Welcome back! It has been a while and, although I haven't written in a while, I have continued reading. I am fortunate enough to have some really well-read, intelligent friends who suggested a couple of great reads.
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris
This immediately became one of my favorite books that I have read this year. Sedaris is a mastermind storyteller and in this book he takes ordinary life situations and tells them with animals as the main characters in several short stories. The writing is amazingly clever and approachable and, at times, hilariously crude. The author purposefully chooses certain animals that we have existing associations and pre-conceived notions of, which drives home the point of his stories all the more. Definitely check out this book!
The Elephant Keeper - Christopher Nicholson
I didn't love this book when I started it, while I was reading it, or even when I finished it, but a couple weeks after finishing, I like it the more I think about it. The story follows the relationship of a boy who looks after and takes care of two elephants in England set in the 18th century. Even when on the last page of the book, I wasn't sure what the point of the past 300 pages had been although the story is legitimately enjoyable to read. By the end of the book, the author does a impressive job of making you question everything you read, assumed, and believed about the story and implants a lot of doubt about the entire book - which I really like. It reminded me a lot of Life of Pi, although I think Yann Martel did a better job of storytelling and getting a similar point across.
Linchpins by Seth Godin
In a previous blog, I mentioned how I don't like self-help, motivational books that much, but I've had good luck with the past couple I have read so maybe my opinion is changing. This book talks about the importance of being irreplaceable in a job, organization, etc, changing your approach on how and where you look for a job, and re-inventing the idea of employment. I wish I had read this book a year ago coming out of graduate school, but believe the timing right now couldn't be better as I make the transition to Washington, DC and, hopefully, Denver within the next year. Several "sound bites" and catch phrases from the book are memorable and practical in any job you are in now and helping you transition to where you would really like to be. It is one of the better motivational books I have read and has certainly changed my thinking on my career. Thanks Fief!