Sunday, July 20, 2014

Three-sentence book reviews

Playing catch-up on some of the books I've been reading. Below are some quick reviews:

1.) The Night Circus is magical and sensory. This book is one of the absolute favorites I've been lucky enough to pick up lately. Author Erin Morgenstern creates a lush world full of stories that will stay with you.

2.) Resonate is a communications tome by Nancy Duarte on putting together impactful presentations. Duarte's book helps you understand the structure of speeches and offers devices to hook viewers. It was so good that I'm moving on to her Slideology next.

3.) One Thousand Gifts is a book about spirituality and thankfulness. Sue Voskamp has reintroduced me, in some ways, to the God I'm excited about knowing. She has a knack for uncovering the constant conversation between us and God through all the little, everyday blessings we often fail to notice.

4.) The End of Your Life Book Club. Moving and intellectual, this book gave me tons of other titles for my reading list. It's a poignant story about sons and mothers and facing mortality with strength. It's also a love letter to reading, which is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.

5.) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a funny beach read by writer/comedian Mindy Kaling. She has a strong voice and an easy to digest style. This book is perfect for planes and vacations.

6.) The Cleft. Nobel prize winner for literature by Doris Lessing, this book is an alternative human origin story. This was a plodding mess, and it turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. My advice is avoid, avoid, avoid.

7.) The Stone Diaries is a wonderful, far-flung novel that traces the "ordinary" life of Daisy Goodwill Flett. Winner of the Pulitzer, the book examines all of the little ways our lives hold meaning through a variety of ensemble characters. No life is truly ordinary, is it?

8.) The Corrections. Focusing on a small Midwestern family, this book starts out slow but gains steam/pulls story lines together as it progresses. It's a well-written commentary on modern family life, changing societal expectations and human habit. By Jonathan Franzen, this was the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

9.) I found Start With Why through a communications colleague. Like many business books, it could stand to lose 50-75 pages, but I like the basic premise. Author Simon Sinek is a bit Polyanna-ish about business success, but luckily for him, so am I.

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