What I'm Reading and Listening To, Right Now...Jul 07, 2021
I love to read. You may have seen my posts, listing my favorite books each year. (Here's the latest one from 2020). Even though we are only halfway through the year, I thought I'd let you know what I've been reading this year -- and listening to.
I always have three books in process: one on audible, usually a memoir or biography; one fun read, usually contemporary fiction or murder mystery from some of my favorite authors; and one business-related book, often for personal development.
For the fun read, I have a few friends whose recommendations I can trust to be something I would enjoy as well. Often, they are from their book clubs, and some of them are writers or have worked within the publishing industry, so they tend to have some great insights into what's coming and what's best. From time to time, I've thought about joining a book club, but never seem to find the motivation to follow through. I've also thought about starting my own or making it part of my monthly membership community as an add on.
Over the years, I've had lots of requests for the best book to read on various subjects, especially from those who know how much I read (on or close to an average book per week).
For audible, I just finished His Very Best, the recent biography of Jimmy Carter by Jonathan Alter. Just over 26 hours of listening. Even though I lived through the Carter presidency, I didn't know or remember that much about him. Carter has often been referred to as a better former president than he was a president. He and his wife Rosalynn, who have been married for 75 years, have made quite a team and quite an impact with their global efforts at eradicating diseases and building homes. Jimmy Carter raised the profile of Habitat for Humanity in a big way. He also made some long-lasting contributions in the field of human rights and was an early advocate for alternative power sources. This book can be a bit dry, but the history is interesting and surprising in many ways.
Now, I've started on My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. As a student of the Supreme Court, and a big fan of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I thought it would be good for me to learn about Sotomayor's life leading up to becoming a judge. I'm certain there will be another memoir at some point to cover her years on the Federal bench and at the Supreme Court. Her perspective on how that Court has evolved in recent years would be fascinating.
My recent business read, Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, by Peggy Klaus, was recommended by a colleague. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to do a better job of talking about their value without sounding full of themselves. I especially recommend it to women; in my experience, women have a much harder time taking credit for their achievements and promoting themselves to others. This book is full of practical advice on how to do that effectively. I wish I had read it years ago.
In progress now is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss, one of the preeminent and practitioners of negotiating skills in the world. The stories in this book are fascinating and the tools he teaches are valuable to know and use in any human interactions. This too, was recommended to me by a business coach who recommends this to all her clients.
And now, for fun. Well, sort of. I'm reading a book that is much heavier than my typical summer read. The Overstory, by Richard Powers, won the Pulitzer Prize. Barack Obama recommended it for his summer reading list. It's a series of stories that, so far, are unrelated, but for the fact that each of them involves the storyteller's relationship with trees or a tree. In each case, trees represent an important symbol in the person's life. For me, it's slow going, but I am determined to stick with it.
If you are interested in something lighter, I recommend The Music of Bees, by Eileen Garvin. This is a beautiful story of people who come together to form a family of sorts, revolving around one character who is a beekeeper. Besides the lovely story, you will learn a lot about honeybees and, perhaps, garner a new level of respect for them, as I did.
OK, that's my current list. And, of course, I'd love to hear your recommendations. What have you read recently that I should add to my library?
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