Book Reviews

ThriveThrive by Arianna Huffington

The Third Metric to Redifining success & Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.

I have a lot of respect for Ariana Huffington & follow all versions of Huff Post online. So, I was thrilled to receive this book as a gift from a client that I also highly respect.  Both strong, successful women, striving to balance and thrive in this life.

I was not surprised to find that Arianna is a gifted writer.  That was demonstrated on the many occasions that she changed the subject in a heartbeat … and somehow it all seemed to flow with grace and wisdom.

She tells stories of her family life … connecting us to the message.  That is a gift she shares.  I can visualize her childhood in Athens, and the household that she describes with her mother, generous in heart and spirit.

It’s not as though the benefits of exercise, walking in nature, yoga, mediation and philanthropy have not been advocated before. But somehow, coming from Arianna, it’s different.  It’s so beautiful how this well educated, intelligent, successful, cooperate woman is bringing this wisdom to the masses.  So different from a hippie, or gypsy girl 🙂

After all, don’t we all need to be reminded (some of us repeatedly) or maybe guided down the path of wellness? Breaking down the barriers & stereotypes of who should meditate and what it means if you do … this is a gift to society.

This book will be inspiring to earthy crunchy types as much as cooperate executives.  We can all relate to the how technology has become such a huge part of our daily life and interactions.

This is a book I am thankful to have been gifted … I intend to gift it myself again, and again.

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Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

Steal like an Artist. The inspiring guide to creativity in the digital age.

When I saw the display at Townie Books, it was the title that drew me in, and the size.

I like the idea of a list, you know, points that you can take or leave, but a definite number of things that you can expect to take away from your reading – wisdom to absorb.

In this book it’s the “10 things nobody told you about being creative.” He says– “this book is for you, whoever you are, whatever you make.” And I agree – it is also relevant for any age – we can all take something from this gem.

It’s funny. Brief, well laid out and thought out. While it doesn’t have a lot of meat to it, it doesn’t need to and he obviously did his research. It takes just a couple of hours to read the entire thing (maybe twice). Snippets of inspiration abound.

Transformative? Maybe if you take the advice to heart and really apply the ideas. Most importantly it gives you a little boost for creative license and says just go ahead and do it! Steal ideas and make them your own, it’s OK.

His style of  writing  is laid back  and resonates well on that level. From his personal stories to the realization that:

“You don’t have to live anywhere other than the place you are to start connecting to the world you want to be in.”

Right on brother, say it again!

I especially like #9 Be Boring (it’s the only way to get work done). Many of us are seriously overbooked, over – I have to go to this party, that meeting. I have to pick up my kids from this and that. Sometimes – you’ve got to say NO – can’t come. Need some time…to … get creative? Get the juices flowing and think outside the box. You might have to be boring to give yourself this gift but you will be happy that you are one boring person.

I am also a big fan of this advice:

“Don’t make excuses for not working—make things with the time, space and materials you have, right now.”

Absolutely!

In the end you take what you can from this list and go do it.

You can pick yourself up a copy or gift it to your aspiring artist family member, friend, colleague. Read it 1st – it won’t take very long, but I’m keeping my copy for when I need some creative inspiration.

Wild.2Wild by Cheryl Strayed

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

This wildly critically acclaimed memoir about a young woman’s adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail was written by Cheryl Strayed … I love how she chose her name … that part of her story was hilarious and powerful. Upon discussing this book with a group of women who happen to be Hikers, Skiers, Moms, Business Women, Wives, lots of diverse opinions came to surface. It was a very interesting and engaging conversation. Some felt very strongly that she was so unprepared for her hiking adventure that she had no right to be on the trail, let alone write about it. There were feelings the she wallowed and whined too much about everything, death, divorce, betrayal, drugs. Some thought her wild nights and flings were absurd, and while there’s something to be said for that, this is Cheryl’s story.

That’s what I liked most about it. This was just her story and she happens to be a great writer. Witty and Sarcastic and real. She laid it out there – and Yes, a large part of it takes place on the PCT, but her life weaves in and out of her journey on the trail. Her PCT journey appears to honestly represents her personality.

She does a brilliant job of bringing you into the moment, whether on the trail, at a bar, at her mom’s home or in a lodge. She took us back to the time when Jerry Garcia died, I remember it well and couldn’t help but be transported to where I was back then, a Peace Corps Volunteer in a tiny African village.

I thought it was bold of her to make the choice to do the PCT, to pick up her life and change it, to hike, to write about it to share all the details that led up to it. All. Of. It. And some of it is not very pretty.

Wild has won Best Non Fiction book of 2012, and Best Book of the Year awards. It’s now available in Paperback.

 

 

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