My 2019 reading is off to a good start! Fortunately, a lot of time in airports, planes, and long car drives to client sites affords me the opportunity to plow through some books. Unfortunately, for each book I cross off my reading list, I add another 2-3, but I won’t be able to keep this pace for the rest of the year. Nonetheless, here’s a recap of the books I’ve read (listened to) this quarter. There are some books worth reading here!
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
My neighborhood book club read this last year and really liked it. It started out slowly and was a bit glum, but I finished it anyway. A curmudgeon with suicidal thoughts. Suicide hits close to home for me and it’s not something I’m interested in reading about, but always start what you finish!
You are a Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero
I’ve read Jen Sincero’s other books, which are all light, quick reads about manifesting good things in your life. Like the others, this was a nice pick-me-up.
The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality by Mitch Horowitz
I’ve read a lot about manifesting good things in your life. I have no idea how this one ended up on my list, but I’m glad I read it. It’s a refreshing book about the power of positive thinking, leveraging metaphysics and other interesting things not typically covered in book like this.
Getting Service Right by Jeff Toister
One of my ICMI peers wrote a new book and asked me to read his manuscript, then write an endorsement. I did, and here it is “This book takes readers into the anatomy of good customer service. Jeff Toister offers relevant advice with great examples that will help reduce systemic service failures and transform the customer service experience.”
The Incomplete Book of Running by Peter Sagal
I wrote a separate blog post about this one because it was so great. Check it out!
Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hagar and Barbara Pierce Bush
Say what you will about former President Bush, but I’m a fan of his daughter, Jenna. She and her twin, Barbara wrote this that resonated with me especially because of the twin thing, the sister thing (I have 2) and because I’m a big fan of the Today Show. I also found her description of growing up in and around the White House fascinating and admire the relationship she had with her grandparents and her family’s art of letter writing.
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
I read one of Jenny Lawson’s books before and I LOL’ed throughout it. She is legitimately crazy. Some of the things she says and does are completely ridiculous, but it’s a light and funny read nonetheless.
From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein
One of my coworkers suggested this one and I was not disappointed. It’s all about a white house stenographer in her 20’s. She’s a runner and travels the world on Air Force One with other staffers, has plenty of adventures and some romantic interests. You’ll get a bit of everything with this one.
The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better by Greg Wells
Setting good habits sets you up for success. Your diet, sleep, exercise, mindset, and more all impact your work, fitness, family, and overall quality of life. These are things I already know and try to practice. Not a bad book, but don’t go out of your way to read it.
Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself by Aziz Gazipura
I’m trying to overcome my innate habit of trying to please other people and this book was spot on. It describes how to change some of habits and learn to not care what others think. I’ll probably listen to this one again at some point.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
This is the Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos story and it’s so well done. What an intriguing book about a highly motivated entrepreneur and the slippery slope of success. I highly recommend this one!
The Happy Runner: Love the Process, Get Faster, Run Longer by David Roche and Megan Roche
I read this as part of my Happy Running club’s book selection. It’s completely different than most other running books. I was intrigued because Michelle Roche was a former field hockey player turned runner – like me, but both on a much more serious scale. About half the book was physical training and the other half was focused on the mental side. I’m all for reading more on the mental side because that’s the area I need to improve the most. I’m not sure I’m going to get faster or run longer after reading this book, but I’m learning to love the process.
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
by Sarah Smarsh
This is an interesting memoir about a woman who grew up in poverty in Kansas and how that shaped her life and view of the future. Also gives great insight into what’s on the minds of the rural American voter. If you enjoyed “Educated” and “The Hillbilly Elegy”, this book is for you.
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss
A former FBI negotiator explains how to be a better negotiator. I am terrible at negotiating and expect that I’ll implement some of his principles (like the uncomfortable silence) into my next negotiation.
The Pants Of Perspective: One Woman’s 3,000 kilometre running adventure through the wilds of New Zealand by Anna McNuff
This is another Happy Running Book club pick. This was an entertaining read about a woman who doesn’t shy away from adventure and decided to trek across New Zealand. You’ll read all about her highs and lows. This book got me thinking about how boring and unadventurous my life really is.
How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
If you can overlook the paternalistic slant to this book, there are some good takeaways. This book was written in the 1940s and the author clearly spent most of his career in a man’s world. Times have changed, thankfully. When I could separate myself from the rampant paternalism, this guy had some interesting tips on how to sell that involved a lot of listening, taking initiative, and creative problem solving. It reminded me a little bit of principles introduced in The Challenger Sale.
The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After
by Julie Yip-Williams
I’ve already mentioned my admiration of Jenna Bush Hager. She has a book club and I’ve decided to participate. Not only is this a JBH book club pick, it’s also a Penguin Random House book (my parent company owns PRH). The writing in this book was poetic and absolutely beautiful even though it’s a story about a woman who was coming to terms with a terminal diagnosis and her own mortality. I recommended this to Kimberly, who enjoyed the book as well.