March 13, 2014

#35: Recommended Reading

Summer Reading
Excerpt from the article Summer Reading, that was in Weekly WCS Note #35: The Good Life. Released August 6th 2012. Updated and revised.

"We read to know we are not alone." -C.S. Lewis

Hi everyone - I hope you are enjoying the Olympics! They are such an excellent source for training and inspiration. I've written two posts about them already on my blogs. If you haven't read them yet, here they are: Get Your Training On and Olympic Torch Strikes Gold.

In the meantime, I have some awesome reading to share with you...


A reader shared a link to The Gift of Fear on his Facebook page, along with the following words:

Thanks to a recommendation from Katherine Krok Eastvold I finally started reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. I've owned a copy of this book for years but never read it until now. I'm only a few chapters into it, but I see that it has an important message for all of us if we want to stay safe in a dangerous world. The main message I've retained so far is that we need to trust our feelings if a situation just doesn't feel right and stop telling ourselves that we are being ridiculous. If you haven't read it, please do. It could save your life.

He was referring to my post, Prince Charming and the Gift of Fear. I've received a few emails along the same lines too. I'm thrilled. That's why we have each other. But somehow this post got me thinking... "perhaps it's time I send along some of my favorite titles?" Yes. Yes, that's a good idea.

After all, my 'to do' list is rather long this summer, isn't it? I can't write nearly as much as I'd like to... Maybe some of these will provide good company in the meantime. 

I'm not recommending any dance books - I've given you enough summer reading to last a life time (Wasn't my last Weekly WCS Note about 20 pages long? Yes, that's why they are in book form now: Setting Dancers Free).

But all of these books are ones that I have not only recommended to students and teachers plenty of times, but they are the ones I have received the greatest amount of positive feedback for. You can take them or leave them as you please - they are merely suggestions after all - but I loved them. They all changed my life big time, always for the better.

Also, I have no affilitations with any of these titles (read: I'm not getting paid to list them, nor do I get any kick-backs at all). Also, I have listed the titles not in order of important, but alphabetically.

There was my life before Boundaries, and there is my life after Boundaries. They don't look at all the same. It was the first book I gifted to Nick and it is by far the one I've recommended more than any other. Be aware that it is published by New Life, a ministry I've mentioned before. But it's not even remotely preachy- it's focus is on living with healthy boundaries. If you have wounds that will bleed when they reference scripture, then this may not be the book for you. Otherwise... grab it. I'll change your life.

Yes, it's a popular resource in career centers far and wide, but I recommend its first section for everyone. Sure, you'll read it and finally figure out a lot about yourself (felt like they were crawling around in my brain- lots of 'ah ha!' moments for me), but it also helps you understand other people too. I can't think of a single relationship in my life that didn't benefit from this read. No matter what age you are, you'll get a lot out of it.

I didn't ask for this book. Nick took it off the shelf at a bookstore and said, "Wow... you totally need this book." I was a little offended. I told him we weren't buying it... and he bought it anyhow. I'm SO glad he did. I am four times as productive and respected because of it.

It's solid gold. Gold, gold, gold, gold. And she writes like me too- you'll love it. 

It may be written for women, but don't be put off, guys. There are a ton of tips in here that I've given to men over the years during HR training. Nick even put quite a few of these practices into his workplace. Both of us have enjoyed terrific results.

Okay, men... this one is definitely NOT for you. But ladies, I've used this book with every single woman I've coached for competition. And forget the follow-up books... this is the original book and it, and it alone, is the holy grail. You won't believe how much you will learn and how much it will change the way you shop and dress.

In fact, it cuts down your shopping time in half, saving you all that time in the dressing room with clothes that don't come close to making you feel pretty or beautiful. You're going to get compliments if you follow this guide. I assure you. It's all you need.

Men, this is the one for you. I referenced it in my Thanksgiving Note last year. John Eldredge is probably Nick's *favorite writer, hands down. And I'm glad I read it too, because otherwise the school teacher in me would've tried to curb his nature instead of encourage it.

Plus there's that whole "valiant, vulnerable and scandalous" thing. Again, this is written from a faith perspective, so... just be aware. (If you are already an Eldredge fan, then you might enjoy Nick's favorite book of his, "Fathered by...")

*I do feel an obligation to admit that we have since met John Eldridge himself. Uh oh. We finally understood why we have not been struck by any of his writing since Fathered by God. As happens with so very many writers, artists and performers, fame can poison their work, and poison this man it did. 

And, just as it is so for all those other stories of the fallen, their first works that made them famous remain just that - famous. And for good reason. A good well's water which is collected before it is poisoned is still good water to drink. And we will be drinking from such works of excellence as Wild at Heart and Fathered by God until our final hours.

And there you go. It looks like the books I'm recommending to everyone are all non-fiction. I don't think I've ever noticed that till now. Hmmm.

If its fiction you need, well, I'm a Lit major. I don't know where to start. We own 6 bookshelves and Nick's books only take up one. So... I'm at a lost. Paradise Lost by Milton maybe?

I hope you find something here that you like. Again, these are just my favorites... not a "required reading" list or anything. But they've all influenced my work in some way, so I think you'll like at least a few.