Required Reading

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two books have been sitting on my nightstand for the last week. I consider both to be "required" reading.

The THREE SIGNS of a Miserable Job, by Patrick Lencioni


The BOOK of STILLMEADOW, by Gladys Taber

I consider these books required reading because:

Three Signs was given to the entire Senior Team at my corporate America job, and we were told there would be a quiz.

Stillmeadow was given to me by my mother 16 years ago. It's one of her favorite books. I found it when we moved last month, and figured I had put it off long enough.


Since there was going to be a test, I read Three Signs first. The HR Director that gave us this book to read must know how much I love irony. We were supposed to read this book, I am sure, to make sure as Managers our employees were happy. What I discovered was...... I have a miserable job. The three signs are: Anonymity, Irrelevance, and Immeasurement. Check, check, and check. Yup, I got 'em all. Fabulous.

Truth be told, I really enjoyed this book. It reads quick and easy (like me!), and actually did have a message that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. It's written as a fable, and I love the fact that the main character runs a small, run down Italian restaurant in Lake Tahoe. For any of you that have a staff over 5, I highly recommend this book. I'll be reading Lencioni's other book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, shortly. I've been given insider information that Five Dysfunctions is actually written about the senior team at my work.

I have just started Stillmeadow.

Work in progress...

I can see why my mother loves this book. It feels very English to me, and my entire maternal side of the family are anglophiles. It was published in the 1930's, and it's about a family that buys a 17th century farmhouse in Connecticut to restore as a weekend home.

Here's a passage:

"Autumn has varied gifts here in the Pomperaug Valley. Outdoor pleasures are still with us; picnics on a warm gray ledge with the good smell of broiling pork chops; walks along the country roads with the racing cockers; digging in the yet amiable earth to put in the last bulbs. We can work outdoors and not be muffled to the nose in woolens. But the lazy feeling of hot summer is gone, and we really feel like cleaning the garage, scrubbing the kennels, doing over that old maple chair."

That is beautifully written. I'm just having a hard time getting to that place. I can't quite relate. But I'm working on it Mom. I read a little every night, and hope it takes me away from this crazy, hectic place to a quieter, simpler place and time.




mom said...

I decided to get out my copy of Stillmeadow and read along with you. I always find it comforting.
You must make the PW finalist cheese muffins. Even Bill said he could make a meal out of them. Extra yummy, especially right out of the oven.

Love you, mom

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