Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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My 2017 Reading List

While there are many 2017-reading-listbenefits to working at home, the downside is that I don’t get to listen to near as many audiobooks as I used to. I really miss that, and my Wish List is piling up as we speak (or as I type).

However, I did manage to sneak a few in this year, and wanted to share them with you in case you’re looking for a good read.

And if you read something wonderful, please let me know about it!

2016 Reading List

2015 Reading List

2014 Reading List

2013 Reading List

2012 Reading List

2011 Reading List

By the way, if you haven’t yet discovered the magic of Audible, you can snag two, free audiobooks here. They’re yours to keep, even if you decide not to get a membership.

And if you don’t have much time to read, try Blinkist, where they summarize books into just 10 minutes of content.

I spend most of my car time listening to podcasts these days. Here are a few of my favorites. What would you add?

Happy learning!

 

PS: Some links are affiliate links, which means I get a small kick back for introducing awesome people to awesome things. I only promote what I love. 

 

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Merry Christmas!

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-10-28-07-am“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

You’ve probably heard that line. It’s one of my favorite holiday stories. In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun. It’s gone on to become the most reprinted newspaper article in history. And, in my opinion, it’s absolutely beautiful.

A few years back, I decided I wanted a nice copy of it, so I bought this book which recounts the tale. I read it every year because it’s full of hope, joy and magic. So, if you’ve heard of the story, but never read the actual article, I wanted to share it with you:

“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.”

——

“VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

 

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. It’s been a rough year for our country, and our world. And we all need a little more to believe in.

May you be blessed, and share the blessing.

Merry Christmas!

 

(Source: Newseum, which by the way, is an awesome place to visit.)

(Note: Amazon link is an affiliate link.)

 


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My 10 Most Recommended Books

I love recommending books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc, to people. I absolutely love it!!! And I also often get asked about what I’m reading, watching, or listening to. So, I figured I’d also tell you about a few books I love. In fact, these are probably the 10 books I’ve recommend most over the years—at least for now. 😉 And they cover a variety of subject matter and genres, so hopefully you’ll find something that piques your interest.

I hope you enjoy them too!

Ok, and here’s a few more to grow on because I couldn’t resist:

What about you? What would you recommend?

 

(Note: All Amazon links are affiliate links.)


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My 2015 Reading List

Row of vintage worn booksI discovered some fantastic books this year! And, as you’ll see, they cover quite a few topics. It’s good to have more than one interest, right?

If you’re looking for some suggestions for your very own reading list, take a look at these. And let me know of anything that you recommend for my 2016 list!

Looking for other suggestions? Here are my previous reading lists:

2014

2013

2012

2011

 

(Note: Amazon links are affiliate links.)


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Why You Should Read More (And How I Can Help)

Despite the fact that I don’t enjoy reading, I read a lot. Like, A LOT. But it wasn’t always this way. My sense of imagination and wonder came not from books when I was a kid, but from somewhere within—and a lot of movies and TV. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, or at least it wasn’t for me. You’ll find no brain rot here. It served me well for a long time. And honestly, it still does. But I’ve definitely learned the distinctive value of books and reading along the way. And I also realize more and more how few books people read nowadays. So, I’d like to help change that. Consider me your learning advocate. It’s time for an intervention.

I’m an information junkie. I always have been. I love absorbing new thoughts, ideas and experiences. One friend even called me “human Velcro.” I love learning. I’m eternally curious. But I’ve always said I could never go back to school, and instead, that’s why I attend conferences. They’re like little crash courses. Perhaps I couldn’t stay focused for several years again. Perhaps I just don’t want to. I loved my college experience, but I only need one.

Books are their own little crash courses, though. But to this day, given the chance of picking up a book or watching my Roku, the latter wins every time. However, I always want to improve myself, and books are the better way to make that happen. So, I did what all good humans do—I adapted.

That blessed day came when my friend introduced me to Audible. I looooovvvveeee my Audible account! I was resistant at first, but after I gave it a try, I can’t imagine life without it.

Need a little convincing?

Here are a few benefits of reading:

(Click any of the links above for further explanation and more reasons.)

Here are a few reasons you’ll tell me you can’t read more, and where I’ll debunk you:

  • I don’t have time. Wrong answer. You’ve just not prioritized reading. We make time for the things that interest us. You may have to shift some things around, but I promise you, you have more time than you realize. Do an audit of your time to find out. And if you choose to listen to your books like I do, my super smart friend who opened my eyes to Audible noticed that most book chapters are around 20 minutes. So, you can likely find 20 minutes before bed or in the car whether you’re turning pages or plugged in.
  • I don’t have the money. I know, it can get expensive. But, here are a few ideas. First, the library is free. Remember those? Many now have books on CD as well, and a some even have an app for listening on your device. Second, maybe you have a friend(s) who is an avid reader and will let you borrow a few paperbacks to get started. Third, if you’re considering an Audible account, why not share it with a friend or two? You can divide the credits and also listen to each other’s selections.
  • I prefer interaction to solitude. Cool—start a book club. Yep, they still have those, too, and my best friend is in one. I’ve also participated in them for social justice causes. And once you start reading more, you’ll want to talk about it anyway.
  • I’m not an auditory learner. What a coincidence, me either! This was my biggest hurdle in getting started. So, what I recommend to people is by starting with fiction. I listen to more fiction now than ever, but it’s still a smaller percentage in my self-help library. But it’s a lot easier to listen to overarching story lines in the beginning when you’re trying to re-train your brain, than to understand the 37 points of something or another. Trust me, it gets easier. I still have to rewind now and again when I’m really distracted, but it’s less and less.
  • Here are some other ideas to create space in your life for reading. And a few more to grow on for you more stubborn folks.

Well, there you go. Problem solved. Can’t you just feel that you’re about to get smarter? I’m anticipating it for you! It’s going to be awesome. Remember, just start with something that interests you. Then, you’ll find out that you’re interested in all kinds of things!

So, whether you use Audible or the library or a friend’s collection, just promise yourself you’ll start reading more. You’ll thank me for it.

Need a few book ideas to get you started? Here are my reading lists from the last couple of years: 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

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And a very special offer, if you’re interested in trying Audible.

Audible Free Trial:

• Get two free audiobooks to start
• After 30 days, get one audiobook a month for $14.95/month
• Receive 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
• Cancel at any time, and keep your books.

(Note: Amazon/Audible links are affiliate links.)