Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers

The tradition of Super Bowl advertising has grown to be almost as big as the game itself, with 30-second spots selling for nearly $4 million. Now that the game is over and this year's ads have been graded, here are a few books that take on life in advertising and the people and agencies who have created some of the most talked-about moments in television history:

John Kenney's debut novel,Truth in Advertising, centers on Finbar Dolan, a moderately successfully adman who has been forced, yet again, to cancel his vacation plans in order to meet an unexpected client deadline. Except this is not just any deadline: this is a last-minute request to write, produce and edit a Super Bowl spot for his agency's diaper client. Dolan recognizes the absurdity of his work, and when his father falls ill, he must re-evaluate how that absurdity is inherent in not only his work, but in his own life.

Then We Came to the End is another darkly comedic story, focused on a failing advertising agency. Joshua Ferris narrates his novel in first-person plural, an odd choice but one that ultimately works. The voice emphasizes the group mindset of the advertising world in particular and the business world overall, and, like Truth in Advertising, highlights the often absurd situations in which workers place themselves to meet expectations of both client and boss.

Mark Tungate's nonfiction work Adland offers a "global history of advertising," cataloguing the development of the industry in New York and London, its evolution as work moved to small shops across the globe, and ways in which the world of advertising will likely continue to change. --Kerry McHugh, blogger atEntomology of a Bookworm




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