Books I've read on my kindle (so far) this year

5 books & 5 authors

a small collection of books I’ve read so far in 2019

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As a kid I could easily read ten chapter books a week. Now a days it’s a struggle to find books that hold my attention from beginning to end. Today I have no shame in reading a book halfway, getting bored, or angry with the character development, or lack of it and skipping all the way to the last chapter to see how the story ends. One childhood habit that has never changed though, is my need to bring a book with my everywhere I go. Instead of carrying multiple books in my purse or school backpack, I’ve transitioned to carrying around a stack of digital books with the help of my kindle. Most of the books I’m getting ready to talk about I read closer to the beginning of 2019, so I’m sorry if the reviews seem a little fuzzy and short… I just really wanted to share them with you.


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If Beale Street could talk

James Baldwin

A recent addition to my digital book shelf. I first heard about this book after seeing the movie with my mom last summer. My hometown wasn’t playing this film in any of the theaters, so we had to make a trip to another city just to see it. I loved the cinematography, design, the black love, and story telling of the movie. I especially loved the way scenes were lit, and how color was used throughout the film. But I’ll admit I was really disappointed in the ending. I had expected everyone to get their happy ending, like the majority of movies and TV shows I’ve seen all my life. I wasn’t expecting to be be so frustrated or to have even more questions than when the film started. After seeing the movie, I wanted to get the book, but life got in the way and I forgot about it. I’m looking forward to see how the book tells the story of Tish and Fonny.

***

You go through some days and you seem to be hearing people and you seem to be talking to them and you seem to be doing your work, or, at least, your work gets done; but you haven’t seen or heard a soul and if someone asked you what you have done that day you’d have to think awhile before you could answer.

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The sun is also a star

Nicola Yoon

I think I heard about this book after reading YouTube comments while watching the trailer of the movie. About a week before the movie came out I snagged the book, got comfortable and finished it about half a day later. In the book Natasha and her family is being deported. Daniel has a very important interview with Yale, and is also carrying the pressure of his parents expectations. The two characters meet because of an accident, and Daniel proceeds to spend the rest of the day trying to convince Natasha that love is real. The book features multiple side stories, written from the perspectives by the people impacted by the moves Daniel and Natasha make. I enjoyed watching their relationship and lives unfold both on and off screen, and I believe both versions of this story have their own beauty to them.

***

Secretly, in their heart of hearts, almost everyone believes that there’s some meaning, some willfulness to life. Fairness. Basic decency. Good things happen to good people. Bad things only happen to bad people.

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The Gig Economy

Diane Mulcahy

In an effort to figure out my next career move, and creating a more secure future for myself I picked up this book. The book discusses creating a more fulfilling work-life and career through working multiple gigs. It provides tips and tools on how to use the skills you already have, your knowledge, and network to create and mold your own career. It was a really interesting read and echoed a lot of the thoughts and experiences I’ve had as a one-job at a time employee. I haven’t quite figured out how to use the tools provided in the book yet, but it is a read I go back to again and again to reinspire myself and remind me of what I’m working towards.

***

Fear can be our biggest and worst enemy. It limits our ability to realize our dreams and keeps us trapped in our everyday lives. The fears that hold us back are big, emotional, and often disconnected from the realities of our actual situation.

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Company of one

Paul Jarvis

Company of One: Why staying small is the next big thing for business was kind of like a bridge between Story Driven, The gig Economy, and other career books I had been reading. I knew that I wanted to run my own business one day, but building a design agency, building a team or a corporation held no interest for me. I wanted to know what other options there were for a small business of one. The book explains how to build profitable and sustainable company of one where you have the ability to determine your work hours, fees, and the work you do. Throughout the book case studies of one person and one person businesses at heart or featured to further drive the point that you don’t need to build a large corporation to have a successful business.

***

Determining what is enough is different for everyone. Enough is the antithesis of growth. Enough is the true north of building a company of one, and the opposite of the current paradigm promoting entrepreneurship, growth hacking, and a startup culture.

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Story Driven

Bernadette Jiwa

Earlier this year I went through a branding black hole, and started devouring books I could find on brand story telling. Some fell flat because they were too surface level, and didn’t answer any of my questions about brand storytelling. Others went way over my head or use “branding” techniques that left me feeling uneasy. Then I found Story Driven, You don’t need to compete when you know who you are. I really enjoyed this book because it focused on crafting the most honest story, the real story of your brand or company. The book doesn’t talk about marketing tricks to defeat algorithims, or underhanded tactics to get ahead of the competition. Instead the goal is to help you succeed by being who you are, and providing the tools to help you consistently live and lead by your story.

***

Ironically, the people who create fulfilling lives and careers - the ones we respect, admire and try to emulate - choose an alternative path to success. They have a powerful sense of identity. They don’t worry about differentiating themselves from the competition or obsess about telling the right story. They tell the real story instead.

what books have you read so far this year?

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