Tag Archives: Books

What are you reading?

         

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle, Robyn Scott’s memoir about growing up in Botswana, is my book club’s April selection.  While I’m enjoying her vivid descriptions of daily life, I wish there was more of a narrative arc to keep the story moving along and to hold my interest.  I’m only halfway through, so we’ll see if that resolves itself.

Tina Fey’s Bossypants is unsurprisingly hilarious, but I am also enjoying her honest insight on women, careers and motherhood.  This is a fun read and has had me in laughing out loud more than once.

I’m also reading Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. When taking an evening stroll, do you mentally evaluate each house you pass for how secure it will be in the zombie apocalypse ?  No?  Just me?  Okay then.

On the blog front, I’ve recently discovered The Financial Diet from Chelsea Fagan.  “When you become smarter about money, everything gets better.” – so true.  The Minimalist Pixie Dream Girl: Who She Is And Why I Hate Her and Financially-Sponsored People Need To Be Honest About Their Shit are two good posts.

Also, Permission to Kick Ass: Granted is a must-read from Pamela Wilson.

 

How about you?  What are you reading right now?  Please share in the comments.


P.S. Are we Twitter friends yet?  Find me @TheMgmtMaven

 

This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.

What are you listening to?

what are you listening to

Tom Godber via Flickr

I’m really into podcasts right now.  I listen while I’m alone cooking dinner or folding clothes (the pseudo-downtime of a Mom).  On days I don’t seem to have time to read, these help keep my brain happy:

The Fizzle Show
A “podcast for creative entrepreneurs and honest business builders”, this is basically three smart dudes shooting the shit for an hour.  It may not seem like it at first, but there is a lot of great business information packed into each episode.  This Q&A episode has good insights into making the most of your job early on.

Being Boss
This newish podcast from two Lady Bosses is also targeted at creative entrepreneurs.  I like the conversational style and insight into how these business owners get it all done.  This episode offers some nice perspective on being a working Mom.

Books on the Nightstand
This weekly podcast is a great source of print and audiobook recommendations, as well as “a behind-the-scenes look at the world of books, bookstores and publishing”.  I usually add at least one book to my reading list after each episode.  This episode is particularly interesting if you’re curious about a career in publishing.

The Portfolio Life
This is “the show that helps you pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art and discover your true voice.”  Primarily focused on writing, this podcast explores how we shift from having a single career to creating body of work.  This interview with Seth Godin is good.

How about you? What are you listening to these days?

 


P.S. Here are three Books on the Nightstand recommendations that I’ve read recently and thought were excellent:

     


P.P.S. Are we Twitter friends yet? Find me @TheMgmtMaven

 

This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.

Photo by Tom Godber via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

 

A Scandinavian Dream: My Winter Reading List

winter sunset

Mosier, OR

I’m determined to fight the winter blues this year and to help me follow through on my  ideas for staying happy, I’ve added a few things to my winter reading list:

           

Denmark is often cited as the world’s happiest nation, but “though we wear their sweaters and read their thrillers, how much do we really know about the Danes themselves?”  I’m about halfway through How To Be Danish and am finding this quick introduction pretty fascinating.

Walking is my outdoor activity of choice but I need a lot of motivation in the winter.  So I’ve added two books on the subject that will hopefully inspire me:

In On Looking, the author takes a series of eleven walks around her neighborhood, each with a different expert, to see how her perspective changes with each.

The Joys of Walking is an anthology of twelve essays from a variety of distinguished writers, including Dickens and Thoreau.  (Thoreau’s essay is currently a free Kindle book on Amazon.)

                 

I love browsing through a beautifully illustrated cookbook and the Scandilicious books from food anthropologist Signe Johansen should set just the right mood this winter.

In her follow-up to The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin focuses on “feeling more at home, at home”.  With monthly projects for making the home more warm, comfortable and loving, I think I’ll dip back into Happier at Home throughout the winter.

And finally, I love a good slow-burn crime thriller, so I’m adding the first of the famous Kurt Wallander mysteries to my list.

 

Books aside, I think winter is the best time for curling up in front of the television for a good series binge.  I’m a big fan of the American versions of The Killing and The Bridge, so I’m looking forward to watching the Nordic originals, Forbrydelsen and Bron/Broen.

And, for a quick pick-me-up, I recently stumbled upon the design blog Design Attractor.  So lovely on a dreary day.

 

How about you?  Any Scandinavian-themed reading recommendations?

 

(This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.)

 

Fiction with a business bent.

library

Patrik Goethe via Unsplash

Are you a business book junkie?  I am.  And over the past few years, I’ve seen my reading list become more and more weighted towards non-fiction.  With limited reading time, it just feels like I get more intellectual bang for my buck with fact-based works.

So Rohit Bhargava’s thoughts on why reading fiction is better for your business were a nice reminder for me: taking time for a wider range of reading material enhances your creativity, stimulates your intellectual curiosity and changes your perspective.

Following Bhargava’s lead, here are my own recommendations for powerful fiction with a bit of a business bent.

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – This literary classic is a must-read story of greed, money and ambition in the 1920’s. Gatsby is the iconic American entrepreneur, a self-made man blinded by love and the pursuit of wealth.

 

 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – The tragic portrait of a couple unable to reconcile their real lives with the lives of their dreams. Trapped in jobs they never particularly wanted – The Housewife, The Company Man – they struggle against their suburban and corporate conformity. Not exactly light reading, this.

 

 

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho – On a brighter note, this allegorical story of a young shepherd’s search for his Personal Legend presents the value of being open to learning, to trying new experiences and to finding meaningful work.

 

 

 

And I’ve said before that AMC’s Mad Men has a wealth of business insights mixed in with all the drama, so here are three fun Mad Men related titles that I’m putting on my Christmas list.

         

 

(This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.)

 

What I’m reading…

Summer Reading
Today my husband took the morning shift with The Boy and I got a blissful 30 minutes with my coffee and the NYT Book Review Summer Reading guide.  Heaven!

Currently reading:

      Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managers

I picked up Blood River by Tim Butcher after watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and realizing I truly knew nothing about The Congo.  A fascinating read so far.

(Coincidentally, Butcher’s The Trigger is also featured in the NYTBR Summer Reading.)

I’m also loving Tamara Murray’s practical approach to management in Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managers.

For book club:

A “spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography”?  Yes, please.

From the NYT Book Review:

    

The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah sounds deliciously creepy.  I enjoyed Hannah’s Little Face, so I’m looking forward to some unexpected twists from this one.

I love my Victorians and Slow Train to Switzerland by Diccon Bewes follows a group of English tourists on a hiking excursion in 1863.  Awesome.

And keepin’ it real:

How about you?  What’s on your reading list?


P.S.  Are we Twitter friends yet?  Follow me @TheMgmtMaven

 

This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.