Past Months

November

Riveting Brilliant Raw honesty Viola's story is one that will bounce around in my head and my heart for a long while. Her on stage presence is what urged me to read this and learn more about her. I'm in awe of her discipline, her determination, her grit. The insight of her life touchstones, and her ability to shape her life through them - her drive, perseverance, and ability to dig deep WHILE pulling and/or sorting through her u-haul of life experiences is an illustration of tenacity, courage and dedication to making a better life. Viola Davis appears to becoming part of my head sound track.

October

I am glad to have given this book a try. It's heavy. I was able to get through it (16.5 hours of it at 1.4 pace) only because of audible. I definitely would not have made it 25% of the way if I had to sit and read it. The number of tragic stories shared... stifling. In my opinion, phase one of this book was much longer than it needed to be. As I reader I just wanted to say "we got it (already), let's move onto the options & ways to help people through their pasts and thrive". Phase two I found insightful. Detailed descriptions of a variety of treatments, activities, and services that COULD play a role in supporting an individual. What would have been useful if this was organized and presented differently. I feel like I was left with a bunch of options yet not a clear pathway of which are a better match to these symptoms/types of people/experiences etc.

September

Run Towards the Danger was recommended to me by a friend and book club member. I remember her energy around the impact of what she read and the author's approach, and not sure if we discussed what the book was about. I just reserved it at the library. First - Polley's mastery of the english language moved me as early as the preface. This continued throughout the six essays, both in the visualizations she continued to create for the reader while illustrating her perspective as well as how she shared her insight - for us to consider, without being force-fed. Three chapters are percolating with me now; either on how I can play a role in shifting the situation (Jian Ghomeshi sexual assault chapter and how the Canadian system currently deals with criminal sexual assault cases) or how I can apply approaches to my life or share the insight with others through my work (Concussion/ Run Towards the Danger chapter and The fullness of the whole truth). Could six essays be written about various individuals pivot points or lives checkpoints, sure. Could it be done in such a way of shedding such insight, education, and possible prods to help you figure out your own? I am glad to have read this book. Thanks for the suggestion Kelly Power!

August

Where I am in my life to date, I was able to comfortably read this book and consider his perspective + what makes it work for him, and learn some tidbits for myself, without drinking the full glass of his kool-aid. His ability to mentally push through things reminds me of news stories of parents picking up the weight of a car that has pinned a child. His focus on some specific areas of his life give him what he has decided he needs (for a full life). Not what I want for my life and I appreciated hearing of his ability, tenacity and process. Callusing the mind was a new approach for me to hear of and one I am now tossing around in my head for where I might apply it.

July

This is a solid book for easy to follow steps for improving self-esteem and confidence. This as part of the core school curriculum in all classrooms both at grade 2-3, and again grade 8-9 would be beneficial to our communities, and our society. Glenn does a good job at capturing ideas on his blocks for both what to do and how to do it. *Commonly we skip the “how to do it” part in books similar to this, which in my opinion makes them not so useful. I appreciated Glenn’s self – esteem description and the amount of detail used to speak to the mass variety of negative thought approaches we use (to improve our own awareness). Two items that I will remind myself of: -the beginner’s mind. The mind with little (aka no) expectations and assumptions. -Vastness. In my words it’s like zoom in/zoom out – see things from places that provide the depth and distance for the viewpoint of objectivity.

June

I am a Stanley Tucci fan. I enjoyed reading this, being able to hear his voice in my head and learn more about him personally - through his family's passion for their food. I enjoy food and am not a foodie. To hear such love and energy around specific dishes, I appreciated and find I'm starting to eat slower to connect more with my meal!

May

A detailed, eyes-wide-open on how we as a society are consistently participating in “utterly meaningless consumption” that is exhausting our environment, our lives, our earth. A couple tips for me: -we MUST buy less versus “buy thoughtfully” -we MUST promote companies to make quality, longevity built products and hold them to standards differently specific to life cycle of product, how users can have items fixed/mended and the organization win for being “that company” versus profit run, quick-hit products. -Currently society is generally focused on extrinsic values versus intrinsic. If shopping was done less (i.e. beginning of covid, millions closed from retail therapy and we saw huge, positive impact) we can make a severe, positive impact on our earth. During the first 6 months of COVID we also saw an “epidemic of kindness” (the reaching out to others), more gardening, more physically activity, surge of social justice. IF we turn our back on consumerism and turn towards a life of simplicity (versus status and income) we can make this shift together, rather quickly. -We need to rebuild our systems. We can create a new role in our community instead of consumerism. We instead can call is participatory culture which includes learning, giving, experiencing things and connecting. -The World is consuming because it “doesn’t know how to stop”. Literally. And appear ok to kill our earth versus “buy less, buy better” model and give to ourselves from the inside out.

April

I've read a number of books on habits including The Power of Habits Tiny Habits The 5 Second Rule The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This book, perhaps also through the enjoyment of having the author read it to me through audio read, "just made sense". His process to create habits is echoed in his writing approach. A terrific book of tips and techniques (surpassing the majority of self-help books I have read) focusing on what to do AND how to do it, in easy to do small steps. A great resource

March

This was another book club read and agreed by all it was our best read and discussion to date. For me personally, I had loaned this book from the library. Twenty pages in I knew it was a book I need to purchase because it's a book I will reference and utilize in both my work & personal life, for many years. Brene's ability to challenge herself and each of her readers to better understand whole hearted living, through an in depth exploration and definitions of dozens of emotions is a gift. Atlas of the Heart would be a great learning text book for all individuals, globally. With this link you can find her book club conversation with her 2 sisters on the book as well as more details on qualities covered in her book.

February

This was our book club read and feedback on the book was mixed; two decided to not finish it, two loved it and the rest of us were "take it or leave it". Something I appreciated from this read was how different Jory's perspective on the role emotion plays in life, compared to my own. I have considered this in situations since finishing the book and I will challenge myself to continue to find what best works for me. To help explain this his approach based on how his brain naturally works, here's a quote from Jory, page 75. “Emotions seem to be happening further away from me. If I do nothing, then whatever emotion it is will just stream past and then it will be gone. It’s not that an emotion is less important, but it’s less immediate. Even really strong emotional speaks take up a little more than a corner, but never so much that you can’t see the rest of the situation.”

January 2022

The "how I learned to pay attention, master myself and win" captured my intrigue. Having only played poker a couple times, as you can imagine, the game details were challenging to follow in the writing. Maria's writing reinforced life skills that radiate importance in the game of poker. Here are a couple that most stood out to me: 1 - Lack of ego. Important to consistently be able to objectively review & reflect on what you could have done differently and better 2 - Self-awareness and self-discipline is KEY. It's about clear decision making always. Know why you are taking specific actions. 3 - You can’t play scared. You can’t be afraid of how you look. You have to play smart. In my opinion - three great things to apply to day to day living as well.

December 2021

Two nuggets I continue to practise from this read. One - Zoom Out - Zoom In: When I am too "zoomed in" I picture myself looking through one of those darn Hotel bathroom mirrors. The round one with the circle light that makes any blemish on your face... shockingly huge. I visualize this mirror because it makes me laugh and reconsider how "too close" I am to this situation. That can through emotion, taking it personally, being subjective. This helps me to literally take a step back, to see it from a healthier for me objective perspective. Two - Use of my name: When are our tough on ourselves through our inner critique, we can quickly spiral into "I suck because _____". When I remove the "I" and address myself as Nancy Milton, I smarten myself up (which is the 1970s parenting way of "get it together") which helps bring my back to focus on the full situation. The last chapter of this book shares a summary of key book ideas - useful for a reminder & review of the techniques.

November

Think Like a Monk was the kick off book for this season's non-fiction book club AND we all agreed, a solid read. The book is like a combination of a number of self help guru's tips you've heard/read over the years allowing the read to be encouraging, insightful and reinforcing. Some specific take -aways for me include: -monkey brain techniques (yes, the wandering thoughts stuff) -detachment (been practising this through October and already seeing improvement) -a better approach (for me) specific to meditation

October

Suleika's memoir captures her detailed experience from diagnosis to recovery. As a reader I would have enjoyed part one to be told 75 pages more succinctly and add those pages to part two. What I appreciated most about this book was what I learned both for and about myself, while witnessing someone else's journey.

September

I contacted 8 different corporate clients after reading this book, encouraging them to read it and use it with their teams. Suneel captures 7 steps, insightful techniques on how to better engage individuals in believing in your idea/service/product - You. Suneel says "7 steps" and I'd instead suggest the book is full of nuggets and tips on how to let the real you shine through to build the partnership/connection/backing you're looking for. The challenge to you: Reading it's one thing, actioning it consistently, is where the good stuff actually happens. Over to you!

August

We have all experienced moments in our lives that have had tremendous impact on us. Chip & Dan's book explore four elements that are key on creating that impact, detail the components within each element and how we can better ignite these in our lives, our work, our teams. Three personal take aways from this read are the improved degree in which I understand the number of variables that can both create and shape a moment, the what + how of those variables for application and a new perspective on how to approach situations to have...more powerful moments.

July

After reading two of Jeanine Cummins's fiction books, I easily picked up A Rip in Heaven, not fully aware of what I was stepping into. The author provides us a tough to fathom, step-by-step process of what her family experienced with the vicious murders of her two cousins Julie & Robin Kerry. Reading this book gave me insight on where we easily get caught on focusing (the murderer and the level of the horrific crime) versus the victim. I'm still processing the experience her brother Tom went through during the investigation process... We have much to improve in our 'systems'.

June

The majority of us are taught little about death; including the grieving process and how to be around + support others while they deal with the loss of someone they care about. Sandberg's book is, in my opinion, a must-read for us all. The insights and suggestions are useful and can increase our humility, empathy and ability to be present for both ourselves and others.

May

Veggies

As I continue to watch, read and hear about the impact of meat manufacturing on our earth, I am exploring more about vegetarianism. Neither of my boys have any interest which adds to my already challenged kitchen. Simply - I'm educating myself and exploring as I go.

So you want to talk about race

March

February

I typically share non-fiction reads on my website. I'm posting Lisa Genova's work, Every Note Played because of what it offered me educationally, while being a story too. The insight I now have about ALS from this book, is a perspective I will hold onto. A very well written book, that I feel fortunate to have picked up.

January

December

November

October

September

White Fragility: Why it's hard for white people to talk about racism

August

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April

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

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August 2019

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January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

Back by popular demand -- and newly updated by the author -- the mega-bestselling spiritual guide in which Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.

July 2018

An insightful look at the science behind love, Attached offers readers a road map for building stronger, more fulfilling connections.

June 2018

A landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common and difficult challenges -- by the bestselling author who changed our conception of adolescent girls.

May 2018

With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.

April 2018

Written with authority, wit, and empathy, Emotional Agility serves as a road map for real behavioral change—a new way of acting that will help you reach your full potential, whoever you are and whatever you face.

March 2018

Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

February 2018

[This book] explains what parents and educators MUST do to combat the growing empathy crisis among children today—including a 9-step empathy-building program with tips to guide kids from birth through college, and beyond.

January 2018

Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity—and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.