Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram of a book I had recently read and recommend. Nancy Ray commented we should start a book club (I recently had read another book on a recommendation from her). Kari Crowe mentioned that she would join too. So with those two prompts, I decided to create one. Or at least my version of one.
I have a lot of dreams for 2013 and an over-arching goal for each new year is to always be a better person by this time next year. To make use of the untapped potential that exists in me. A big part of that comes from reading. It is simply a practice that cannot be replaced by anything else. Sure, you can learn from other platforms, but none of them have the impact or power to change your mind and worldview that books do. Books carry ideas and good ideas have the power to change our minds, change our hearts and when put into action, change the world.
This is, more or less, how the Splendid Book Club will work:
1. We'll read one book every two months. This allows for a reading pace that is doable for most schedules. This also allows time to read whichever books are on your personal reading lists. I'll post the next book a month prior so that everyone has time to purchase it or put their name on a wait list at the library. If it's a book you've already read, read it again! You might discover something you missed the first time around.
2. The books will be related to being more splendid in some way. More splendid in business, in life, in how we approach problems, etc. There will be no Twilight, Hunger Games, 50 Shades, etc. Not that the flavor of the month books can't be splendid, but they don't really fit into what this book club is about.
3. At the beginning of the month, I'll post a reading outline for the next two months. This is meant as a guideline and you can obviously read as slow or as quickly as you'd like. Because these aren't fiction books, I'm not particularly concerned about spoilers.
4. Feel free to Tweet or Instagram parts that stand out to you with the hashtag #readsplendid. Write blog posts that share your insights from the books and what you're learning so that others can learn from your take on things. If you're really ambitious, you can organize Splendid in-person group meet-ups to talk about the books. If you do this last one though, please have snacks. In person book clubs that don't have snacks are not splendid. The point is, this can look however you'd like it to, but it won't work if we all just read the book and don't share the ideas that we're taking away from it.
So without further ado, here is the first book for 2013: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brené Brown.
I am choosing to kick off 2013 with this book because 'faux authenticity' is all the rage right now. It is popular to use social media and other platforms to tell a story that may sound nice, but isn't exactly your story and doesn't actually belong to you. This is damaging on so many levels. It is time to get back to being real rather than merely pretending to be real.
Brené is a qualitative researcher at the University of Houston. Her books are all about how to be yourself and live a more authentic life, free from the fear of what others may think of you. Unlike most books that spring from academia, hers are not dry. They are thought-provoking and funny and hold ideas that matter. If you're not already familiar with Brené and her work, I recommend watching her TEDxHouston talk (the best out of her TED talks, in my opinion) first:
Daring Greatly is her latest book, and we'll read it in January and February, wrapping up on February 28th. Here is the reading outline:
Week 1 (week of January 6) - Intro and Chapter 1
Week 2 (week of January 13) - Chapter 2
Week 3 (week of January 20) - Chapter 3
Week 4 (week of January 27) - Chapter 4
Week 5 (week of February 3) - Chapter 5
Week 6 (week of February 10) - Chapter 6
Week 7 (week of February 17) - Chapter 7
Week 8 (week of February 24) - Catch up if life got crazy and you got off schedule
You can order Daring Greatly here. It also comes as an audio book, so if you'd rather listen as you design a project, edit photos, workout, or drive all over town, you can do that, too.
Please don't forget to use the hashtag #readsplendid if you post about the books. This will allow the larger community to follow along with your insights and empower us to learn from each other.
PS: It was Brené's insights that pinpointed why I don't like the word "creatives." Sometimes you have an idea or gut reaction about something and can't quite articulate it, but someone else comes along and says what you've been feeling in an exact way.