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3 Good Reads

Over Christmas, I received an amazing gift from my mother in-law; a Kindle! I’ve been using the Kindle for over a month and I’m enjoying it much more than I thought I would. My experience with the Kindle has been lovely because it’s easy to buy and borrow books. Plus, the Kindle is lightweight which makes the e-reader great for traveling and hauling around on my bike.

I’m also reading more on my Kindle. During the first half of January, I read over a dozen books. After reading so many books, I wanted to tell you about three good reads. I’d encourage you to buy the following books or pick up a copy at your local library.

1. “To Sell is Human.”

I couldn’t put Daniel Pink’s book down because I loved the research he reviewed and his main contention. He argues, “We devote upwards of 40% of our time on the job to moving others — this is non-sales selling — it’s cajoling and convincing others in ways that don’t involve anyone making a purchase. And it is critical to our professional success.”

In short, Pink makes a convincing argument that we are all in sales now and I have to agree with his explanation. I’ve been self-employed since 2010 and both traditional and non-traditional selling is part of my everyday life. For instance, I make money by selling books and teaching ecourses.

However, selling isn’t limited to business owners. When I worked at non-profits, I was cajoling legislators to allocate more funding to victims of violence or encouraging our members to start using social media for good.

No matter what you do for a living, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book. It will change your perspective of sales.

2. “The End of Your Life Book Club.”

Will Schwalbe is an incredible writer and his book is an engaging story about his dying mother. In the story, Schwalbe addresses topics including the importance of family, dying gently, and reading. Schwalbe’s words made me laugh, cry, and appreciate my family even more. In addition, Schwalbe’s book recommendations will keep me reading throughout 2013.

3. “The Best Care Possible.”

I heard about Ira Byock’s work on OPB last week. After listening to his interview on Think Out Loud, I purchased his new book, “The Best Care Possible,” for my Kindle. I’m almost finished with the book and love it.

When my dad got sick last year, I started thinking about the healthcare system, the importance of caregiving and how we treat our loved ones as they die. Byock approaches all of these topics with care, compassion and kindness. I wish I’d had access to his book last year because it would have helped my family as we navigated a very complex health care system.

In addition, Byock noted that 75 percent of adults in America have not completed an advance directive or living will. I was shocked by this statistic, but also ashamed because I also don’t have a living will or an advance directive in place. To remedy this, I ordered a document called “Five Wishes” from Aging with Dignity.

Aging with Dignity describes “Five Wishes” in this way:

“. . . it is America’s most popular living will because it’s written in everyday language and helps people express their wishes in areas that matter most — the personal and spiritual in addition to the medical and legal. It also helps you describe what good care means to you, whether you are seriously ill or not. It allows your caregiver to know exactly what you want.”

If you are interested in seeing a preview of this document, click here and be sure to read Byock’s book.

Parting words . . .

Books open my mind to new ideas and cause me to think about topics that I would otherwise ignore. It’s been a powerful way for me to stay grounded, centered, and grateful for the people in my life.

Got book recommendations? Leave your tips in the comments section.


Other News

My winter writing class begins on Monday, February 4th and I still have space for students. The last day to register for the course is Friday, February 1, 2013.

Learn more and read testimonials from past students by clicking here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Christina Neumann January 30, 2013, 8:14 am

    I finished “the immortal life of Henrietta Lacks”, it is an amazing book about her cancer cells and all that has transpired . But, also about the incredible impact it had on her family. I read it on my iPad, which has a kindle app.

    • Tammy Strobel January 30, 2013, 8:44 am

      I’ve been meaning to read that book. I saw the author give a talk when I lived in Portland and it was fantastic. Thanks for the great reminder. 🙂

  • Barbara Techel January 30, 2013, 1:41 pm

    Thank you for the suggestions, Tammy. I actually am in the middle of reading Daniel Pink’s book after you suggested in a recent post. Very interesting!

    Final Gifts: Understanding the special awareness needs and communications of the dying and
    Final Journeys: A practical guide for bringing care and comfort at end of life

    both by hospice nurse Maggie Callahan. They are very good! I read them as I entered into volunteer hospice work with Frankie as a therapy dog. I was nervous about volunteering somewhere where people were “dying.” But, oh, how I learned they were still living. This book really helped me understand the process of dying, what to expect and not to be afraid of. My time volunteering at a local hospice was some of the most rewarding times of my life. I was very honored to be a part of hospice and being of comfort to patients with Frankie.

    Thought you might enjoy those two since you mentioned the other books similar in your post. Which now I have to check out the ones you suggested. 🙂


  • Barbara Techel January 30, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Thought of one more that really was amazing: Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani

  • Paul - The Kind Little Blogger January 30, 2013, 2:40 pm

    RD’s got a Kindle that I have kind of stolen. It’s a really nice experience reading something that isn’t bright or backlit like the iPad. But with the flexibility and scope that comes with an e-reader.

    I’m currently drifting in and out–as I do when I read–of William Powers’ “Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream”. A great account of his time spent in a simple, off-the-grid hut after years doing soul-destroying aid work abroad. It’s pseudo-philosophy, sure, but it has great humility and power.

    Another book that I am working through slowly is Paul Gilding’s “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World”. It’s a bit doom-and-gloom but is smart and vital.

    Lastly, and I started reading the physical copy of this at the weekend–we went camping, so I thought I’d get back to “nature” and read a real book,–is Alain de Bottom “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work”. De Bottom is a masterful story-teller–I admire and envy his talent. He wraps observations of everyday life–quite literally everyday life: mundane and ordinary–with perfectly relevant pieces of philosophy from the great and unknown thinkers. Who would have thought biscuit manufacture could be so fascinating?

  • Galen Pearl January 30, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Hi, I popped over from Sandra’s blog today. I see from your response above that you lived in Portland–OR? That’s where I live now. Anyway, very interesting reads. Like Christina above, I read the book about Henrietta Lacks, too, and found it fascinating. The book about sales–all of us are selling something–reminded me of A Course in Miracles’s assertion that all of us are teachers. We are always teaching what we want to learn. Anyway, I enjoyed browsing about your blog, and I look forward to reading more.

  • Chelsea G January 31, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Hi Tammy,
    I just devoured Cyndi Lee’s new book, “May I Be Happy.”
    I bought it in the morning and didn’t put it down until I had finished it late that evening. I even took notes! I can’t remember ever reading a book with such passion – it was just what I needed, right when I needed it.
    Maybe you’d love it too?

    • Tammy Strobel February 1, 2013, 9:22 am

      Thanks for the tip Chelsea. I’ll be sure to check it out. xo.