I usually hate January. I have taken to this blog on a number of occasions during this long, post-holiday, winter month to either wish its speedy end, or praise that it did and I made it through. I liked this January. It was full of so many new things that I wasn’t left with any time to remember my general disdain for it. I started my new job and moved into a new apartment. Things are good.
I have been a bit remiss in posting since my new job. I have been allowing myself time to settle into everything, to cook myself nice dinners, binge watch Jane The Virgin on Netflix (guys, I falsely pre-judged that show. It’s bloody brilliant!). I have still been writing, I promise. Stories will come. I have many. In the meantime, here is what I read in January.
Tiny Beautify Things; Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed. This was such an unexpected book and it will long on my night stand as a book I go back to over and over again. Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild (movie starring Reese Witherspoon), lived a secret life as Dear Sugar, advice columnist for a website and this book is a collection of letters and her responses. Her words are beautiful, compassionate, empathetic, encouraging, practical, loving, inspiring. So often I thought, You’re right, Dear Sugar, I should do that in my life too. Or, Whew, yup. I did that too. Right on, Dear Sugar! and then I would pat myself on the back for not always completely fumbling through life. I laughed, cried, and found myself going back to certain stories for a re-read before I’d even made it to the end of the book.
As will be written about in a future post, I recently got a job that I am not necessarily actually qualified for, at least as far as experience or checking off any of the boxes in the “things we look for in a candidate for Digital Marketing Strategist” column. This has meant a pretty steep learning curve and a lot of free time devoted to reading everything I can. In addition to countless articles online, I read the above two books. The first, Getting Naked; A Business Fable, was an all-staff read a while back in my company, so I figured I’d read it. It was a surprisingly entertaining book. It read like a story rather than a how-to. I took it to bed one night intending to read a chapter or two and didn’t put it down until I was finished. It’s not a super deep book, but I applaud his story telling and I get behind his ideas.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, on the other hand, is definitely a how-to. I subscribe to his podcast and watch his videos on occasion. I’m a fan. While some of his points in the book are already outdated (as can only be expected in such a dynamic and rapidly changing arena), his best practices are pretty universally applicable. The majority of the book is made up of case studies accompanied by his insights.
Oh Mindy! I loved her last book and I loved this one. She is delightful, insightful, and funny. I love that she doesn’t play nice, apologize for her love of McDonalds, or sugar coat how to achieve success. She got where she is by working really fucking hard. She continues to grow and garner success because she still works really fucking hard. This was the perfect book to read on the last days of my funemployment to get me psyched up for my new wildly successful career.