Books of 2019 – Numbers 16, 17 and 18 – Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin Manuel Miranda, Feast by Hannah Howard, and Radical Candor by Kim Scott

I have a little catch-up work to do here with three additional books to add to my list. These are my books 16, 17 and 18, which puts me 35% of the way to 52 books this year. That compares to today being the 103rd day of the year which is 28% of the way through 2019. I am feeling pretty good about my progress, but I need to keep digging in and keeping up the pace.

I did so love book number 16,  Lin Manuel Miranda’s and Jonny Sun’s Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You.  Friends gave me this as a gift and it really is a gift! The book publishes Lin Manuel’s real life Twitter feed. where he writes morning and evening pick-me-ups to those who follow him. For the book, the artist ,Jonny Sun accompanies the tweets with charming drawings. I read one set of the declarations each day. There were days that the pep talk was exactly right for starting my day, and consistently thee made me smile with the warmth that they hold. A few words can carry much.
Number 17, Feast, True Love in and Out of the Kitchen is Hannah Howard’s memoir of coming to terms with an eating disorder while in the midst of living a life in the overblown food scene of major cities. It is rough to read how she treats herself and threatens her health in way too many ways. She is a very good writer and writes compellingly about the naturalness of abuse that we can subject ourselves to. Weaving her own story with the life of restaurant world is quite the whirlwind.
And finally, Radical Candor, Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing your Humanity by a woman with a resume of leadership in companies like Google and Dropbox . Kim Scott’s  summarizes her approach to leadership as caring personally and challenging directly. I like a good leadership book; especially one with practical advice. Scott’s book provides an interesting and, I think, valid framework for developing teams of trust and responsibility. The leadership time commitment that she sets forth is somewhat staggering, but it gives good guidance for those of us who are trying to be both a caring leader and an effective leader. The balance isn’t always easy.
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Bright Spots Because of Joe

 

This blog has always been a fun place for me. When I was doing it consistently, I was happy to have a space to write down some of the things that I was thinking about, experiencing, and liking. I liked the creativity of it and the practice of writing that it offered. I have struggled with the time it takes to keep it up in a way that is meaningful, but I am ready to take it on again. I am inspired by one of my favorite writers out there.

Joe Posnanski used to write about sports for the Kansas City Star. He brought exquisite language to beautiful and not so beautiful sporting events. He wrote with a depth and enthusiasm that I loved. Career decisions moved him out of Kansas City several years ago, but I continued to follow him and his words. Recently, I became a supporter of his blog on Patreon. This means that for $3/month, I get to read Joe’s words. It is among the best money that I spend. It’s not the only place to find his writing, but it is a wonderful experience. (If you do not know him, you will understand what I mean just by reading one of his tributes to baseball legend, Buck O’Neill, or his article about taking his daughter to see Hamilton.)

In his writing, Joe has done lots of series over the years. On his blog recently, he posted his newest series: “Every day I can, I will give you 300 words on someone or something that has brought me happiness (and, I can tell you in advance, that I have a broad definition of happiness). I’m hoping this will be a nice little bonus for JoeBlogs readers, a little day brightener.” He is calling this his Happiness Hall of Fame. I can’t wait!

Joe has inspired me to do the same thing on my blog. If my blog makes me happy, I should use it. If I like to write and want to write better, I need to write. If I want to focus on what is good and what makes me happy, this could be a way to do it! I am making my new commitment.As often as I can, a short little bright spot – right here.