Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Reading List - January 2012

Last year I posted my reading list for 2011.  As I was preparing my list for 2012, I looked back at that list and was surprised to see I had only read two of the five books I was planning to read.  I read more books last year (I swear), but I apparently skipped the rest of the list for other choices.  I still want to read those three books, so I'll carry them over to this year and add in the others I've accumulated since then.

Here is a list of the books I'm currently reading or planning to read this year in no particular order (reviews to come):
  1. Rooms by James L. Rubart - about 50% done
  2. My Antonia by Willa Cather - about 10% done
  3. Conversation Marketing: Internet Marketing Strategies by Ian Lurie
  4. If You're Clueless About Starting Your Own Business by Seth Godin
  5. All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
  6. Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership by Susan Kuczmarski, Thomas D. Kuczmarski
  7. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  8. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  9. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People by Gary Chapman
  10. The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister by Carolyn Tomlin, Denise George and Nonna Bannister

I've also received a few books authors have asked me to review.  I'll be reading/reviewing those as I have time.

Have other recommendations for me?  Let me know!

Monday, January 9, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Truth About Managing People by Stephen Robbins


ABOUT THE BOOK (From Amazon):

“The premiere writer of management textbooks has sifted through the research to extract the truths every manager should know. This book is an antidote for the unsupported opinions handed out in many popular management books.”
Kenneth W. Thomas, Professor of Management, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, author of Intrinsic Motivation at Work

“A prolific scholar and writer, Robbins cuts through the research and theory to deliver immediately useful and essential insights for the effective management of people.”
Eric G. Stephan, Professor Organizational Leadership & Strategy, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University

You can succeed brilliantly as a leader and overcome the “killer” problems faced by every manager!

• The truth about building winning teams and designing high-productivity jobs
•  The truth about why “happy” employees aren’t always more productive
•  The (surprising) truth about what behaviors you really want to reward

This book reveals 53 Proven Principles for handling virtually every management challenge

The Truth About Managing People offers real solutions for the make-or-break problems faced by every manager. You'll discover: how to overcome the true obstacles to teamwork; why too much communication can be as dangerous as too little; how to improve your hiring and employee evaluations; how to heal "layoff survivor sickness"; even how to learn charisma. This isn't someone's opinion; it's a definitive, evidence-based guide to effective management: a set of bedrock principles you can rely on throughout your entire management career.

MY REVIEW:

I have supervised people in some capacity in my professional life for about 7 years now.  Early on, when I was put into a role that involved supervising 2-3 people, I learned that managing people can be challenging.  Over the years, as that number has grown, I have learned that "one size" does not fit all when it comes to working with a variety of different personalities and skill sets.

This book is a great resource for any manager, whether brand new or a veteran.  Robbins discusses every aspect of management from the initial interview (what type of person to look for and hire) to motivating workers, team building, communication, how organizations deal with change, etc.  I learned new things about myself and about people in general that will help me in my role as a supervisor.

I took notes furiously as I was reading and there are many great quotes I could share, but I want to share one particular quote that absolutely blew me away:
What percentage of rank-and-file workers actually desire higher order need satisfactions and will respond positively to challenging jobs? No current data is available, but a study from the 1970s estimated the figure at about 15 percent.
Robbins, Stephen P. (2007-09-20). Truth About Managing People, The (2nd Edition) (p. 166). Pearson Education (US). Kindle Edition. 
If you are a manager, you are likely part of that 15%, so don't treat your role lightly. Embrace the challenge and learn how to hire, motivate and work with your employees for the greatest outcome for your company/organization.

If you read this book, come back and comment on this post with what you learned...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose


ABOUT THE BOOK (From Amazon):

Why you're going to love The Raw Food Detox Diet
You will . . .
  • never count calories, fat grams, or carb grams, or measure foods again;
  • see results even without deliberate exercise;
  • eat liberal amounts of rich, satisfying foods; and
  • open the flood gates for improvements in every area of your life.
Natalia Rose's proven program will set you on a course toward greater energy, a slimmer figure, a radiant complexion, and amazing natural health—whether you aim to lead an all-raw lifestyle or simply want to lose weight while still eating the foods you love. The book also features more than eighty irresistibly fresh and simple gourmet recipes for all meals, occasions, and Raw Food Detox Diet levels, including
  • mouthwatering salad dressings such as Liquid Gold Elixir and Amazing Raw "Peanut" Sauce;
  • sumptuous soups such as Raw Harvest Butternut and Coconut Soup;
  • cleansing pasta and lasagna dishes and delicious, guilt-free pizzas;
  • Thai delights such as Spring-in-Your-Step Rolls with Raw Teriyaki Sauce;
  • decadent desserts such as Cheesecake Pudding and Raw Cinnamon Apple-Pear Pie; and
  • Raw Ice Creams and Sherbets.

MY REVIEW:

I have been interested in the raw food diet/lifestyle for years, but have not had enough confidence in myself to really take the next step.  Over the weekend I finally decided to buy this book which I've had my eye on it for several months now.  I read the entire thing in under 24 hours and I have learned a lot!

Whenever I tell anyone that I read this book or that I'm on a "raw food diet," everyone seems to react with some sort of fear.  They tell me stories about people they know who tried to eat "raw food" and got sick or they try to convince me how bad a raw food diet can be for your system or they question how someone on this type of diet could possibly get enough protein or calcium.  Although it may sound extreme, the Raw Food Detox Diet is probably not what you think it is.  Rest assured, all of these things are covered in the book.  So, before you comment on this post with all of the reasons I should not eat a raw food diet, I recommend you read the book. You may be surprised.

I was very relieved by the author's approach on eating raw foods and felt confident after reading the book that I can do this.  Here's why. At the end of Part I there is a brief quiz that helps you determine your own personal "raw food transition number."  Your score will put you into one of five different categories and then there is a section that provides a 7 day sampling of how/what you should eat at your individual level, as well as a wide variety of recipes to help you get started. 

The results of my test put me in Level 4 (1 being the most extreme of the 5 groups). At Level 4 Rose recommends I eat about 80% raw foods.  That means I get some cooked foods (including meat) at dinner every day.  Can I eat fruits and veggies all day and then a nice normal-ish meal in the evening?  You bet!  But, there is a method to how you should eat those fruits and veggies for the best results, so if you are interested in eating a raw food diet, I suggest you do your research first.

After reading the book, my husband and I made a commitment to try this type of healthier eating for a while and see how we do as a family (but don't call that a New Year's Resolution!).  We're only one day into it, so I will have to come back and update this post when I have results to share.  Wish me luck!

Happy New Year!