Books Read in January 2011

Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

A great and extended lesson on the power of telling the right story and assuming the sale is made. After all, you've got great stuff and it will help the prospect out, you just need to show him or her that in the right way and make it easy for them to buy. At least that's how it feels sometimes, reading Zig.

Mandela's Way by Richard Stengel

I mentioned how impressed I was with Nelson Mandela after reading Invictus, so when I saw this book on the library shelf I instantly picked it up. It was intriguing to read about the mental workings behind the attitude I'd been fascinated by, although the man himself does not seem to be particulary introspective. The book itself was written in an easy to read and lively manner and I'd enjoy picking it up again sometime.

No Such Things as Small Talk by Melissa Lamson

This was the very first book I bought on the Kindle and it was specifically for my trip to Germany because the book itself is about German business culture from the view of an American. During my two weeks meeting with my colleagues in the country I can't really say that there was a difference between how I related having read it as I would have if I had not read it. But the exercise of preparing for a difference was worthwhile and the book itself a good read. 

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Great in-depth fantasy book. I enjoyed the characters very much and also the wealth of world that stretches beyond the boundaries of the story. I'll admit I didn't always know exactly what was going on, but I think that I wasn't entirely supposed to since it's told generally from the point of view of the characters themselves (although in third person) and they certainly never had the whole picture.

How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack by Chuck Sambachino

The title makes me cringe. But my husband bought it for his Kindle and I figured, what the heck, I'd download it and take a look. I even finished it. I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps I was carried through by the sheer twisted absurdity of the thing.

Drum Taps by Walt Whitman

Technically this is a stand alone book of poetry, even though I was reading it in a collection, so I'm reporting it as such. It was Whitman in his voice and flow celebrating the nation and the soldiers. And by celebrating I also mean grieving and sharing and musing. It's not as universal as Leaves of Grass but I enjoyed it.

Born to Play by Dustin Pedroia

I'm a Red Sox fan and this guy is just fun to watch play - so it nice to learn that he's just as much a spitfire in his head and off the field. The language was very plain and simple. I wouldn't consider it literary or "good" in English terms, but it wan't supposed to be. It was just this guy who wants to help his team win games telling his story. I thought the interrum chapters about Pedroia by other people were a great idea as well. I'm glad he'll be with the team for five or six more years (by contract anyway, though why on earth they'd trade him!)

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

What stood out most in reading this book was the presence of the echoes from later works by other artists just reverberating in my head. I can see how it's a granddaddy. Parts of it felt antiquated and absurd, but that was more about the expression of the ideas than the truth of them. I was particularly given pause by the section on the transformation of sex energy and the (culturally correct) assumption that no woman would be reading this book.

I'll be reading it again, likely many times, because the ideas were important. Because I recognized within them things I needed to be hearing and thinking. And because the strange rhythm and nature of the language is making me think differently than when I've read the current echoes and developments.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson translated by Reg Keelan

Okay, I succumbed to seeing what all the fuss what about and almost discarded the damn thing before I got far enough in to be hooked. And then I didn't want to put it down. I was impressed by the twists and the characters and left content that the book deserves its popularity and wanting to see more of the characters.

The Sales Gurus by Andrew Clancy

One book summary at a time of the "best" sales advice books, which I read for the obvious reasons of developing skills for my new job. Useful and I'll revisit it. And a couple of these I want to read more in depth and a couple I already had.

Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson

Another deep book with a strong story. I was a little annoyed at the beginning that the plot had swung so far from the first, but I'd known to expect it from the Amazon reviews. As I got into it, though, I didn't care and appreciated the links that were there and the odd situations and personal relationships that played into the story. Now I'm trying to avoid reading the third one until I'm traveling again and mostly read physical books while I'm home.

The Woman's New Selling Game by Carole Hyatt

The book was fine in and of itself. It's good if you've never been introduced to the idea that selling is part of everyone's job and there's nothing wrong with it and women have more hang-ups about it than men due to our socialization. But if you've ever read one of those, then there's nothing in the style, voice, or subject matter to recommend picking up this one. I finished reading it mostly just for the mental refresher.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

A bit of fluff and fun but also interesting from a point of view of seeing the modern mind trying to interact with the cultural expectations of Austen's England.

ON THE NIGHT STAND

CouponMom's Guide, Invention by Design, Tales from the Perilous Realm, The Personal MBA

And occasionally picking up Leaves of Grass, Mark Twain's Essays