I received a complimentary copy of Thrive from Blogging for Books for this review. My copy of Start came from the library. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
So I guess I’m going through a “books with one word for titles” phase, since the two books I’ve been oscillating between are Thrive and Start (and can we just acknowledge for a moment that I’m reading TWO books at once…I used to only read one book a year, people! ).
Thrive is a highly lauded work by Arianna Huffington, of Huffington Post fame. I am consistently drawn to books by women who have achieved some notable degree of professional success as I try to understand just how in the heck they did it. Most days just getting a shower seems to be a goal out of reach, so building and leading successful companies, or launching a start-up can seem rather bewildering to me, as much as I have a taste for working on my own and crave more of it for my future.
Let me just tell you this: I only made it through 3/4 of the book. I tried you guys, I REALLY tried. But at the end of the day, I found it just a bit too far away from my own reality. It felt very “heady” for lack of a better term, and there was a season of my life where I would have devoured the book due to it having interesting study after study referenced, and due to the near constant barrage of sage advice from the ancients and even from more modern wise men and women. When I was in graduate school, and when I didn’t have two small kids underfoot, I could read these thought-provoking sections and engage in a sort of dialogue with the author, scribbling down my own thoughts and questions that they brought to light. And if you have the time and space to do that, then I think Thrive is a worthy read, truly.
As for me, right now I need the little astute nuggets of truth to be already chewed (and hell, even partially digested) for me. And I need you to give me the point in simple terms. And then do it again, and then again. Because then it has a reasonable chance of sticking. As I glossed over gemstone after gemstone of intriguing thoughts, universal truths, and shrewd wisdom, all I kept thinking was, “What a shame. This is all lost on me because I’m reading this while my youngest is hitting me over the head with her (please God let it be clean) diaper.”
Thrive, for me, was just too much, plain and simple. And plain and simple is what I need right now. The irony also wasn’t lost of me that the chief message in the book, at least to the extent that I could glean it, was about slowing down, simplifying, and enjoying the simple things, because in the end, that’s really all there is. But that simple message was very convoluted, at least for me.
So the other book I’m reading is Start by Jon Acuff. This was recommended to me by several fellow business women and entrepreneurs, and while some may find it to be almost too basic of a read, I found myself DELIGHTED by its conversational tone and simple messaging.
Jon is a motivator and a fire starter, for sure. He leaves you wanting to turn the page and read more, but he also writes in such a way that when you need to put the book down to go scrape Play-Doh out of the carpet, you can do that, too. As someone who has a lot of half-baked ideas about things I want to do as my own boss, Start left me feeling encouraged to do something, ANYTHING, about them, and to stop using the excuse that since I can’t do it all (and I most definitely CAN’T do it all right now) then I shouldn’t try to do any of it. That’s just silliness, but I needed help to see that.
So in short, these are both great reads in their own right, but Start is speaking to me more right now. Oh friends, I’d love to write more about it, but my youngest is currently screaming like her leg is being amputated (in reality, her father is removing a Band-Aid). Season of life, indeed!
Have you read either of these books? Any thoughts? What are you reading right now?