October Publications

Building on the success of 1997's Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and its numerous spin-offs is Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Love and Friendship. Although adolescents may not like to eat what's good for them, the booming success of the series' previous books aimed at teens suggests they do like to read what's good for them. In this volume, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Kimberly Kirberger share stories from teenagers about falling in love, breaking up, friendship, family relationships and more. The stirring anecdotes should hit home for many young women and men who are dealing with quandaries such as friends going off to college, falling for someone your best friend has a crush on, and losing a close family member. Canfield, Victor Hansen and Kirberger hope their readers see themselves in many of the stories and that they realize they "are not alone in the trials that come with any friendship or relationship." (Health Communications, $12.95 paper 400p ISBN 0-7573-0022-7)

Contending that some women are "too nice," comedian and radio show host Sherry Argov has written Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship. "I'm not recommending that a woman have an abrasive disposition," Argov writes, "The woman I'm describing is kind yet strong. She doesn't give up her life, and she won't chase a man." Her sassy book is filled with scenarios and advice aimed at making women subtly stronger and self-empowered. Argov's principles, which range from the farfetched to the downright absurd, include "If you give him a feeling of power, he'll want to protect you and he'll want to give you the world" and "A little distance combined with the appearance of self-control makes him nervous that he may be losing you." The book, which has already been featured on The View and The O'Reilly Factor, should make waves with its controversial view of relationships. (Adams Media, $14.95 paper 272p ISBN 1-58062-756-0)

September Publications

Scads of disgruntled ex-employees have written thousands of pages on what it was like to work for a fly-by-night dot-com and how quickly it all ended. Despite the barrage of Internet reminiscences, Lori Gottlieb and Jesse Jacobs have penned their own version of life at the now-defunct online community Kibu.com, Inside the Cult of Kibu: And Other Tales of the Millennial Gold Rush. Dividing their book into 10 chapters entitled, "The Idea," "The Money," "The Culture," "The Parties," "The Lingo," "The Spin," "The Mismanagement," "The IPO," "The Layoffs," and "The Hereafter," Gottlieb and Jacobs intersperse their own experiences at Kibu with comments from nearly 100 players in the dot-com game. Kurt Andersen talks about the friction between the "New Media People" and the "Old Media People," Andrew Anker tells of Wired's dress code and Josh Keller explains how he handled laying off employees at the software company Ububu. Altogether, it makes for an amusing, if familiar, snapshot of a bygone era. (Perseus, $26 320p ISBN 0-7382-0691-1)

Rather than taking on the book's physicality (see review of A Book of Books above), Florida State University professor of English David Kirby uses lists of favorites to answer the question What Is a Book? in the title piece from his new collection of critical essays. Kirby finds that for most people "what counts is the personhood, not of the author, but of the book"—that novels can contain, and become, the most reliable figures of our lives. Others among the 17 essays here wonder "Is There a Southern Poetry?" and "What Is a Critic?," and come up with equally thoughtful responses. (Univ. of Georgia, $44.95 232p ISBN 0-8203-2441-8; $19.95 paper -2478-7)