Among readers of serious nonfiction, Thomas Friedman enjoys instant brand recognition, which is as important in selling books as cartoon characters are in selling cereal. The three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times has a reputation for energetic reporting and ambitious synthesis, both of which are evident in Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28).
The book begins with an introduction on the wisdom of pausing. That’s what the title alludes to: Friedman feels gratitude when an ambassador or chief executive officer arrives late for an interview, because the delay provides time “to just sit and think”—something he urges readers to do. Not a terribly profound insight, but a good reminder for the overcommitted.