Start a new chapter in your life and read a book. And we mean a book, an actual paper and typeface and dustjacket tome. We do not mean reading on a Kindle or one of those annoying hand-held things that takes photos, makes and takes phone calls, prepares dinner, burps babies and reminds you it’s time to go potty.
We present a list of must-reads published by Simon & Schuster. “Dark Territory: The Secret History of the Cyber War” ($28, to be released March 1) As cyber-attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join terrorists on the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than this one, by “Slate” columnist and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Fred Kaplan. He probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House, to tell this never-before-told story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning—and (more often than people know) fighting—these wars for decades. From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, the book chronicles, in fascinating detail, a little-known past that shines an unsettling light on our future.
“All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation” ($27, March 1)
Rebecca Traister has made a name for herself writing about women in politics, media and entertainment from a feminist perspective, and now she uses her signature wit and insight to trace the history of unmarried women in America who, through social, political, and economic means, have radically shaped our nation. Over the course of her vast research and more than 100 interviews with academics and social scientists and prominent single women, Traister discovered a startling truth: The phenomenon of the single woman in America is not a new one; and historically, when women were given options beyond early heterosexual marriage, the results were massive social change—temperance, abolition, secondary education, and more.
“The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World” ($30, March 1) From investigative journalist and bestselling historian of the American West Sally Denton comes an epic biography of the Bechtel family and the eponymous international construction and engineering empire that family has controlled for four generations. Denton paints a revelatory portrait of the Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest privately held companies in the world. Bechtel, which has been operated by members of the Bechtel family since its inception, has evaded much of the scrutiny routinely applied to public corporate giants. But now, readers have access to a comprehensive history of Bechtel’s political dealings and inner workings, beginning with Bechtel’s government contract for the construction of the Hoover Dam through more recent projects, like the U.S. government contract to rebuild postwar Iraq, highlighting the unprecedented revolving door between Bechtel and Washington, DC that has existed for decades.
“The Passenger” ($25.99) In a departure from her comedic spin on crime, Lisa Lutz delivers heart-pounding suspense and intrigue. With her husband’s corpse still warm at the bottom of the stairs, Tanya Dubois has one option: Go on the run. Again. When the police figure out that she doesn’t officially exist, they’ll start asking questions she can’t answer. Desperate to keep the past buried, she hopscotches the country, adopting and shedding new identities as she fights to escape anyone who wants to silence her for good. Along the way, she collides with Dominic, a cop with murky motives; and the troubled Blue, a woman who sees through her disguise–and who may be a friend or foe. But ultimately she is alone, fighting for every hour of freedom. When the past can no longer be ignored, she races home to confront the darkest secret imaginable.
“Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” ($28, March 8) A practical guide to answering critical business questions, this is for leaders and entrepreneurs who spend the better part of their time figuring out where the most important places to focus our efforts are, envisioning what are best ideas look like in real life, and—crucially—determining just how many meetings and discussions it takes before we know we have the right solution. Three designers at Google Ventures—Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz—developed a revolutionary method for companies to answer these questions: the Sprint. They have completed more than 100 sprints with all kinds of companies, including mobile, e-commerce, healthcare. In short, a sprint offers a radically efficient path for solving big problems, testing new ideas, and getting more done more quickly. The book is an essential component for startups and Fortune 100s alike that are looking to take their businesses to the next level.