New Books – February 2013

NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10.

Members and staff can also borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.

Identifying American Architecture
By John J.-G. Blumenson
W. W. Norten & Company, 1981

What styles of architecture are found in your neighborhood – Georgian, Prairie, International, Spanish, Colonial Revival? Identifying American Architecture enables the reader to determine styles and identify architectural terms by comparing real buildings with the book’s many photographs. Details – roofs, porches, windows and so on – are illustrated in the same manner, and all terms appear in an extensive 16-page index.

A Field Guide to American Houses
By Virginia & Lee McAlester
Alfred A. Knopf, 1984

For the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups and for all who want to know more about their community — here, at last, is a book that makes it both easy and pleasurable to identify the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture.

Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States — houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background — the book provides you with the facts (and frame of reference) that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses you constantly see around you. It tells you — and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations — what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice mean? Or that porch? That door? When was this house built? What does its style say about the people who built it? You’ll find the answers to such questions here.

Heart, Smart, Guts, and Luck
By Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012

Do you have what it takes to build a great business?

In this book, three prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs—now venture capitalists and CEO advisers—share the qualities that surface again and again in those who successfully achieve their goals. The common traits? Heart, smarts, guts, and luck.

Though no single archetype for entrepreneurial success exists, this book will help you understand which traits to “dial up” or “dial down” to realize your full potential, and when these traits are most and least helpful (or even detrimental) during critical points of a company lifecycle. Not only will you know how to build a better business faster, you’ll also take your natural leadership style to the next level.

The Signal and the Noise
By Nate Silver
Penguin Press, 2012

Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.

2013 Swanepoel Trends Report
By S. Swanepoel, J. Conaway, R. Hahn, M. Cohen, M. Davison, and T. Mitchell
RealSure, Inc., 2012

Only one annual Report has, for the last 8 years, summarized the important facts every year and made them available in an objective and “advertising free” format. That has shaped the Swanepoel TRENDS Report into the most anticipated and valued resource of market intelligence available for real estate professionals.

Operating Ratio Report, 14th Edition
American Society of Association Executives, 2012

How do your key performance ratios – profitability, productivity and efficiency, liquidity, and revenue and expense management – compare against other organizations? Compare the data compiled from more than 2,800 organizations represented within ASAE membership against your own organization’s financial performance to identify opportunities for improvement or to help justify expenses in a particular area.