When I graduated college, I didn’t recognize just how much I had missed reading. As an undergrad, I had no free time to read. When I magically found time to blog, my friends wondered where I got the time from. Reading, though, completely got the short end of the stick, in large part because I was doing so much reading for school.
Upon graduation, I packed up the shelf of unread books that had been accumulating and brought them with me to Baltimore, committed to getting back into reading. I set a Goodreads 2015 Challenge of 7 books from September through the end of December. In retrospect, I think that was a great goal that pushed me without biting off more than I could chew. And, in fact, on New Year’s Eve, I was powering through Shonda Rhimes’s Year of the Yes to finish that seventh book. I’m very happy to say I did!
This year, for 2016, I decided to set a Reading Challenge of 20 books! That’s 1-2 books a month, what I consider to be reasonable consider I’m working full time, keeping this little blogging space going (with the support of a wonderful sister!), taking a couple of night classes, and dabbling in other things hear and there. Some months I have more times to read than others, especially considering the ebbs and flows of long distance.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance*
It’s no secret that I work for a tech start-up. Elon Musk is a hot-button topic at any start-up event. People have strong opinions on the man and after smiling and nodding for just a couple instances too many, I knew that it was about time I educated myself. Twitter has been astir about the book for a long time. Taking it on as the first book of 2016 seemed like a logical choice.
This book provided valuable insight into the mind of a man who is often considered an enigma. Reading the nitty-gritty details of the founding of multiple successful ventures is inspiring but listening to the tales of those who participated in those ventures can be heartbreaking. Musk has been extremely successful time after time, but at the cost of the emotional well-being of many people around him. The fact that Silicon Valley and, in many ways, this work excuse Musk’s treatment of others is disappointing, especially in an era where work-life balance has been such a prominent topic of discussion.
I would strongly recommend this read for anyone who is interested in start-ups and business development. Overall, it was well-written and a wonderful exercise is self-reflection.
Blog Essentials: Finding Your Voice And Living The Blogger Lifestyle (Blogger Babes Blueprint Book 1) by Ponn Sabra*
I received a free copy of the following book through Blogger Babes in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
As I mentioned earlier this year, I really want to step up my blogging game. If you haven’t noticed already, we’ve been on-point with our scheduling. Posts are coming out 5 days per week between 5 and 6 am with only one slight slip-up that was quickly corrected. Last year, I got the opportunity to snatch up the first in the Blog Essentials series, but I hadn’t gotten around to actually reading it. I though, though, that January would be a great time to just dive right in!
The book was good reading and it brought great perspective, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t feel I gained any real value from the book. I’m already part of the Blogger Babes community, so I feel like I’ve already gotten a most of the information that was in this book packaged in different forms. Moreover, I’ve been blogging for a long time and I’ve been reflecting for a long time on how to better my blog. There were also a couple of typos that were just a little annoying.
I look forward to diving into the Blogger Babes Blueprints Book 2 on Design, as I’ve been reflecting on the Burke Does design for a while. I like our branding, but there are some design changes I want to make (For example, you might have noticed that our home page is gone.) and I’m trying to strategize what the best way to handle those are.
You can see my Reading Notes on the book here.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.