What's new in business books, TV, film

Picture this new addition to reality programming as a financial-makeover show. Each week, a young woman plagued by debt or poor fiscal decision-making lets her parents move in with her for a week to help her begin to regain her financial footing.

Personal-finance writer Farnoosh Torabi joins in as a so-called money coach, big sister and mediator.

"My role is to help these women develop a better relationship with money, to understand the basics of money, to get on some sort of a budget and to inspire them to get out of the rut," Torabi says.

This being Soapnet, and with the parents controlling their daughter's purse strings, the show promises plenty of drama. Torabi adds that along the way, there's a lot of tears, laughter and love as the parents try to bestow the wisdom they failed to earlier and as the daughter tries to get on with her career and life goals.


Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods by Shel Israel, Portfolio, $23.95, out now. With field stories ranging from a local handyman to the tweeters of Starbucks, the Mayo Clinic and Comcast, author Israel argues that businesses can no longer ignore the conversation on Twitter.

Adland: Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet by James P. Othmer, Doubleday, $26.95, Sept. 15. The former Young & Rubicam creative director ponders life and advertising while chronicling his 20-year career from junior copywriter to golden boy to burnout and back.

Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On and Others Don't by Kevin Maney, Broadway, $23, Sept. 15. Maney, a former technology columnist at USA TODAY, theorizes that consumers' decision-making boils down to choosing between products they love and products they need. Products that aim to do both are destined to fail.

Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil by Peter Maass, Knopf, $27, Sept. 22. The veteran journalist explores the world's oil-producing countries to find out why their citizens are often worse off than those in countries without oil.

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