Saturday, October 27, 2018

Lessons Learned & Family Drama

Hey, here are some great books I read.

Speechless by Adam Schmitt was an intriguing J Read. Jimmy's cousin Patrick has tragically died, and he's been asked to deliver the eulogy. Here's the deal though y'all - Jimmy is 13, and his cousin is a total jerk. I'll own that the premise of this one was one I was initially a bit unsure of. What teenager would be put in this situation? However, as the story went, I really liked this as the vehicle to understand the complexities of teenage feelings and family relationships. Throughout, Jimmy reflects to try to figure out just what to say. In addition, he's managing the variety of emotions that show up at Patrick's wake with different folks. In the end, Jimmy finds his voice in a very unexpected way. Looking at this as a J read, I think it would give kids lots to consider about how to understand and relate to those people in our lives who we don't always connect with well. This was yet another book I was able to check out thanks to NetGalley, and it's one that will make you think. It's worth checking out when it's released in November.

Read this book if - You want a book that looks at the complicated relationships in our lives in a different way. You want a honest look at what it's like to navigate grief and frustration at the same time told from a kid's perspective.

Can You Hear Me? How to Connect with People in a Virtual World by Nick Morgan is an upcoming release from the Harvard Business Review (Thanks for the sneak peek NetGalley!) This was a dissection of different types of technology. First, there was an exploration of the potential hazards and issues of each type. Then, there were suggestions of what could be done to make each of these more engaging and more like a "real life" meeting. As someone who works remotely and leans on technology, this was a super interesting and helpful read on how to better leverage the ways I have to communicate. I really appreciated the advice on how to better integrate emotion into these technologies because so often that's what can be lost in these relationships. Honestly, if you're using technology to communicate, this is a must-read as there's some definite worthwhile nuggets for conference calls, webinars, video calls, etc.

Read this book if - You are interacting with technology and humans in the work that you do in life. You want technology to help, not hinder your work.

To: The Ambitious, From: The Experienced: 26 Letters on Leadership by A. Jordan Fischette was a unique and easily digestible look at leadership. What I appreciated was that it explored leadership from so many angles. Each chapter was someone sharing a leadership lesson they'd learned along the way. What was especially great about this was that they weren't all from "business" or specific position titles. Rather these were the lessons that can come in everyday personal or professional experiences. Each reflection was written so authentically. I also appreciated that this was a short, quick read. It was a good burst of leadership energy as I was travelling, and it made me reflect on some of my own experiences, as well as glean some new perspective through the lessons shared. 

Read this book if - You want a short, yet informative and helpful read on leadership.

The Mother In Law by Sally Hepworth was a phenomenal read. Y'all, this one had so many twists and turns, but they happened in an emotional and completely unexpected way. This book focuses on the relationship between a mother in law and her daughter in law. The relationship is explored in alternating chapters told from both of their perspectives. The added dimension is it's told in both the past and present. The present involves the death of the mother in law that may be a suicide, however the story quickly reveals that the story is far more complex than this. It was so captivating to learn the secrets that these women (and others in the family) had from each other, as well as the lies that were being told. Having the varied perspectives and timing in chapters made a story that kept me reading. There were lots of feels as multiple perspectives of how things went down were revealed. This one doesn't come out until April of 2019 (another book I received thanks to NetGalley), and when it does, y'all are going to need to check this one out.

Read this book if - You want a story that explores the complicated nature of family relationships. You like stories that build suspense and emotion through multiple lenses.

Finally, with this quartet, I've set a new record for my annual books read. And AND, the year's not over!!