Read a Book! – There is always the near-perfect book to read, whatever you are dealing with
Read a book.
Seriously, read a book.
Read a book slowly; thoughtfully; carefully. With an open mind. With a hunger to learn.
My blog, and my book events the First Friday Book Synopsis and the Urban Engagement Book Club, are events where I present synopses of good, useful, best-selling books on business issues, and issues of social justice. My synopses are thorough; they provide many of the key lessons and principles from the books I present.
But, of course, nothing is as useful as reading a book for yourself.
I am often asked “what is the best book to read on the issue of _________?” Most of the time, I have a good, solid, useful recommendation; not always, but most of the time…
And, on issues that may matter even more deeply to people in the midst of special challenges, seemingly every week, I recommend a book to people to read to help them in the circumstances they face.
In recent weeks, I have recommended:
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon to someone who has a family member dealing with depression.
How To Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams, Harold Bloomfield, and Melba Colgrove, to someone going through a painful divorce. (Note: I have given away many, many copies of this book to people in moment of loss).
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, to someone going through a difficult (and unexpected) career transition.
Yes, a listening, empathetic ear is really good to offer. And, yes, coaching and advice are good to offer in the midst of conversation, or “official” coaching sessions.
But when the conversation or session is over, and the person is left with their own thoughts and challenges and struggles, maybe a good book is exactly what they need. They open it, read a few paragraphs, stop and think and ponder, and work through their issues for themselves.
Now, admittedly, I am partial to the “read a book” approach. Because, throughout my life, books have helped me in so many ways. I learned to speak better by reading books; actually, books on homiletics during my preaching days. I learned to manage my time better by reading a few good books. I learned to understand life, and cope with life a little better, by reading books like Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. (Peck helped me with more than one of his books). I could keep going in this paragraph…
So, my default is to say to others “read this book.”
What are you reading to help you in your life pursuits, and issues, and struggles?
Read a book!
And then, read more books!
Here are a number of my blog posts with lists of books dealing with specific issues.
Five+ Categories – 28 Books – A Whole Lot of Learning | First Friday Book Synopsis
The Essential Baker’s Dozen – 12 (OK – 13) Books to Read to set yourself up for more success in business and in life, in 2021; and beyond | First Friday Book Synopsis
A More Comprehensive Reading list for leaders – So many good books; so much to learn | First Friday Book Synopsis
Seven Books that Might be Helpful in Your Moments of Difficulty – (Plus, an eighth recommendation, just because…) | First Friday Book Synopsis
Big Picture Books; Narrow Focus Books – Maybe we need both | First Friday Book Synopsis
The Future is Coming, and We Are Not Ready – a reading list: here are some books that might help us get ready | First Friday Book Synopsis
You should read these 30 books – Book Suggestions from Randy Mayeux of the First Friday Book Synopsis (ok – 30, + a few) | First Friday Book Synopsis