In the Career-Guides Aisle, a Hit and a Miss

Dan Pink's Manga Tale 'Johnny Bunko' Offers Memorable Tips, While Stale 'Squawk' Fable Disappoints

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Two fresh takes on the standard business-practice guide landed in Bookstore's lap this week, a welcome break from the steady influx of dense biz titles we watch pile up day after day.

"The Adventures of Johnny Bunko" is Daniel's Pink's follow-up to "A Whole New Mind," his much-acclaimed cry for creativity in a post-Information Age. "Bunko" is equally effective, though this time Mr. Pink has chosen a more contemporary format for his message: a comic book in the style of Japanese manga. With six life lessons that encourage persistence and failure, among other goal-oriented behaviors, the book lives up to its promise as "The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need."

Slightly less cohesive (and I might add, boring) is Travis Bradberry's "Squawk!", a fable about seagulls and micromanagement that we at Bookstore were actually looking forward to. But the concept doesn't add up to more than its parts. Instead of absorbing the book's "three virtues of superior managers," I struggled to get past Mr. Bradberry's cliche cast of characters -- the city pigeons speak with Long Island accents -- and his overuse of cutesy avian puns. (Telling a colleague to "get his droppings together" takes a business leader only so far.)