Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert

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Prairie Silence: A Memoir by Melanie Hoffert My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really loved this book! Author Melanie Hoffert grew up in a small town in North Dakota. She realized at an early age that she was gay, but kept this fact hidden from her family and community for many years. Like so many rural kids, once she grew up she left her community for the big city, in this case the Twin Cities in Minnesota.


Letters to a Young Madman by Paul Gruchow

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Letters to a Young Madman: A Memoir by Paul Gruchow My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paul Gruchow is one of my all-time favorite authors. I had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and in particular recall one incredibly stormy evening listening to him read and speak at UW-Stout here in Menomonie. He had such an incredible gift for language, and for seeing the natural world. I first experienced his work in The Necessity of Empty Places, which I read, appropriately enough on a wonderful vacation to Glacier and Grand Teton National Parks.


The Emotional Life of Your Brain - Book Review

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The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them by Richard J. Davidson My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is absolutely fascinating. Author Davidson is the founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. He’s gotten a lot of attention with his work doing brain scans on Tibetan monks while they meditate.


Designing for Growth - Book Review

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Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers by Jeanne Liedtka My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is a good introduction to applying design thinking principles to business. While it’s focused mainly on business growth, I think it can easily be applied to any facet of business. Design thinking entails a set of skills different from what most business people use on a daily basis. The authors lay out an easy-to-follow set of steps that can be applied to any business problem.


Flying Leap Book Review

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Flying Leap: A Novel in Perspective by Ralf Oliver My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book. It’s of the genre “lost person meets guru and gets life lessons.” But it’s a neat twist that the guru is a pigeon. Most of the lessons discussed fit pretty well with Buddhist teachings. Books like this always help me to step back from the craziness of day-to-day life and examine what I’m doing.


Small Town Rules

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by Barry Moltz and Becky McCray (Full disclosure: Becky is one of the organizers of #140conf Small Town, where I’ve spoken the last two years. She was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of her book.) This book, subtitled “How Big Brands and Small Business Can Prosper in a Connected Economy”, is a great look at the unique attributes that can make small town and rural businesses successful.


Update on Age Of Conversation 3

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So it turns out it’s a little harder to give away money than you might think. The proceeds for the book Age of Conversation 3 (with an essay by yours truly) were originally to go to the Make a Wish Foundation. They, however, required all publicity linked to the donation to use the same words, etc. Kind of hard to do when there are almost 200 authors out there flogging the book.


How Soon is Now?

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Rick Liebling, one of my fellow authors in the Age of Conversation project, is publishing a series of interviews with AOC3 authors on his blog. He’s just posted mine at his blog. Thanks Rick!


"My" Book is on Amazon

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I’m thrilled to finally announce that Age of Conversation 3, a book including an essay from yours truly, is now available for sale on Amazon. Click below to check it out! Amazon.com Widgets


Great Quote

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“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead.