Saturday, November 29, 2014


Been reading a good bit lately. A few of the highlights:

  • After finishing Simon Sinek's Start With Why, I moved on to his Leaders Eat Last. This is a better book than the first. There's more meat to it, and I found myself underlining more passages. Sinek's is a people-first management style - leaders take care of their people, and the rest of the business takes care of itself.
  • You can see that Sinek's philosophy echoes that of Max DePree in Leadership is an Art, first published in 1989. DePree instructs his reader to ask the right questions about a business so as to clarify identity and true objectives. He also contends that all businesses are truly in the people business. (DePree's book is famous, widely read, and I agree with much of what he wrote wholeheartedly. The problem then becomes - if we all agree this is the ideal, why do so few business actually operate on a people-first model? I'm going to have to find a few people to have that conversation with.)
  • A girl I worked with once has written and published a novel! It's called The Story of Land and Sea. It's a beautiful, glimmering book that tells the story of a Carolina family during the Revolutionary War and the years after. In some ways, the story is very much about women - young Helen, who falls in love with an ex-pirate-turned-soldier; her daughter, Tabitha, who yearns for adventure on the open water; Moll, a slave girl given to Helen as a birthday present. It's also very much about loss. Happiness is fleeting for all of the characters, none moreso than the female ones. This is not a happy book, but it's delicately and beautifully written.
  • My favorite book of the ones I've read recently is All the Light We Cannot See. Though the book is set in Europe before, during and after World War II, this book is really more about wanting something more for one's life and knowing oneself than it is about the war. The two main characters are Marie Laure, a young, blind girl whose father is the locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Werner is a young German orphan obsessed with science and mechanics. The reader follows their paths as war tears the fabric of the world, knowing all along that at some point, they will meet. They do, and it's wonderful. I love the economy of author Anthony Doerr's prose. There's not a word wasted, but the novel is lushly descriptive. Loved, loved, loved this book.
  • And then, just to keep things fun, I read Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. This was a hoot! I enjoyed getting to know Harris better, and I thought the gimmick of the book was a fun throwback to my own childhood. Worth picking up for a fun read; this book would be legend - wait for it - ary as a beach read.

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