Great Reads and Listening Pleasure
THE WEATHER CHANNEL: THE IMPROBABLE RISE OF A MEDIA PHENOMENON By Frank Batten with Jeffery L. Cruikshank (Harvard Business School Press, $30)

Twenty years ago, the forecast for The Weather Channel looked pretty bleak. Today, it’s one of the most successful media models with 85 million subscribers and 12 million visitors monthly to Founder Batten delivers a deeply personal account of this high-stakes adventure, taking readers behind the scenes as his network evolved from struggling startup to media giant, from the stuff of editorial cartoons to vital public service.

OUR READ: A fascinating delivery of highs and lows
GOLF, AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING: THE LEGENDARY BRITISH OPEN COURSES, By Michael J. Fay (Rizzoli Universe Publications, $40)

Every serious golfer dreams of playing on the courses where it all began. Fay takes readers on a tour of these classic links, specifically focusing on the 18 holes selected for British Open championship courses. Insights into the perfections and obstacles of each course are accompanied by Michael Freeman’s 150 stunning photographs.

OUR READ: Great for a golfer's coffee table
THE RIGHT WORDS AT THE RIGHT TIME, By Marlo Thomas and Friends (Atria Books, $25)

Award-winning actress and bestselling author Marlo Thomas is joined by such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Tom Brokaw, Cal Ripken, Steven Spielberg, Venus Williams, Rudy Giuliani, Jack Nicholson, Mel Brooks, First Lady Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Muhammad Ali, and Katie Couric, who each tell a story of a crucial turning point in their lives brought about by the right words at the right time. From the wedding-day advice given to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by her mother-in-law to the time Al Pacino’s closest confidante told him “to be aware you are drinking” — stunning him into sobriety — these first-person accounts encompass life’s struggles and adventures, and demonstrate how people we admire found hope and wisdom through words de-livered by family or friends, heard in a movie or play, sung on the radio, told in a joke, or even drawn in a cartoon. All royalties benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, founded by Danny Thomas in 1962.

OUR READ: Words of wisdom worth reading

sung at heart

neil finn
one all
(nettwerk america)

it’s been a good year so far for neil finn. he released a critically acclaimed live album and dvd, headlined a gig at the industry-important south by southwest music festival, and is embarking on a full north american tour. for his first solo disc in four years, the new zealand-born singer-songwriter fills the 12-track album with his smooth voice, great lyrics, and acoustic undertones in songs like “secret god,” “human kindness” (an exclusive to the u.s. release), and “into the sunset.”