Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I'm reading and listening to

I get asked all the time where I get my ideas, how I can write so many blog posts, and why I'm able to work intelligently across many sectors and topics. My secret weapon? Reading, something you'd think I wouldn't have time for.

Technically, I don't, but my mom could've told you that the kid who came to the dinner table with a book in her lap could figure this out. So these days, my Kindle Fire is with me whenever I know I'll have wait time, and I'm a big fan of audiobooks when I'm moving around, which might be during a workout, a walk, driving, or taking public transportation. The books I dive into are in addition to the podcasts and RSS feeds I follow...that's a longer list, for another day. Here's what I'm reading and listening to, book-wise, right now:
  1. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, by Guy Kawasaki. I'm looking forward to finding out what I've missed in my power usage. When a guide like this comes from someone as smart about the topic as Kawasaki, I am sure to learn.
  2. Poetry for the Winter Season is an audiobook staple for me in the dark months. If I'm going to be out in the cold, may as well have some poetic narration to lend perspective. These are the poems of many authors, with a variety of views.
  3. Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, by Katy Bowman. Bowman's a biomechanist I follow to figure out how to keep my body in shape, and she's got a compelling thesis here. I, of course, chose this in audiobook form to listen while walking and moving.
  4. The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life, by Rich Christiansen. This came highly recommended. As a business owner, setting goals and reaching them, despite obstacles in the path, is what it's all about.
  5. Men, Women and Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough, by Brene Brown. This is a short, two-hour audiobook, but extremely powerful, distilling the different ways men and women experience shame, embarrassment, and vulnerability. I've already put this to use in a blog post and in my speaker coaching.
  6. Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche and We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, both by Robert A. Johnson. As a coach--even a coach of public speakers--I can't get enough solid psychology reading. Johnson's classics are thoughtful, eloquent reads.
  7. Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, by Shaun Usher. Letters serve the same function as poems, giving you short, quickly digested inspiration and shots of wisdom. I took this one in ebook form so I can pretend to be reading real letters. Love this collection.
  8. Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing, by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD. Natterson-Horowitz and I worked together at TEDMED and her talk about what human medicine can learn from veterinary medicine prompted me to dive further into her work.
  9. Lincoln's Citadel: The Civil War In Washington, DC, by Kenneth J. Winkle, lets me explore the city where I live, from another time's perspective. I live close to one of Lincoln's residences here in Washington, and am eager to learn more.
  10. Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, by Sharon Salzberg. Mindfulness meditation keeps me calm and ready for action. I've heard a few interviews with Salzberg and am eager to see how she applies meditation to the workplace.
There's a special deal on if you want to go the audiobook route: You can get 2 free audiobooks when you try Audible. And if you're a Kindle owner, you'll appreciate the sync feature that lets you go between an ebook and an audiobook, always landing right where you left off.

Come to my pre-conference workshop at the Spring Speechwriters and Business Communicators Conference in Cambridge, UK, this April. What goes into a TED-quality talk will help speakers, speechwriters and conference organizers understand how to craft and deliver a talk in the style of TED, whether you're getting ready for a TEDx conference or just a presentation in this popular style. Go to this link  for more details on what's included, as well as a significant discount. The workshop is on 15 April, and the conference is 16-17 April. Please join me!

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