And greetings from Toronto!! It is just beyond wonderful being here in Canada, finally able to hug my parents, sisters and family again after 25 months. ♥ I generally only visit once a year, but having the option to visit taken away really made me realize how much subconscious comfort I had knowing that I could go whenever I wanted.
So I am enjoying a few weeks with my loved ones (although sadly without my own family who, due to quarantine regulations/vaccination status/citizenship were unable to travel with me). And what is better when spending time in Ontario in July than time at the cottage?!?
Time at the cottage means lots of time on the dock, by the water, in the sun, reading a book!! The summer is when I read the most. Lazy days, more free time, a mind (somewhat) free of work lends itself well to having the time to read – and enjoy it! – while on vacation.
I’ve got a few wonderful recommendations for you, if you’re in the market for something to read this summer!
If you’ve been wanting to think a bit more about your leadership style, and if you’ve been hearing that you should add some coaching to your skill repertoire, The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier is brilliant. It is written in a really laid-back, easily digestible style and is focused on the 7 main coaching questions Stanier thinks everyone should use. This book is great bang for your buck. A quick read but with significant impact.
INVENTIONS AND OUR FUTURE
Katrine Marçal has written an exceptionally interesting book on how labelling something “female” or “male” influences its value to, and influence on, the market and the economy. In a very compelling way, Mother of Invention describes how limiting it is for inventors, companies, and venture capitalists to pursue only one half of that equation. I can’t do it justice in words – it is a really fascinating read and an excellent way to confront one’s own gendered lens. I’ll let Marçal’s book jacket do the talking:
“We live in a world shaped by gender.
Virtually every aspect of our existence – from the cars we drive and the luggage we carry, to the defining inventions of our past and the ideas that shape our future – is affected by our deeply held beliefs about the role of men and women within society.
It’s the reason why, every day, extraordinary inventions and innovative ideas are ignored by investors.
And why it took more than 5,000 years to attach wheels to a suitcase.”
I kept seeing and hearing about The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett but somehow never really understood the hype. Then I downloaded it to my Kindle for my flight to Toronto, and for the first time ever spent the entire 8-hour flight reading!! That’s how good a story this was. I started reading, and couldn’t stop. Brilliantly written! It’s the story of twin girls born in the US South in the 1960s. Being light-skinned, one of them decides to “pass” for white, and as a result lives an entirely different life to her black twin sister. It’s a fascinating and sobering look into what judging people based merely on the colour of their skin can mean for their opportunities, their livelihood, and their choices.
Summer holidays often mean road trips! Hours on the road can be a bit boring, so I am a huge fan of audiobooks. My teenage daughter and I did a “mother-daughter book club” last summer, reading the same book and discussing it. It was a really good YA mystery: One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus. This summer, the two of us chose another book by the same author, The Cousins, but this time as an audiobook for our travels. Each chapter is narrated by one of the four main characters, and so the audiobook has four different voices. It was brilliantly done and we both wished our 6-hour car journey had been *longer* so we could listen to more!! An excellent choice for keeping boredom at bay while on the road.
I love audiobooks with great narrators, and I love a good series! These are my favourite narrators & series for road tripping:
The Cormoran Strike novels, written by Robert Galbraith and read by Robert Glenister – a series about a London-based Private Investigator and his partner as they solve murders. Excellent range of accents, and wonderful character development!
The Alex Delaware series, written by Jonathan Kellerman and read by John Rubenstein – a child psychologist helps an LA homicide detective solve crimes.
The Stephanie Plum series, written by Janet Evanovich and read by Lorelei King – a somewhat inept bounty hunter in New Jersey tries to find wanted criminals and gets into multiple scrapes along the way.
The Alphabet Series, written by Sue Grafton and read by Judy Kaye – a female Private Investigator in 1980s California solves crimes using pencil, note cards, and the telephone book.
What is on your summer To Read pile? I’d love to know! Nothing beats a good book recommendation!! And please do share if you read one of the books recommended above. I’d love to hear if you enjoy them!
Stay healthy! And have a wonderful weekend.