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This will be the last post I write for simplybusinessresearch. For five years I have been covering topics of interest about writing, books, innovation, libraries, and business trends – a true hodgepodge! My business, Cottrill Research, has been consuming more and more of my time. There are exciting new initiatives I will be pursuing with Cottrill Research and have decided to retire simplybusinessresearch. Who knows maybe in a few years I will pick it back up, but until then, goodbye. It’s been a true joy sharing content with fellow lovers of books and innovative thought.

This infographic shows the ten most challenged books of 2016. Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

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Digital Public Library of America

Ebook Friendly’s Piotr Kowalczyk provides an updated list of sites that offer free public domain books in electronic and audio format. Piotr writes:

Every year new publications enter public domain. That means their intellectual property rights have expired or are not applicable any longer. The content of these works becomes available for public use. Anyone is free to use it – but also to reuse it, for instance publish a new edition. Therefore you may find in major ebookstores (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBook Store, or Google Play Books) public domain books that are not free. My advice is that if you want to get an ebook version of a classic novel like Pride and Prejudice, you should first check out the sites listed below. Browsing the ebookstore where you have an account is a next step, if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

Here’s a sampling of sites provided:

1. Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg is a top destination for free ebooks on the web. It’s [the] first ebook initiative in the world, established by Michael S. Hart in 1971.

2. Europeana – Europeana offers access to millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, and archives.

3. Digital Public Library of America – DPLA is aimed at giving universal access to digital resources of American libraries and archives.

4. Internet Archive – The website is a huge repository of text, audio and video files, including public domain titles. You can browse and read online over 5 million books and items from over 1,500 collections.

5. Open Library – The site is a project of the Internet Archive and is intended to create “one web page for every book ever published.”

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, The National Art Center, Tokyo featured Emmanuelle Moureaux’s installation “Forest of Numbers.”

As stated on emmanuelle moureaux architecture + design’s website, the installation, which visualized the decade of the future from 2017 to 2026, “created a sense of stillness across the large exhibition space. More than 60,000 pieces of suspended numeral figures from 0 to 9 were regularly aligned in three dimensional grids. A section was removed, [creating] a path that cut through the installation, [inviting] visitors to wonder inside the colorful forest filled with numbers. The installation was composed of 10 layers which is the representation of 10 years time. Each layer employed 4 digits to express the relevant year such as 2, 0, 1, and 7 for 2017, which were randomly positioned on the grids. As part of Emmanuelle’s ‘100 colors’ installation series, the layers of time were colored in 100 shades of colors, created a colorful time travel through the forest.”

 

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Photo by Erkan Utu, CC0 license, via Pexels

Beyond Search, which is a 10-year-old publication that focuses on enterprise search and content processing, is changing its focus to cover products and services related to voice-centric information access by introducing a new blog, Beyond Alexa. Stephen E. Arnold writes: “The idea is that Alexa has become an interesting product niche, but the impact of voice-related information access is now changing rapidly. Frankly it is more dynamic than the decades old keyword search business.” I couldn’t agree more. He also states: “Since early 2008, we have tracked the keyword centric approach to finding and making sense of information. Our changing focus reflects the fact that I wrote about years ago in Searcher Magazine. Keyword search linked to a keyboard, if not dead, was headed for marginalization…We think there’s more ‘beyond’ Alexa. We want to explore the new world of ubiquitous and Teflon-slick information access.” For a related post, please see Voice Search is Growing and is Different Than Keywords in a Search Box.

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The second annual Love Your Data Week (LYD) is scheduled for February 13 – 17.

LYD week is conducted via social media and is coordinated by research data specialists, mostly working in academic and research libraries or data archives or centers. LYD aims to raise awareness about topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. Practical tips, resources, and stories to help researchers at any stage in their career use good data practices will be shared.

You can add your institution to the list and see other 2017 participants here. You can find detailed information about each day’s activities/resources here.

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This infographic was made with the graphic design software Venngage.

This infographic from MainPath shows how the brain processes different types of content such as written, graphic, interactive, and video. “The way the brain processes different types of content affects a viewer’s emotions and impressions.”

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Having subscribed to a fair number of literary email services over the years, there is one that stands out in its ability to consistently educate, entertain, and inspire, and that service is Delanceyplace.

The name derives from the street where founder Richard Vague lives in Philadelphia.

The service is self described as a brief daily email “with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context. There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came.”

In a letter to subscribers, Mr. Vague provides insight into how the eclectic content is selected. For example “real history” is highlighted that “has scars and disillusionment alongside victory.” He likes passages that quantify things, and those that encompass values such as compassion and helping others, and most important, resiliency (read the entire letter here).

And it gets better, Delanceyplace is strictly not-for-profit and the money made through books sold via the site is given to children’s literacy organizations.

Delanceyplace is delivered Monday through Friday and the site provides a searchable archive with briefings dating back to 2005.

One of my favorite briefs is entitled “An Octopus’s Favorite Arm,” and the selection is from The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery. It focuses on research that indicates that each arm of an octopus has its own personality. “Octopuses are intelligent and aware, but how much of that is centrally located in their ‘brain.’ Is it possible that they have a ‘distributed mind’ with each arm having a mind of its own?”

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There is an exciting new crop of business and leadership books coming in 2017 and here are anticipated titles from various published lists:

From Inc.com
Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story, by Alexandra Wolfe, Jan. 10
Own ItThe Power of Women at Work, by Sallie Krawcheck, Jan. 17
The Net and the Butterfly: The Art and Practice of Breakthrough Thinking, by Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack, Feb. 17
Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work, by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, Feb. 21
The Great Question of Tomorrow: The Ideas that Will Remake the World (TED Books), by David Rothkopf, Apr. 18
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, by Nick Bilton, May 2
Psyched Up: How the Moments Before Any Challenge Determine Your Success, by Daniel McGinn, June 6
Many Teams, One Mission: A Blueprint for Building Your Team of Teams, by Chris Fussell and Charles Goodyear, July 11
The Power of Onlyness: How to Make Your Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World, by Nilofer Merchant, Aug. 29
Untitled Autobiography, by Ralph Lauren, Sept. 10

From TIME
Hit Refresh, by Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO), fall 2017

From Signature Reads
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, by Adam Alter, Mar. 7

From The Washington Post
Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace, by Christine Porath, Dec. 27
Own It: The Power of Women at Work, by Sallie Krawcheck, Jan. 17
Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined, by Scott Sonenshein, Feb. 7
Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, by Helene Cooper, Mar. 7
Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly, by Isaac Lidsky, Mar. 14
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott, Mar. 14
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, Apr. 24
The Captain Class: The Driving Force Behind the World’s Greatest Teams, by Sam Walker, May 16
The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits, by Tommy Caldwell, May 16
Gorbachev: His Life and Times, by William Taubman, Sept. 7

From Publisher’s Weekly
The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions… and Created Plenty of Controversy, by Leigh Gallagher, Feb. 14
The CEO Pay Machine: How It Trashes America and How to Stop It, by Steven Clifford, May 16
Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today, by Ilana Gershon, Apr. 10
Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters, by Louis Uchitelle, May 2
Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination, by Adam Lashinsky, May 23