third volume of poetry, “ N ative G uard , ” in 2006 an…
 
It's been an epic journey for iconic New York City restaurateur and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer. Forced by the pandemic into closures and layoffs last spring, as he poignantly shared in two previous episodes, Danny stayed optimistic and was rewarded through the summer and fall, as new menu innovations and new dining protocols brought back custo…
 
Google has succeeded by innovating again and again. Their secret? They don’t tell their employees how to innovate; they manage the chaos. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google since 2001 and now chair of parent company Alphabet, shares the controversial management techniques he created to lead an environment of free-flowing ideas – and the disciplined de…
 
Amidst the devastating effects of the pandemic, one in five women has left the workforce, and the gender pay gap and wealth gap are expanding. There's a long-term cost to that inequity, says Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a fintech platform dedicated to serving women investors – and businesses can help to address that cost. A lon…
 
Rent the Runway co-founder Jenn Hyman knows: Behind every successful business is another business backstage, one you might not expect. Rent the Runway is known for creating a glamorous "closet in the cloud,” but as Hyman explains, it achieved unicorn status by mastering a few less glamorous businesses — including the world’s largest dry-cleaning op…
 
If 2021 is even half as unpredictable as 2020 was, you'll need to dig deep into your resilience and wisdom to get through. We've pulled together this special episode of Masters of Scale to serve as a sort of primer for the new year, full of lessons learned from the sometimes devastating, sometimes inspiring year we just put behind us. These lessons…
 
“ The Wife Upstairs ” Author: Rachel Hawkins Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Pages: 304 Price: $27.99 (Hardcover) Classic British Novel Re-envisioned in Mountain Brook Is Full of Surprises Two is a coincidence. Three we might call a movement. In the last few years three Alabama novelists have struck out in new dir e ctions with really a stonishing re…
 
“ Saving America’s Amazon : The Threat to Our Nation’s Most B iodiverse River System ” Author: Ben Raines Foreword by E. O. Wilson Publisher: NewSouth Books Pages: 127 Price: $35.00 (Hardcover) Ben R aines is on his way to becoming a household name in Alabama. Most lately, he is credited with the discovery of the “ Clotilda, ” the last slave ship. …
 
“ Atty A t Law ” Author: Tim Lockette Publisher: Seven Stories Press Pages: 239 Price: $18.95 ( Hardcover ) Tim Lockette of Jacksonville, Alabama is a journalist, not a lawyer as one might expect from the title. This is his debut novel and I truly hope the first of many. The book is FOR young readers , and al though I am definitely not one, I enjoy…
 
“ Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret ” Author: Catherine Coleman Flowers Foreword by Bryan Stevenson Publisher: The New Press Pages: 206 Price: $25.99 ( Hardcover) “ Waste ” is both a study of the horrific sanitation problems in rural Lowndes County and a memoir, the story of a very determined Alabama wom an. Flowers, manager o…
 
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