137: Virtual Selling

Virtual Selling by Jeb Blount

I’ve been through a lot of sales training, read a bunch of books, and Jeb is the best. I’ve experienced his onsite training twice at my company, and both times it was transformational to my sales process. It’s taught me enough about sales for me to know I don’t want any part of it! That’s why I coach and someone else sells!

Because of that my manager asked me to lead a book club with our team on this book. So I’ve been reading and creating a reading guide these past two weeks for us to discuss over the course of six weeks. I think it’s going to be one of my finer moments. Personal book love combined with work coaching love.

Jeb walks through using virtual techniques to add to your sales process. This is not a “do everything virtual now because the world is different and will be forever” kind of book. It’s systematic and worth the read. His other books are great for sales and highly recommended … but it is possible to get what you need just from this book. Why? Because the process is the same no matter what channels you use. Virtual doesn’t make it easier or faster, just adds a few new opportunities to connect!


136: Nothing Like I Imagined

Nothing Like I Imagined by Mindy Kaling

I was so excited to see these show up in my Goodreads feed the other day. It’s not really a book, but six individual essays. Goodreads counts it as six books toward my reading goal, I’m counting it as one.

They’re free on prime reading and even include narration by Mindy which is delightful.

The story follows her now as a producer and single mom. It makes me want to be her friend or find more friends like her. I appreciate her honesty about being single and being a mom. I think people love her because she isn’t ashamed about who she is and she doesn’t hide it. At least that’s why I love her.

Also she’s a super hard worker, very funny, and just a delight.


134: I Was Told It Would Get Easier

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Well this was just a delightful read. Jessica and Emily (mother and daughter) spend a week exploring east coast schools while figuring out life. It’s the longest they’ve spent together in quite some time.

They have a lot of learning about the other to do.

It’s a fast read and just delightful! I realized that I’ve loved other books by Abbi too. A new “let’s read everything she’s ever written” author to add to my pile.


133: A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

I have so many feelings around this book, and I can’t wait to discuss them in book club two weeks from now. It’s a thought-provoking story where we clearly see a man who was foul who took advantage of another man just because he could.

This is a story centered on race. The author does a beautiful job illustrating just what happened in a way that you can see how the DA and the Media misinterpreted and also the truth of the matter. Most stories with this subject matter are exploring the opposite, if you read it, I think you’ll understand what I mean there.

She also does something interesting with the narration. It’s like the neighborhood is narrating the story throughout. In the beginning it was a little odd, but after awhile I appreciated knowing what the collective neighborhood was thinking about what was happening.

I hesitate with my star rating to say I loved this book because I couldn’t stand one of the main characters, Brad, or even his wife, or hardly the young girl, Juniper. I have a hard time liking books when I dislike so many of the main characters. But I’m trying to instead rate the merits of the writing and storytelling, which was excellent.


131: The Adult Chair

The Adult Chair by Michelle Chalfant

I was first introduced to this concept by my therapist a year and a half ago. I started by listening to the podcast, working not he concepts in our sessions, and trying to share it with others.

I saw that she had a book so I used some digital amazon credits that were expiring way back at the beginning of the pandemic and thought, “I’ll read this during quarantine.” Seven months later, here we are. It’s a short book – read in less than 40 minutes. Does that even count as a book? It does for me.

Michelle explains her model in simple details. It’s a book I’ll read again because it’s so easy to forget these concepts and just hang out in my Adolescent Chair. While I’m comfortable there it’s only because I know those masks so well: perfectionism, criticism, transforming myself so people will like or love me.

I’m comfortable there because that’s who people expect me to be, not who I really am. So here’s to striving to live a wholehearted life comfortably sitting in my Adult Chair.


128: The Book of Lost Names

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

I was introduced to Kristin Harmel by my godmother years ago when she handed me a library book she’d just finished for me to read while I was visiting. The Life Intended was the book and it was amazing.

When I saw this either on instagram or goodreads, I thought it was about a library in current times. It’s not. It’s about a young woman, Eva, who is part of the French Resistance during World War 2 who’s past is catching up with her.

In a big, wonderful way. It’s a message of books, secrets, heroes, bravery, and love – but not really a love story in the traditional sense. There’s also a pretty amazing mother/daughter story. I read it in two nights … and haven’t stayed up late reading a book in months, which was quite a delight.


127: The Stationary Shop

The Stationary Shop by Marian Kamali

What a beautiful read! And that cover! A friend and I read Funny in Farsi last month for our buddy read, so we thought another book set in Iran would be appropriate for our next read. This was delightful.

I found my heart breaking for the main characters. Their love had an enemy, and the enemy prevailed in keeping them apart. They didn’t realize what happened until six decades later when it was almost too late though.

I don’t want to give the story away – so suffice is to say – go read this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to go to a bookstore.


126: The Night Swim

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

To say that prosecuting a sexual assault case is complicated is an understatement. Typically the only witnesses are the two individuals and it becomes “his” word against “hers.” That’s what happens in this book. Rachel, a podcaster, is there to cover the case in real time and while she tries to stay out of it, she can’t help but get involved. Mostly because another woman, Hannah, begins writing her letters asking that she investigate the death of her sister Jenny. The story happens over the course of about 10 days, but it dives deep into this recent assault and rape that occurred 10 months ago while also investigating Jenny’s death from 25 years ago.

The two are intertwined in a way I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately they’re also too common.

We don’t have a productive way of prosecuting sexual assault in our country (or in others that I know of). We pit victim against perpetrator, making the victim prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the perpetrator did what she said he did. Reliving the incident over and over again during the initial arrest, then again during the preparation for the trial, then again at the trial. I’m not advocating that a perpetrator is put in jail just because someone said something, but the revictimization isn’t good either.

I have some personal theories about the whole matter that I think have led us to this stage in our society. We treat sex as casual, doesn’t matter with whom or where. ‘You do what works for you’ is our general motto. But that’s not how this works. It’s not casual, and I think that’s how we’ve gotten to this place. We have no parameters on sex in our culture so it’s gotten out of hand. We’re a mess of our own making. That’s not me victim blaming, that’s me society blaming. We’ve created this culture – and if we want to tackle the issues we have with sexual assault and rape, then we’ll need to tackle the relationship with have with sex in general. It’s the only way – they’re inextricably linked.


124: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

After reading Followers I finally picked up this book that I’ve been meaning to read forever! While it was written in 2015, it’s so timely for today and our perceived love for “Cancelling” people. We used to call that publicly shaming them, but cancelling sounds better doesn’t it?

Jon looks into a few stories, discusses the history of public shaming, and even compares what’s done by the public on the internet to the real sentences one judge gives to offenders. Can you guess which is worse and more effective in making changes in people’s lives?

Hint: It’s not what’s done on the internet.


123: Garlic and Sapphires

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

I read this book a few years ago and loved it so much I gave it to my sister-in-law for Christmas. They proceeded to read it for their book club. Then I got it in a MMD book club box from Page One Books and thought, “I’d like to read this again.”

My first 2020 book club pick for my IRL group was Station Eleven, right as the pandemic was hitting … so I thought I needed something a little lighter for my second pick. Now we’re discussing this at the end of the week.

It was amazing the first time I read it, and this time did not disappoint A few have done it on audio, and they say it’s been rough because of the recipes and articles included – so a heads up. It’s delightful on paper, and the recipes sound amazing.

I also think it’s a bit of a social commentary, and I can’t wait to discuss it as a group. The differences between Brenda and Betty and Ruth. This is a short read and completely worth it!