No More Mondays: Fire Yourself — And Other Revolutionary Ways to Discover Your True Calling at Work by Dan Miller

Wow, what a long title. This is a book that I have heard Dave Ramsey recommend time and time again to listeners of his radio show when they have job issues.

From the publisher:
“For everyone who dreads going to work on Monday mornings, inspiring advice on how to find fulfilling work in an uncertain age. Do you hate Mondays? If so, what’s keeping you at your current job? If you said a steady paycheck and the promise of a secure retirement, then you’re in for a big disappointment. In today’s volatile economy, there is nothing safe about punching the clock for a job you hate.”

I really enjoyed this book; I found it to be very motivating even though I am not looking for a new job or career. Looking at my job as a part of my calling and not just a grind that I do to make ends meet has become really important to me.

Realizing that the only job security you have is your ability to find your next one is very important in the world we now live in. It is now very rare for anyone to have the same job or even vocation for 20 years or more much less retiring from a company with a meaningful pension, so it is up to us to fund our own retirement and provide financial security for our families. Working at something you love will make that a lot easier and increase your chance of success and happiness. This book may give you some ideas of how to accomplish that goal.

I rate this book as a 8 out of 10 and recommend it to anyone that is unhappy in their current job. I purchased this book at Audible.

P.S.
Dan Miller has also written a book name “48 Days to the Work You Love” which may be more appropriate for people trying to find a job they can be passionate about.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

I have been listening to and reading some business books this year, and have heard a lot of good things about Seth Godin. When I looked at the books available on Audible by Mr. Godin most of them were focused on marketing which I do not have a lot of interest in. But “Linchpin” sounded really interesting.

From the publisher:
“Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.”

Doesn’t that sound good? I want to be a Linchpin, who wouldn’t want to be a Linchpin as described above?

But I don’t think I got a whole lot out of the book. I remember thinking more about how much was left to listen too than about what was being said. I agree with a lot of what is said in the book, but the way it is being said left me bored and inattentive.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this book a 4, I think that low score has more to do with the style of writing or the voice of the book than the quality of the content. I bought this book on Audible.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

I bought this book on Audible.

This is the story of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the murderous Dr. Henry H. Holmes.

From the publisher’s summary:
“The White City (as it became known) was a magical creation constructed upon Chicago’s swampy Jackson Park by Daniel H. Burnham, the famed architect who coordinated the talents of Frederick Olmsted, Louis Sullivan, and others to build it. Dr. Henry H. Holmes combined the fair’s appeal with his own fatal charms to lure scores of women to their deaths. Whereas the fair marked the birth of a new epoch in American history, Holmes marked the emergence of a new American archetype, the serial killer, who thrived on the very forces then transforming the country.”

This story grabbed me and would not let me go. I took a lot of walks and sat in the car in the driveway a lot so that I could listen to it. Learning about the work that went into creating the White City, the personalities involved, and the problems that they faced along with the horrible crimes of a 19th century serial killer held my attention to the very end.

I rate this book a 9 out of 10 and a great non-fiction read.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by John Gray

I bought this book from Audible, it is narrated by the Author.

It turns out that there are differences between men and women, who knew. After listening this book the differences are much clearer and now I have some ideas how those differences can be approached in a positive way. I expect what I have learned to make a real difference in my relationships with both men and women.

My wife has told me that she read this book years ago, and now that I have also read it I really appreciate the things my wife does for me that may have been learned from the book. Her understanding that I need to spend time alone in my man cave to recharge has really made our relationship strong. Now I need to giver her more time to talk and express herself without being interrupted or given “solutions.”

I rate this book a 9 out of 10 and a must read.

Creative Black & White by Harold Davis

Harold Davis’ new book on taking digital color photos and transforming them into creative black and white pictures is an inspiring read with a lot of examples and many ways to achieve your vision.

A focus of the book is to help you learn how to pre-visualize what the world of color that surrounds us in blank & white. To se the contrasts of light and shadow that are left when the color is removed from an image and I think the book does a good job of describing how to do that.

I really like the different ways that are covered in the book to transform your color images into blank & white, Photoshop, Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro, and Photomatix are all covered. Creating images with high-hey, low-key, split toning, HDR, hand coloring, and noise are all explored with examples and tips.

I found the HDR example especially interesting, using HDR methods to create a photo with a extraordinary range of shadows is really appealing to me and I plan on giving it a try soon.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in making amazing black & white photos.

I want to thank the author for the chance to review this book before its release.