Off the Bookshelf: Book Reviews from January 2018

Book Reviews January 2018

Welcome to my first ever book review round-up. I am an avid reader and while I love a great fiction book, I find myself digging deep into self-help and business-related books lately. There are some real gems out there (and some duds) and I wanted a space to talk about and recommend the books I’m devouring each month.

This year, I’m committed to reading at least three books a month (preferably one fiction and two nonfiction–but that’s not a hard rule). To keep me accountable, I’ll be publishing a review of all my books I finished during the month on the last day of the month.

I hope you enjoy my reviews and anecdotes about what I’ve been reading. Let me know what books you decide to check out as a result!

The Compassion Code

by Laura Jack

I’ve always struggled with the right thing to say when others were hurting. I get nervous and end up saying exactly the wrong thing or, worse, start laughing at the most inappropriate times. It’s embarrassing. I’d had a conversation with the author of this book, Laura Jack, and was intrigued by the topic and her story.

This book goes well beyond the promise on its cover, also diving into having compassion for yourself and what not to say to someone who is grieving. Not only that, but it also gives some of the many definitions of grieving–which isn’t restricted to experiencing the death of a loved one. I resonated with some of the examples Laura gave throughout and learned how to talk to myself and others in a more compassionate way.

Everyone needs this book. Every parent, grandparent, son, daughter, friend, aunt, uncle, employer, etc. The wisdom Laura shares is something everyone can put to use in life every single day–and not simply when someone is in grief. It will help you not only recognize when someone in your life is not okay (even if they say they are), but it will also give you the tools and the words to help them.

The Great Connection

by Arnie Warren

I don’t remember where I heard about this book, but it was such a quick read it was worth picking up. It’s all about using others’ personality traits to connect and communicate with them more effectively.

This book delivers its message in a fairly predictable story format, making it easily digestible and easy to understand. It outlines four personality types and it was fun to identify the people in my own life who fit the different traits so I could learn how to communicate with them better. The main character was able to use his newfound knowledge to achieve personal and professional success–and then give back to someone important in his journey. A great read for building on the relationships in your personal and professional life.

Love Warrior

by Glennon Doyle

As one of Oprah’s book club selections, Love Warrior was an easy choice for me. I was amazed and inspired by all that the author shared of her life in this memoir, something that surely wasn’t easy for her to do.

Some of the personal details were, to be honest, a little uncomfortable for me to read. Glennon dives so deeply into her relationship with her husband and personal information that was his. I wonder about his involvement in the book and whether he had input on what was shared. I did love that she did her own work on herself in an effort to save her marriage. She found yoga, meditation and God and was able to recover from her addictions while healing her mind.

Spoiler alert: Though the book ends with a reconciliation between Glennon and her husband, they have since divorced and Glennon remarried. Absolutely no judgment here; just wanted to give the whole story.

The Coaching Habit

by Michael Bundgay Stanier

I chose this book because I coach some of my clients through writing their own content, but I also work directly with some coaches on their content. I wanted a bigger window into how they run their businesses. What I didn’t expect to find some questioning techniques that I could use on my teenager too–to help get her to open up more.

This book outlines seven different questions to use when coaching or managing people. These questions help us to connect to others more deeply and allow them to work through the problems–rather than solving the problems for them. The Kickstart Question helps us to open the conversation (rather than ask a simple yes/no question), the AWE Question goes even deeper (rather than just leaving the answer at face value) and the Focus Question hones in on the very specific challenge even more (rather than trying to solve the wrong problem). Of course, there are four more questions you can use when coaching (or talking to your teen), all of which I found very helpful.

This was a quick read and probably a must-read for anyone who coaches or manages. The downside is that you really have to put on that small business owner hat to understand how it applies to you as it’s meant for corporate executives.

What books are you loving right now? Feel free to share!

All links are affiliate links to the books I reviewed.