Saturday, August 01, 2009

Summer Reading

What are YOU reading this Summer? I've just finished a couple books and am ready for some interesting recommendations.

My recent reading has maybe been a little unusual for me–focused through the lens of my job hunt . . . but I've found these two books fascinating nonetheless and would highly recommend them, whether you are job hunting (or even working) or not.

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel Pink

Whether you are part of the working world or not, all right-brainers should read this book, if only to be able to articulate to the left-brainers of the world the importance of our special way of seeing and doing.

Daniel Pink's book is written in the context of the modern western world of abundance where many of the things we do can be done cheaper by someone overseas or done faster by a computer.

I was a little taken aback to see a reference to the phrase "high-touch" . . . something I have been saying forever to explain how the fiber art I practice balance the high tech work I do in my personal life, but something I have never seen used anywhere else. It made me smile . . . like a lot of things I read and wholeheartedly believed or agreed with in the book.

StrengthsFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath
This one comes with an online test in which you discover your top 5 strengths, so you know I was going to love it . . . and I did. This book is the updated version of a very popular title, Now, Discover Your Strengths, which spent a lot on the New York Times Bestsellers list and made the rounds through large corporations and small companies a few years ago. I found it an interesting, quick read and I couldn't disagree with my results. A friend hooked me up with an excellent coach who interpreted my results and explained how they worked together and what that meant, how common (or not) they were, individually and in combination. It was fascinating . . . I know, I already said that, but I thought it was worth repeating. The information definitely correlated with the jobs I loved and the ones I didn't love so much . . . there were definitely some "a ha" moments during the discussion with the coach.

So . . . after these two introspective volumes, I'm ready for some just plain fun. A light-hearted mystery maybe? A travel book . . . since I won't have any vacation time for a while? What are you reading? What would you recommend?


lj_cox said...

Sitting on the desk nearby:

Tanya Huff, The Enchantment Emporium; this one's one of the urban fantasy genre (magic exists in the real world, usually hidden) I like most of her stuff, not all of it is urban fantasy. All of it is enjoyable reading, on the light side, usually with sprinkles of humor.

Laurie King, The Language of Bees. I like everything she writes, this one is the latest of her Sherlock Holmes pastiches. If you are a Holmes purist don't bother, these books are about the woman who becomes his partner after he retires from Baker Street. If you are interested these are best read in order, start with The Beekeepers Apprentice. She also does modern mysteries and a WWII era stand-alone.

Osa Johnson, I Married Adventure, an autobiography of Osa and Martin Johnson, documentary film makers in the 1920's and 30's.. fascinating reading, they were the first people to film wildlife in its natural habitat in Africa.

Patricia Wrede, Thirteenth Child; light fantasy of the western expansion with magic. I like most of what she writes, easy charming reads.

Lois McMaster Bujold, anything. Best read in order, she's got science fiction series, high fantasy series, and low fantasy series. Start with The Warriors Apprentice for the SF, The Curse of Chalion for the high fantasy, and Beguiling for the low fantasy.

Barbara C said...

I'm re-reading Mary McCarthy's early 60s novel The Group, about young women who graduate from Vassar in 1932. It's a great read with a lot of detail about women's lives and social mores in the 30s. I read this years ago, and though I remember parts of the story, I hadn't remembered how good the writing is.

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