Between ten days of camp with very little quiet time and all my Saturdays last month spent working on the campground preparing for said ten days of camp, I wasn’t able to read quite as much in July as I was in June. That said, I did polish off two great books and made progress in a couple others, so at least I’ll share with you my thoughts on the two I finished last month.
Made to Stick, Chip Heath and Dan Heath
This book’s subtitle is Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which gives you a better idea of what it’s about. The Heath brothers who authored it are excellent communicators, and in Made to Stick they explore six key characteristics of effective ideas. Their advice applies to all sorts of ideas: I can easily see myself using their insights in my teaching, writing, and marketing, but really anyone from entrepreneurs to church leaders to parents would find this book useful. Each chapter is full of specific stories and studies to explain each point, and the Heath brothers do a fantastic job combining facts and figures with psychological insights about human behavior in a very practical, engaging way. Would recommend to anyone interested in communicating more effectively, whether on a professional or personal level.
Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
This was a reread for me (obviously—it’s Jane Austen!), and I found it as delightful as ever. Catherine Morland is the youngest of Austen’s heroines, both in age and in mind, but her unfaltering gentleness, compassion, and honesty absolutely win me over despite her naiveté. Her character is so innocent and genuine that she enters life ready to trust everyone, and the primary lesson she must learn is how to evaluate people more accurately. Catherine is charming, affectionate, candid, and unassuming, and while Austen gently laughs at her childish ignorance and imagination, at the same time she honors Catherine’s integrity.
I also listened to about 25 hours of David Copperfield on Audible, but I’m not quite finished with the book so I’ll have to wait and talk about it next month. I can tell you it’s wonderful!
As for some music I’ve been listening to this July:
Instrumental Music (Apple Music Playlist), Antonio Vivaldi
As I worked intensely on my latest script, I just felt the need for clean, structured, classical study music. I found a playlist of instrumental pieces by Vivaldi on Apple Music, and it featured a range of traditional and modern interpretations. Exactly what I needed to help me focus and write.
Music Video Hits, BYU Vocal Point
I enjoy a capella vocal groups, and Brigham Young University’s ensemble Vocal Point is one I listen to fairly often. They perform a variety of genres, from sacred to pop to Broadway. Their Music Video Hits album (Vol. 1) includes a cover of “Nearer, My God, To Thee” using essentially the same arrangement as The Piano Guys use, and it’s pretty awesome.
Looking for previous posts in my “What I’ve Been Reading” series?