LOCAL BOOKS: UPPER WEST SIDE STORY AND GETTING THERE: A BOOK OF MENTORS

By Nancy Novick

uws storyWhat would you do if a beloved child was accidentally responsible for the death of another? What if issues of race, a corrupt judge, and political gamesmanship compounded the tragedy? What if the incident not only jeopardized your dearest friendship, but also your marriage?  Author Susan Pashman adeptly tackles this difficult subject matter in her new novel, Upper West Side Story.

At a time when our national media is filled with stories of race-based crimes, Ms. Pashman gives us a heartfelt story of what might happen here in our own backyard even among people of goodwill. Ms. Pashman, who is also a philosophy professor and former attorney, will celebrate the launch of her book on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Book Culture, 450 Columbus Avenue.

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Whether you’re just starting off in your career or reinventing yourself for the 3rd or 4th time, advice from individuals who have excelled in their fields can serve as inspiration. For those of us who don’t have our own personal mentor (or cheerleader), there’s local author Gillian Zoe Segal’s Getting There: A Book of Mentors, a collection of “intimate pep talks” from figures on the world stage.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 11.50.55 PMAmong this distinguished group are Harvard Business School Dean, Nitin Nohria; Mad Men creator, Michael  Weiner; and CARE President and CEO, Helene Gayle. Advice includes Marina Abramovic’s  no-nonsense reminder that “Life is temporary. Make every day meaningful and don’t spend time on bullshit.” Ms. Gayle offers a twist on the conventional wisdom to work for change through protest, telling readers that, “Social change is better achieved by being for something than against something…if you want to have a greater impact, you need to ask yourself, ‘What do I stand for and what do I want to happen?’”

The book also offers reassurance to readers who may be struggling with obstacles on the path to success; it’s comforting to know that even billionaire investor Warren Buffett used to become physically ill at the prospect of public speaking and to hear Graydon Carter’s admission that, appearances to the contrary, “No one knows what they’re doing at first.”

Nancy Novick blogs about the literary life of the Upper West Side at www.westsidewords.com.

ART | 1 comment | permalink
    1. Girlie says:

      Ms. Pashman’s plotlines certainly caught my
      attention, thank you. Wish I had time to read
      the book.