Books: Path to Success

By: Kristin Clarke

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on overcoming obstacles

My Beloved World

By: Sonia Sotomayor

In 2009, as the first Hispanic appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor already had the attention of an increasingly powerful Latina constituency. The same is true for her role as only the third woman to join the high court's esteemed ranks.

But in her first memoir, My Beloved World, Sotomayor inspires a much broader group of supporters—anyone who respects a survivor. She tells a compelling, deeply personal story of her journey toward success.

Surrounded through adolescence by drugs, gangs, hopelessness, and poverty in rough Bronx neighborhoods, Sotomayor lost her father to alcoholism when she was nine and found little solace or security in her unaffectionate, overworked mother.

She began her own self-improvement habits as a child—reading avidly, teaching herself vocabulary words, and managing her juvenile diabetes—to ensure a path toward independence and safety. Her dedication to lifelong learning and humility are key lessons.

Associations also earn her credit. While at Princeton and Yale Law School, Sotomayor gathered career momentum within Latina and other service and advocacy organizations that honed her passion for justice, activism, and leadership.

Those experiences continue to shape the rise of one tough lady. The absence of any poor-­little-me tone and the authenticity of her voice add power to each page. Even knowing where she sits today, you'll find her story suspenseful because of her vulnerability and heart.

[Alfred A. Knopf; 315 pages; $27.95]

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype

By Jay Baer

Successful marketing today is about giving—time, ratings, 24/7 access to experts, round-the-clock self-service, insider tips, and so forth, says digital marketing expert Jay Baer.

Selling comes much further down the road—and the 20 "Youtility"-using companies he profiles lead the changing landscape.

"Youtility is real-time relationship building," writes Baer, who outlines this marketing model in six steps. "For decades, the key question has been 'how valuable is the brand?' The key question moving forward is 'how valuable are your apps?'" But apps aren't the end-all. Baer shares other tools and tactics, and his book benefits from association anecdotes.

[Portfolio Hardcover/Penguin; 240 pages; $24.95]

The Truth About Lies in the Workplace: How to Spot Liars and What to Do About Them

By Carol Kinsey Goman

this zippy, practical read tackles an unpleasant workplace reality from multiple angles. With an estimated 67 percent of senior managers and half of employees perceived as "not always telling the truth" by underlings or colleagues, the question becomes what to do about it.

Goman identifies 20 actions you can adopt to help project credibility and honesty. Goman only lightly shares research about what influences people to lie; she is more specific in her "10 questions to ask" and tactics needed to turn around a dishonest workplace. "Lying in the workplace becomes pervasive—and damaging to trust, collaboration, and productivity," she writes, "when leaders create an environment that encourages or tolerates it."

[Berrett-Koehler; 144 pages; $16.95]

Contributed by Kristin Clarke, a business journalist and writer for ASAE. Email: [email protected]

Kristin Clarke

Kristin Clarke is books editor for Associations Now and a business journalist and sustainability director for ASAE.