Geetanjali Mukherjee

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I'm Reading - August

The Power of Moments - Chip and Dan Heath

(I read an advanced reader copy - this book will be out in October 2017.)

This is the first book I have read of Dan and Chip Heath, and I loved this book so much, I immediately got a copy of one of their earlier books, Switch, which I am also thoroughly enjoying.

The Power of Moments is about why certain moments and experiences in our life are so powerful that they can change us, and how to create more such moments for ourselves, our children, our employees and our customers.

At first glance, it doesn't seem like this is such an important goal - creating more important moments. But think about it, how many days and specific moments do you remember from high school, or college, or your vacation last summer? What would you like your kids to remember from their Christmas holiday or their vacation with their grandparents, or your customers to remember from their interaction with your product or service?

At a time when word of mouth is essential for marketing, when the practice of recording each meal and experience of our life is mandatory, how will we look back and what will stand out in our memories as something that mattered, even was life-changing? The stories the authors share are varied - from experiences in high school that remained with the students even years later, to a hotel that provided an amazing level of service, to the perfect way to welcome a new employee. There are so many points in our life when with a bit of thinking and planning, we can transform the moment to something we will always remember. This book teaches us how to do that.

This is not the kind of book you speed through. It is something you dip into from time to time, and work through the writing exercises. The author helps you become authentic, on the page and to yourself. You see parts of yourself you didn't see before, and you realize that you are on your own unique journey, not to compete with or be like anyone else. Sometimes the language and style felt heavy and overly academic, but the message and intent was clear - peel back the layers and discover who you are underneath, and live more fully, more true to yourself.

(I read an ARC of this one as well - from NetGalley.)

This book was difficult to read, primarily for two reasons. The writing is dense, full of facts, sometimes overly so. Also, reading about characters who it was impossible to like or feel much sympathy for, I had to put the book down and do something else or read something else to cleanse my palate of a story of greed, jealousy, corruption and immorality. Sure, the lives of the uber rich may not be the same as ours, but the scale of disparity, with no redeeming features, was not always fun to read.

Having said that, the book is meticulously researched and very well-written. I also found that the pace picked up, and I flew through the last third of the book. I also learnt a great deal about French laws and cultural norms and perhaps some of the seedy reality behind the fa├žade of luxury and style.

( I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley to review.)

(I received a free copy of this book from the author to review.)

This is a short novella set in the same world as the Feeder series. I enjoyed the first book in the series and am looking forward eagerly to the next one. "Dissent" is the story of Dom, and to some extent, Shiela. This story fills in some of the gaps in the story from the first book, and helps to explain some of Dom's actions and where he is coming from.

Although "Dissent" makes reference to the story from the first book, this is a mostly new story. You get to see behind the scenes of the first story in some way. And you get to know Dom better. It is also easier to follow, with only POV, unlike the previous story (which made it at times harder to follow and stick with). All in all, a good, quick, fun read.
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