Do No Harm

donoharmWe have achieved most as surgeons when our patients recover completely and forget us completely.

^^ Henry Marsh

I was really interested in this one with my family’s history of brain surgery in particular. The stories did not disappoint — all super interesting and very inside baseball. Dr. Marsh’s outlook didn’t quite resonate as strongly with me, which is to take nothing away from the cool stories here.

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Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity

ignore-everydobyPut the hours in, do it for long enough, and magical, life-transforming things happen eventually.

^^ Hugh MacLeod

This is a pretty smooth and direct inspirational book for anyone looking for a creative burst. The ground-breaking bits for me were the reminders about getting work done and on taking advice from others (Hugh’s advice on advice: don’t take it). A couple nuggets and gems below.
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A Framework for Understanding Poverty

understanding povertyBeing in poverty is rarely about a lack of intelligence or ability.

^^ This!

I’ve never thought enough about poverty — what it’s like for people, how they get there, how they get out —  so I’m grateful for the lessons in this book and how they’ve opened my eyes to the challenges of poverty.

Loved: The sections on hidden rules, “could you survive in poverty,” and the amazing empathy and perspective shared for those who are in poverty.

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We Are All Weird

we-are-all-weirdWe don’t like the advertising that’s not for us, not about us, not interesting to us. But talk to me, directly to me, about something relevant and personal, and I love you for it.

^^ Seth Godin

I might need to make it a personal calendar appt to read a Godin book every six months. Poke the Box was great, this one’s rad, too.

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Positive Discipline A to Z

Positive Discipline A to ZMaking sure the message of love gets through is the greatest gift you can give your children.

^^ Positive Discipline

This is the parenting style that we’ve chosen to raise our son, and we are completely and totally sold out for it. The quote above really says it all: “Making sure the message of love gets through.” This book in particular is about specific solutions to common parenting problems and how to approach them from a positive discipline mindset. Super helpful and actionable. (If you’re new to Positive Discipline, I’d recommend starting here.)

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Several Short Sentences About Writing

several short sentencesEverything you notice is important.

Let me say that a different way: If you notice something, it’s because it’s important.

^^ Verlyn Klinkenborg

I’ll read just about any writing book I can, and I tend to have a pretty short list of ones I find worth marking up. In Several Short Sentences, the several short sentences are a very literal thing as the way Verlyn Klinkenborg writes breaks up sentences into their own line and there’re no chapters to speak of in the book. It was a fun read, and I found plenty of good takeaways and encouragements here to heartily recommend giving this one a look.

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The Decision Maker

The decision maker“And we’re not the only people at this company who have something important at stake,” Tom went on. “For us, it’s a big financial investment—because we happen to be in a position to invest financially. But everyone else in the company is invested, too. Their jobs and their livelihoods are on the line when a decision like this gets made. And in some cases, those jobs might matter even more to them than our investment does to us. Why shouldn’t they get some say in a decision at this level?”

^^ Dennis Bakke

I would have loved to read about the ideas in The Decision Maker when I was in college, choosing a career path, getting started looking for jobs. It’s such a powerful paradigm: the idea that people can be trusted to make good decisions, that not everything has to be given as orders in a top-down hierarchy. Dennis Bakke wrote the book as an allegory, so it’s easy to see exactly how this type of business can run. Great, insightful read on the future of work.

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Odd Type Writers

Odd Type WritersThe faster I write, the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.

^^ Raymond Chandler

It’s so interesting to learn how other people get work done—particularly, for me, writers of all kinds. This collection of the writing styles of great authors is full of good tidbits, and I came away with such a great feeling of community with these folks—and a desire to be friends with Franz Kafka!

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Stitches: How to Recover

stitches anne lamottThe gift of grief is incalculable, in giving you back to yourself.

^^ Anne Lamott

I found this book (or this book found me) at a serendipitous time, as I was going through grief and Anne Lamott just happened to be writing about it. Everything here is spot on and timely, for anyone in the volcano — and probably anyone looking on.

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Seven Sacred Pauses

Seven Sacred PausesWe all have to get up in the morning and move through the day with as much grace as we can gather. Why not make this pilgrimage through the day with a heart for one another, pausing throughout the day whether this be for two, five, or ten minutes?

So the idea is to take these seven times (below) and pause to reflect and pray, to think of others, to be mindful of one’s self—even if only for a minute or two each time.

  1. midnight
  2. dawn
  3. midmorning
  4. midday
  5. midafternoon
  6. evening
  7. night

Interesting, right? The book is a neat run-down of the 7 Sacred Pauses idea and its history (very old-church liturgical), as well as little snippets, quotes, and prayers that you can say or read at each of the seven times of day.

Really great book with something for everyone: some really beautiful prayers if you don’t choose to take up the pauses, or an awesome blueprint for incorporating the pauses into your daily routine.

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