The Prolific Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley has written more than 34 acclaimed books, including the bestselling mystery series starring Easy Rawlins of Devil in a Blue Dress fame. Throughout his career, he’s also been the recipient of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His work has been seen on the page, on the big screen, on the theater stage and soon on the small screen (He’s teaming up with Jonathan Demme to co-write a pilot for HBO based on his newest private eye, Leonid McGill). I caught up with Walter when he was visiting Nashville to promote the paperback publication of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.

Books Make a Better Life

Left to Right: Donna M. Johnson, Annia Ciezaldo, Jenny Anderson, Robin Einbinder, Paula Szuchman, Scott Manning, Lee Woodruff, David Sloan Wilson, Skip Prichard, Kathy Chang (for Lee Lipsenthal, M.D.), Ann Patchett, David Kessler

The other evening I had the great pleasure of attending the 16th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards at the TimesCenter in New York City.  The Awards were given to the best self-improvement books of 2011.  Nominated titles fall into ten categories–all designed to inspire and improve our lives.  The proceeds from the event benefit the New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for research, support services, and educational programs.

I was there as a member of the publishing industry and supporter of the event, but I was also honored to be inducted into the Awards Hall of Fame.  This is a very special recognition for me as it marries two things for which I’m passionate about:  inspirational books and a cause that’s close to my heart because I’ve watched friends suffer with MS.

What It Is To Be A Good American

Alex George’s A Good American is a book you may not have heard of yet.  If not, you undoubtedly will.  It is a spectacularly written novel receiving rave reviews, and it continues to pick up steam.  In recent weeks, the book has been named:

  • #1 Pick for Indie Next List, February 2012.
  • Amazon “Best Books of the Month” List February 2012
  • Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, Spring 2012
  • Barnes & Noble Top Staff Pick for Fiction, February 2012
  • Midwest Connection Pick, February 2012
  • #1 “Title to Pick Up Now” for O Magazine, February 2012

Hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis Achieves the “Impossible”

Breaking Records

Regular readers of this blog know that I love to study how and why people are able to overcome obstacles and achieve success.  I recently had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Pharr Davis, who is the record holder for traversing the Appalachian Trail.  She hiked the Trail’s 2,175 miles in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, becoming the first woman to hold the record.

Nothing Can Stop A Determined Mind

The list of obstacles she faced on her journey include physical and mental obstacles:

  • She was struck by lightning.
  • Her eyes were frozen shut.
  • She faced everything from insects to wildlife like bears and rattlesnakes.
  • Critics said a woman couldn’t hold the record.  A hiker couldn’t best a runner.

Delivering Happiness — At Zappos and Beyond

I recently visited Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh in Las Vegas.  Sitting in his condo in a room lined with hundreds of plants and overlooking the Vegas skyline, we talked about his success and what’s next for Zappos.

Zappos.com is an online retailer with a specialty in shoes.  It has branched out into other clothing lines in recent years.  It is known for its exceptional customer service.

A Very Different Company

Zappos is different in many ways.  Here are three: