Archive for the ‘Reading for Power’ Category

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book #1 – Finished on January 24th!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

My great friend and co-worker Christina Knapp and I spoke about illustrating four icons to show the story behind the book once complete. I have chosen the four images below:

Reading has been great for me, especially now. Some may know that my mother passed away in January of last year, so anything that can keep my mind focused elsewhere has been more than helpful.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very different book from what I’m typically interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t put it down for even a moment to write out a blog charting my progress (no excuses though, no excuses). It perplexed me on several occasions and the characters decision making processes frustrated me to the point of gasping out loud. “WHAT?” – I caught myself saying several times throughout my reading adventure.

This thriller filled with mystery, murder and debauchery really surprised me at how captivated I quickly became of the characters. Stieg Larsson does an amazing job at creating a feeling of connection by thoroughly illustrating his thoughts and bringing the story and his actors to life for the reader. From book number one, I was able to take away several life lessons, including the ones listed below:

  1. A great boss can handle employees with warmth and trust but at the same time is not afraid of confrontation and can be tough when necessary.
  2. People always have secrets. It’s just a matter of finding out what they are.
  3. Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. Get to know everyone.
  4. Never engage in a fight you’re sure to loose. On the other hand never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength – even if you no longer need to strike back.
  5. Every action has it’s consequences.
  6. It does no good to cry. Every-time you do, it makes someone aware of something in your life, which makes your situation far worse.
  7. Keep those people who give you spontaneous good impressions from the very beginning close.

Now my question to you: What book(s) have you read recently that you were able to take away a great life lesson?

Today marks the first day for book number two on my reading list. In February I will be reading “Then we set his hair on fire: Insights and Accidents from a Hall of Fame Career in Advertising” by Phil Dunsberry. I am very excited about this one, as my interests in reading typically fall within the realm of business and inspiration. So 276 pages in 28 days. That’s about 10 pages/day. I know I can manage this book, and hopefully even write a blog or two along the way 🙂

I hope to hear from you all soon!


p.s. Thank you to Maria Rott, Lynn Cummings, Kris Spelce, Angie Dietz, Christina Knapp, Carolyn Kiser and to all of my bus buddies for supporting me and keeping on me about this project. You are all my backbone on this project!

My unsettling goal for 2011 begins with a book and family life lessons…

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Family time with Drysdale’s is always interesting. This year, for the second year in a row, it was a time to reflect, grow and strengthen our bonds with one another.

From left to right: Aimee, JoJo, Katie, Melissa, Ashleigh, Hayleigh

While devouring a mouth-watering portion of standing rib roast, perfectly seasoned grilled asparagus and a glass of well-aged wine among other scrumptious fare, my family went around the dinner table on Christmas night to reminisce and ponder 2010 and 2011 by answering these questions:

  1. What things did you accomplish last year that you’re proud of?
  2. From your experiences last year, what life lessons did you gain?
  3. What are your goals for 2011?

Not to bore you with the accomplishments of my family (although I’m sure you are eager to hear about the personal happenings in our lives…lol), I will leave you with the valuable life lessons we all gained from 2010, number two on the list:
* BTW, these are randomly organized, just in case you’re trying to be sneaky and figure out who said what!

  • Embrace your failures – you can learn a lot more from your failures than your successes.
  • Listen to people closely and respond carefully.
  • Learn to work smarter, not harder.
  • Invest your time into things that make you happy and grow as an individual.
  • Take ownership of your experiences and put your own ideas and life teachings to work.
  • You may not always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you will get what you need.
  • Empower others.
  • No matter how hard you work, there will always be people who don’t appreciate what you do.
  • When you start something new in life, give it your all and don’t give up.
  • Your work/life balance is crucial.
  • Be diplomatic when dealing with others, particularly your peers.
  • Don’t get on your sisters bad side!
  • Try to have fun in life. Have fun in life, don’t just try.

So, the last item on the list is crossed through intentionally because initially it was “Try to have fun in your life,” but then my Dad made a great analogy, and one worth sharing. He put a utensil on the table, looked directly in that person’s eyes, and said, “Try to pick up that knife…” In order to make this happen you have to physically DO SOMETHING. So the lesson learned here was then changed from “try” to “do.” Dad is great at empowering us and always making us think about what we say and really evaluate our individualistic views on life.

After reading over this list, if you look back on your experiences in 2010, are you able to take away some or all of these same life lessons? Is there anything new you would add?

On to number three: goals for 2011. I will share with you one of my own, and one I hope you can help me with:

  • Read 12 books in 12 months

Let me elaborate…for a while now I have been trying to find a way to really “get” books and fully enjoy reading. That’s not to say that I haven’t already began reading, just not as much nor as thoroughly as I would like. So, I am going to try something new and hope by writing this to you, similarly to Julie Powell’s blog project of working through 524 recipes in 365 days from Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, you will help keep me accountable and I will be encouraged to stick with my goal.

For most of those who know me well, you are fully understanding of this feat and hopefully for some, you can appreciate a person who is a slower reader struggling with comprehension. To explain this a bit further; sometimes for me after reading through 3 or 4 pages, I then realize I didn’t quite understand what I just read. With my eagerness to fully retain details, I then to go back and read through it all over again. Not to mention ADHD, which we all have in some form or another, making the distractions of noise or various things happening around me MUCH more entertaining than whatever I’m trying to read.

The daunting task of getting through 12 books in 12 months began today with the arrival in the mail of book number one: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, the first book in The Millennium Trilogy, along with two other books I plan to be reading in the upcoming months.

The Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy

I’m not entirely sure what I will write about, but for both my readers and to help myself comprehend what I am reading, the plan is to complete a blog each week reporting my progress, any new life lessons I take away from the “book-of-the-month,” or any initial reactions I have. I now ask myself the question, “How am I going to complete book number one, with already 7 days gone? EEP!”

  • 465 pages + 25 days equals roughly 18 pages/day
  • Plus a weekly blog post

OR I could also try it by chapters

  • 29 chapters + 25 days equals roughly 1.2 chapters/day
  • Plus a weekly blog post

So, here goes…I’ll keep you posted!


p.s. I would love for you to comment below on your life lessons from 2010 and anything you have to share about your experiences with all of this.