exclusives | October 01, 2015

Lavin Weekly #9: Mark Leibovich, Patti Smith, & Douglas Merrill

1. Mark Leibovich Covers The Donald’s Divisive Rise

In the NYT Magazine’s “Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere,” bestselling author Mark Leibovich has written an intimate portrait of the galvanizing Republic presidential candidate. Leibovich channels the shock, fascination, and outright bafflement that many readers are feeling about Trump’s candidacy—and increasing success. Speaking of a recent spin-room incident with Trump in Cleveland, Leibovich writes: “suddenly, at the end of the night, a literal stampede was rumbling toward a far corner of the room, where Trump had crashed this assembly of polite company. I have seen many press scrums, but never like this. It was scary. People were tripping, falling and being shoved out of the way. Cameras were dropped. What I saw was polite routines and traditions breaking down as the American political order reoriented itself around a new center of gravity. As the shouts and cries intensified, I found myself being drawn toward the bedlam.” With his typical acuity and aplomb, Leibovich breaks down the most fascinating political issues of the day. And with “Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere” (and his recent long-form look at Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, “Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton”), he proves yet again that his perspective on the race for the White House—still only heating up—will be one of the most important.

2. M Train Collects High Praise as It Steams Toward Bookstores

Patti Smith’s new memori M Train arrives in stores on October 6, but readers and reviewers are already singing its praises across the world. Vanity Fair is calling it “a sublime collection of true stories concerning irredeemable loss, memory, travel, crime, coffee, books, and wild imaginings that take us to the very heart of who Patti Smith is.” The Independent calls it “a vivid portrait of a visionary”—a book in which “Smith comes intensely and wonderfully alive.” The Washington Post says “readers who share in Smith’s transcendent pilgrimage may find themselves reborn within the pages of this exquisite memoir.” And The New York Times calls it “an achingly beautiful book” and “an eloquent—and a deeply moving—elegy for what she has ‘lost and cannot find’ but can remember in words.” Named one of the most influential people in the world in TIME Magazine’s TIME 100, this poet, singer, songwriter, photographer, and fine artist has also proven that she can tackle almost any art-form with equal mastery.

3. Douglas Merrill: Creating a Work-Life Balance That Really Works

Former Google CIO and now CEO of ZestFinance Douglas Merrill has been profiled over at Fast Company for his company’s innovative approach to work-life balance, especially for working parents. Enshrining playdate culture—a way for parents to leave work in the middle of the day to visit and play with their kids—has been one way Merrill is fostering a healthy and humane atmosphere in the workplace. He also champions unlimited vacation days, a commitment to radical diversity, and ignoring emails that come from employees on vacation. “It’s a big part of the culture here,” he says. “People go home to play with their kids. Not just me or the executives. Everybody.” He tells his employees: “You’re working to grow and maintain your life. You’re not living to grow and maintain your work.” Excellent advice, and an excellent way for Merrill to keep the resumes flooding in!

To hire Mark Leibovich, Patti Smith, or Douglas Merrill as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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authors | September 29, 2015