I am feeling thankful today for the writers and artists in the world. And I'm also thankful for books.
Here's a list of what I've read, what I'm currently reading and what I plan to read this summer--
TOP PICK for Parents--
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School Alexandra Robbins --- I just started reading this, but am tearing my way through (I have the eBook edition).
If you have kids, especially tweens-teenagers (5th-12th grade), I highly recommend this.
It discusses that the qualities that can make a child "unpopular" in middle school and high school are the qualities that make them a successful and strong adult. (BTW, unpopular kids in school included Bruce Springsteen, Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg -- though all I kept thinking when I read this was how I wished I went to Bruce Springsteen's high school...)
It looks at the different "types" of kids (through real observation of actual kids) exploring The Gamer, The Popular Bitch, The Weird Girl, The Loner, The Geek, The New Kid, and some others.
Anyway, I have a feeling I'll be finished with this in a couple of nights and will do a full review of it. So far, it's been hard to put down and is a great reminder how important it is to follow your own path & help your kids do the same (despite the high school/middle school push to conform to the beliefs/values/personalities of others).
Great Summer Read (hilarious)--
Bossypants by Tina Fey. I read the eBook extended version, which had extra photos & even a short audio file (which was kind of cool), but I bet this would have been hilarious in (Audio) because she narrates it.
For the Visionary-Wanna Bes--
Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible by Daniel Burrus - A pretty interesting book on how companies and people make the right choices because they know the difference between a hard trend & a soft trend, as well as other "triggers" that can help you see where the future is going.
The triggers he offers are smart (if you go to the Amazon page, the first review has a great summary of them). However, much of the book looks at the internet and towards the end, his own business, which for me, wasn't as interesting as when we were exploring the ways to get FlashForesight.
Also, while I'm a writer, I have also always been stronger in math and business (no fooling), so I do want to say since I know many of you who read this are more artisty, writerly types, there is a lot of talk about business, companies like Crocs, Starbucks, etc, and really, not too much discussion on the arts.
But I did find the idea of having Flash Foresight interesting in many aspects of our lives.
For those Looking for Calmness--
Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World by David Michie --
I'm listening to this book and it's a good listening voice because the author is English--the only weird thing about the audio edition is that every so often, it goes completely silent, there's this sort of stop/start element to it as if the recording studio didn't know how to manage pauses or editing. It doesn't really change the content of the book, just something I noticed.
The book is lovely though. I'm not sure someone who is well-versed in Buddhism would like it as much as it goes over the principles of Buddhism and the basics, but for me, it's an interesting account of how a London business man ended up adding Buddhism to his life.
And as an extra benefit, I've started meditating again. 10 minutes a day. Not much, but a start.
For the Poetry Lovers--
Dean Young's Fall Higher I haven't purchased this, but plan to very soon. He just had a poem on Poetry Daily you can read here.
Jeannine Hall Gailey's She Returns to the Floating World will be out this month! You can pre-order. I have had the pleasure of reading this book pre-release since Jeannine is a good friend of mine, and it was pretty incredible mixing Japanese folklore and myths with modern life.