April 8, 2011 Leave a comment
While I wouldn’t consider myself a voracious reader, I do have a habit of reading 2-3 books concurrently and they are typically of varied content. I also have a hard time getting through an entire book unless it is very well written and engaging. For whatever reason, I’m finding the interesting and important components in a lot of the books I’ve read lately could be communicated in 20 pages or less. I guess I need to find better books… or get a longer attention span.
Anyway, here are the books I’m currently reading –
1. The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers by Scott Mactavish. As an expecting father, I’m absorbing quite a few books in this category. This book is laugh-out-loud funny, seriously I blurt out laughing, and easy to read, written in a quasi-military drill sergeant tone with acronyms like NFU (New Family Unit or baby), FPP (Female Parenting Partner) and BCF (Be Cool, Fool). It’s more humor than useful, but it’s a welcome relief from some of the other father-focused books that are not only serious, but packed with more information that anyone could possibly absorb.
2. The Reason For God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller. It’s interesting how being a first time expecting parent can affect areas of your life that you haven’t given much thought to lately. Spirituality and religion, for me, is a case in point. I grew up in an active Catholic household, which I think provided a good foundation of values, but I’ve never really explored other faiths, faith in general, and challenged that belief system that I grew up in. It has been easy to put off. But now I feel some responsibility as a father to do some research, explore my own beliefs and develop a point of view on religion so I can at least provide a foundation for my son until he is old enough to do his own exploration of his beliefs. This book by Timothy Keller is very good. He makes an analytical case for God and takes it one step further, for a Christian God. However, he does it with a balanced approach by acknowledging many common objections to God, then presenting arguments for both viewpoints. I’m enjoying this read and intend on my next book in this category to be the opposing argument.
3. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t by Jim Collins. This is an annual re-read for me. I’ve read this book a handful of times, it’s that good. The leadership principles in this book are so spot on as I’ve had sufficiently varied experiences to see different leadership styles perform just as Jim predicts in his book. This book keeps me in check.
4. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. I’m a huge animal lover, particularly of dogs. I know everyone thinks their dog is the greatest, smartest, most affectionate animal on the plant and I feel the same way about my dog Foster (who passed in 2008). I really wanted to find some analytical research into the mind of man’s best friend. Whereas most books on the subject seem to be based on opinion and experience, Alexandra, a behavioral psychologist, actually performs behavioral studies and analysis to get inside the dog. There are nuggets of interesting facts in this book, but I’m finding it difficult to read. At the end of the day, how can we really know what our dog is thinking? For the most important things we long to know about what our pets are thinking, I don’t think she definitively answers them. Probably one of those books I won’t finish.
So, what are you reading?