Every year, a panel at San Diego Comic-Con presents the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (or the Eisner Awards, for short)—basically the Oscars of the comic world—honoring the best publications and creators of the previous year. Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, was nominated in two categories this year: Best Short Story (for “When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth,” an autobiographical comic based on a childhood experience) and Best Digital/Webcomic (for his website, theoatmeal.com). Inman told The Washington Post that while he thought he might have a shot at the Short Story category, he never dreamed of winning for Best Webcomic. And yet, he did. Reflecting on this incredible honor, Inman said that it’s “really great to see a digital category in the Eisners. I’ve only been cartooning for a few years, and I’ve never understood why something has to appear on paper for it to ‘count’ in the world of comics.” He also reported that the last time he won anything was during a spelling bee in the third grade, which, if true, will make this a standout trophy in a small collection:
The Oatmeal’s latest book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances, will be available on September 30th, 2014 (but you can pre-order it now!). For more in the meantime, check out his website or follow him on Twitter.
In Please Stop Helping Us, Jason L. Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend.
In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward.
Please Stop Helping Us lays bare these counterproductive results. People of goodwill want to see more black socioeconomic advancement, but in too many instances the current methods and approaches aren’t working. Acknowledging this is an important first step.
“From affirmative action to welfare, a devastating examination of the real-life effects of good intentions gone terribly wrong. This thoughtful, lucid, and often restrained account of the wreckage produced by racial politics marks Jason Riley as one of the nation’s rising political writers.” —Charles Krauthammer, nationally syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator
“Boom! A combative, conservative shot to the jaw of liberal dogma about black America. Riley is brash in calling out the phony leaders, the false prophets. He exposes the weak thinking behind so many of the smiling faces with good intentions that lead to bad results for those of us most in need of help.” —Juan Williams, author of Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate
“Jason Riley has written a superb book about government policies that are intended to help blacks, but have instead gone on to injure them with the helping hand.” —Robert L. Woodson Sr., founder and president, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
What do you call women who cheat on their husbands?
Liars? Adulteresses? MILFs?
Debut novelist Mary McCarthy has another idea: The Scarlet Letter Society. But Maggie, Eva, and Lisa—the book’s leading ladies—aren’t exactly reminiscent of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne. Rather than shamefully proclaiming their infidelity with big red letters, they meet monthly to discuss their adventures along with books and music of their choosing. We follow them on a year-long journey as they each seek emotional and sexual fulfillment in less than traditional ways. A fast-paced, hilarious, and steamy read, this book manages not only to entertain but also to provide subtle social commentary, leaving readers questioning the gendered expectations that saturate our culture.
The Scarlet Letter Society was released today, June 26th, by Polis Books. The title will be a featured Nook First title the week of June 30th, so keep an eye out on the Barnes & Noble website! Plus, she’s written an article for B&N’s Nook First blog to accompany the novel’s release entitled “Sex Scenes Are Hard” (first line: “I know, it would have been better to say ‘difficult,’ but I couldn’t resist.”).
In a world of nonstop digital communication, it can be hard to hear the voice of God. What fans of Pastor Taffi Dollar already know—and what you will soon discover—is that we are never far away from His Grace. Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have is a powerful and practical guide to transforming our lives by nurturing our relationship with God first, then ourselves, and then others.
Taffi draws from her own life and marriage as well as from the wisdom she derives from ministering to hundreds of thousands of women. She offers solutions, suggestions, and the reminder that God’s love is an ever-present wellspring of second, third, and fourth chances.
Love is the most powerful gift we can give and the most enduring gift we will ever receive. Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have reminds us that our relationship with God is a love story, one that begins with opening our hearts and then sharing all of our light and love with the world.
“Embracing the Love God Wants You to Have is a wonderful book. It is destined to set women free to see who Jesus is in them and the beautiful love that flows through us.” – Dr. Marilyn Hickey, President, Marilyn Hickey Ministries
“Pastor Taffi’s book will bless and enlighten you as you learn more about giving and receiving in your everyday living. I salute her for writing it.” – Dodie Osteen, Cofounder of Lakewood Church
“Taffi is a precious and valuable role model to all of us. She is strong in every way, and faithful to fulfill her calling as a wife, mother, and minister of the Word.” – Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Cofounders of Kenneth Copeland Ministries
A Sneak Peek from The Oatmeal’s Upcoming Book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
Matthew Inman, AKA best-selling author and cartoonist behind The Oatmeal, is a runner. He’s completed marathons, triathlons, and even ultra marathons, which he recognizes as both meditative experiences and “overpriced torture wherein participants wake up and ass-o-clock in the morning and stand in the freezing cold until it’s time to run.” After he posted a comic strip in July 2013 exploring his love/hate relationship with long distance running, the piece became an instant hit.
A year later, the comic has evolved into both an upcoming book (to be released on September 30th) and a sold out race (taking place on September 20th and 21st in Carnation, Washington). Inman’s work is now breaking into the fitness world, where his wacky ideas and suggestions resonate with a whole new demographic. Today, Runner’s World Magazine published an excerpt from The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.
In this poignant and personal history of one of America’s oldest theaters, Leslie Stainton captures the story not just of an extraordinary building but of a nation’s tumultuous struggle to invent itself. Built in 1852 and in use ever since, the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is uniquely ghosted. Its foundations were once the walls of a colonial jail that in 1763 witnessed the massacre of the last surviving Conestoga Indians. Those same walls later served to incarcerate fugitive slaves.
Interweaving past and present, private anecdote and public record, Stainton unfolds the story of this emblematic space, where for more than 250 years Americans scripted and rescripted their history. Staging Ground sheds light on issues that continue to form us as a people: the evolution of American culture and faith, the immigrant experience, the growth of cities, the emergence of women in art and society, and the abiding paradox of a nation founded on the principle of equality for “all men,” yet engaged in the slave trade and in the systematic oppression of the American Indian.
“Reading Leslie Stainton’s Staging Ground: An American Theater and Its Ghosts is like having a front-row seat at a thrilling epic drama. Stainton packs her stage with real characters, the famous and the infamous, and events unfold in a tumult of action both tragic and comic and at times heartbreakingly poignant.” – Helen Sheehy, author of Eleonora Duse: A Biography
“Rarely does one encounter so trenchant of a mix of historical detail (meticulously researched) and personal history (deeply felt). Leslie Stainton weaves the twin strands of her hometown’s Fulton Theatre and her lifelong engagement with drama in ways both delicate and deft; this is one woman’s story, but the story also of our long national wrangle with make-believe and truth.” – Nicholas Delbanco, University of Michigan, author of The Art of Youth: Crane, Carrington, Gershwin, and the Nature of First Acts
Your technical skills may get you the job, but your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence will get you the promotion. In Enhancing Your Executive Edge, Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston provide the specific tools you need to make the jump from middle or upper management to an executive-level position. It’s not about being among the standouts in a company. It’s about being the standout.
Zoller and Preston emphasize the importance of self-awareness in relationships with colleagues, clients, and executives—including first impressions, body language, and strategic communication. Competence, passion, and hard work open doors. But when you’re going for the very top spot, the competition increases exponentially—so you need to differentiate yourself. This book is designed to help you develop that special quality few people possess. Set yourself apart and offer value where the competition doesn’t by enhancing your executive edge.
“A must-read lesson in how to succeed in today’s global marketplace.” – Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
“Kim and Kerry are committed to helping you build your brand and interactions with others. This book offers the path to building your executive edge.” – John Roth, vice president of sales, service, and marketing at General Motors
“If you’re not getting the results you want by focusing only on your technical skills, it is time to give your executive edge a boost. Zoller and Preston take us through strategies to lead successfully.” – Ann Adams, director of management development at Mattel, Inc.