Ten books I loved in 2015 (and you might too)

10 books I loved in 2015

I’ve been reading so many good books lately and have been meaning to share them with you.  (I’ve also read duds, and a mix of love and dislike, as you’ll see in my other list of 17 that didn’t make the “love cut” below.) I hope you find the following useful for gifts to others or … yourself.* It’s really a windy and sundry path of books discovered through random podcasts, reviews, word(s)-of-mouth, and Wikipedia searches gone disturbingly deep and tangential.   Ten books (I loved) in 2015 I loved the following books. I’ve included my short book “reaction” and … Keep goin’

Book review: Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed

I really did not need this book. I’d decided not to have kids more than a decade ago. Increasingly, though, I’d been feeling isolated in this choice that so few seem to make with such determination. Am I just a freak? Most possibly. I searched online and read mostly sorry excuses in articles where women explained they decided to be child-free so they could buy a sports car (yikes!) or insisted they love babies and it’s just not for me. Wimpy. So I was glad to come across this collection of essays from women (and two men! bonus!) who made … Keep goin’

Although of course you end up becoming yourself (book reaction)

I’ll admit it: He’s gone by choice, which makes his thoughts more interesting to me. Let’s get that out of the way. Beyond the intrigue of understanding a person who chooses to end his own life, and the being-human fascination of finding clues in his writing or interviews, and the knowledge that there are no words beyond those he’s left, David Foster Wallace is interesting because he was a damned rewarding thinker to process. So I was surprised when I discovered I liked him less after reading Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky’s transcription of their time together in 1996 at … Keep goin’

Without you, there is no us

without you there is no us

We are watching you I reserved a copy of Suki Kim’s latest book, Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, based on my interest and curiosity about a nation I knew little about beyond its secrecy and closed doors.  Like anything peripherally familiar, adding knowledge brings the realization of how little you *really* knew. Suki Kim did not just write a book about her time “with the sons of North Korea’s elite.”   She carried you along on her trip to the stark institutional prison-like setting, let you taste the “cloudy porridge” and … Keep goin’

Book tour: In search of contemporary European authors

Kazantzakis

In addition to touring musically I plan to read one book by an author from each country we’re touring through for our 2015 EU tour.   Contemporary authors in Europe It’s easy to guess why this is of interest – rather than just passing through a culture, reading its authors allows me to jump into its rivers (with bathing suit), walk along its twisted canals, talk to its people, and climb on historic hillsides with a few more guideposts. Preferably grumpy misanthropic guideposts.  Which brings me to… Here’s a few things I’m hoping for in each author: Contemporary (mid-20th or … Keep goin’

It’s easy to stand

Milan Kundera

…when everyone else is standing. But I’ll get into that momentarily.  For now – I just finished another excellent book by Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.  Calling it a book seems crude somehow, for in these pages Kundera no less than invites you to dive into the fundamental workings of society at large and humanity in the specific. Aphorisms glide from character to paragraph, and beyond recognition there is an understanding that articulates itself so fluidly you hardly notice since you agree so enthusiastically. Kundera is one of about three or four authors that makes me feel … Keep goin’

How to make better decisions, tip #2/3

Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work

Explore how to make better decisions using the tools and principles shared in Dan and Chip Heath’s book Decisive.  This is the second of three installments, where I share tip #2: Playing the role (implementation). Read act one here. Number two tool to make decisions? Play the role (no acting experience necessary). Once you have made your decision predictions using nothing other than your fake friends and wild imagination, it’s time to test them out a little before investing too much. Here are a few of my favorite ways to change “either/or” into “and,” thus both “widening your options” and … Keep goin’

Book mention: Millionaire Teacher

millionaire teacher build bucks

Short on time? Skip Millionaire Teacher and learn the one tip to build bucks here.   A book review should be a thorough investigation of the contents of a published book.  This is not that.  You can read that here.  I don’t think you need to, though. If I were a rich (wo)man… I’m not one interested in getting rich. I really do not want to be a millionaire. It is a huge turnoff to hear the diatribes of various “get rich” schemes proffered by various overly-enthusiastic “rich” people posing at sunny beaches.  My main goal (mission) is and will … Keep goin’

How to make better decisions, tip #1/3

Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work

Explore how to make better decisions using the tools and principles shared in Dan and Chip Heath’s book Decisive.  This is the first of three installments, where I share tip #1: role playing, in three acts. Enjoy! Number one tool to make decisions? Prepare the role.  But not the kind you might think. Syba, or, Nana Dogishva But first, a little disclosure preamble about my horrible decision-making tactics Bossy, yes. I’ll be bossy in a second. But when it comes to strategic decisions? I’m a wishy-washy mess. I knew there was an unrepairable defect in my construction. This defect, though … Keep goin’