November 6, 2009

Jack Covert Selects: Lee Eisenberg's Shoptimism (and 50% off of The Number)

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 6:20 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

One of the books we really tried to get people to read in 2006 was Lee Eisenberg's The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think about the Rest of Your Life, published by Simon & Schuster imprint Free Press. We were huge evangelists of the book, constantly blogging and telling everyone we could about it. It was a Jack Covert Selects and Todd picked it as one of his best books of 2006. And, even though it was a best-seller, it never caught on as much as we thought it should. As Todd wrote looking back on it that year:
The book was released with high hopes from Free Press and the book never meet the expectations of the publisher. Adrian Zackheim, the publisher at Portfolio, said that people don’t want to read about how they are not going to have enough money when they retire. I agree with him. Eisenberg takes you on a emotional roaster coaster ride through what it is going to take to deal with the second half of your life. It has been a long time as since I have been that depressed from reading a book. My reaction came from his vivid storytelling and the stark realities he forced me to face. What I Learned: The magnitude of your number is driven by future lifestyle. People struggle is how they are going to spend their post-workforce years. Your life needs purpose and meaning whether you are 38 or 88. Calculate accordingly.
Mr. Eisenberg's new book, Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What, is decidedly more upbeat. Released earlier this week (again by Free Press), it is not only an examination of our current consumer culture, but a look at the American history of shopping (what he calls in the video below a social history of the United States). It is a candid and sober book, but not at all depressing or admonishing. It is engaging, fun, and as its title suggests, imbued with optimism. To get an idea of the book's tone and Eisenberg's point of view. Check out the excerpt below of his interview on last night's episode of Tavis Smiley. You can access the entire interview here. In honor of the new book's release, and to encourage you to go back and read Eisenberg's last, I am offering the next 20 people who order the original, hardcover edition of The Number from us 50% off the list price--that makes it $13.00. To get the discount, simply enter "thenumber" in the coupon field (the field will be on the right side of your screen when you check out)*. *if for any reason, this does not work for you, email me at dylan at 800ceoread dot com.