Drive-By Book Review: Godin, Pink and Feld. Oh My!

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Drive-By Book Review: Godin, Pink and Feld. Oh My!

Love being able to start the year sharing 3 new books that’ll really make you think. On deck today are: The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink Startup Life by Brad Feld & Amy Batchelor My usual Drive-by book review format asks 3-questions: What is it? What makes it different? Why do […]

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Drive-by Book Review: Crazy Sexy Kitchen

I read a ton, so I figure it’s time to get back to sharing great books on a more regular basis with you guys with my signature Drive-by Book Reviews™. Quick reminder. I don’t review books I don’t enjoy. Because if a book is a drag, I won’t finish it (my life’s too short) and you […]

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A Short Sweet Guide to Big Cool Things

Derek Sivers is an interesting cat…

A grad of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, he trained for years as a musician, before making the jump into the world of entrepreneurship (not that he stopped being a musician).

Over 10 years, he built industry-leading indie-music distributor/retailer, CDBaby, then sold it for $22 million in 2008…but not before transferring the entire company into a charitable trust that set aside only a modest sum for him to live on after the sale…

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Chris and the Nonconformist, Zillion-Sum Mystery Tour

Last night, I had the great pleasure of helping my friend, Chris Guillebeau, launch his new book, The Art of Nonconformity with a standing-room only event in NYC. It was the first stop in a more than 60 location, 4-month North American Unconventional Book Tour. For those who don’t know Chris, he shot to internet […]

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Drive By Book Review: UnMarketing by Scott Stratten

It’s been a while since I’ve done my drive-by book reviews, but I’ve been reading so many great new books, it’s time to bring them back. For those who’ve never experienced a drive-by review, they’re short, sweet and to the point, answering 3 basic questions: what’s it about, what makes it different, who should read […]

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Storytelling and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I confess, I’m obsessed… Strike that. Possessed. With the art of storytelling. It’s why I’m about to spend four 10-hour days in a NYC workshop led by Robert McKee called simply Story next week. McKee’s taught many of the top screenwriters and novelists in the world how to craft stories that have defined the genres […]

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WSJ Career Writer, Alexandra Levit Talks New Job, New You

Last week, Wall Street Journal career columnist and five-time author, Alexandra Levit, swung by NYC and I had a chance to grab a cup of coffee and ask her about her new book, “New Job, New You.”

During our conversation, I own up to the fact that I didn’t actually want to read the book, having been a bit overwhelmed by career books last year. But, once diving in, I realized this was different. She explains how in our conversation. Enjoy!

You can find Alexandra at: | @ALevit | WSJ

And, her book is New Job, New You.

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Drive-By Book Review: The Happiness Project

book-largeIt’s been a while since I’ve done my Drive-By Book Reviews, but one of my resolutions is to get back into sharing more of the books I’m reading with you guys in my special cut-to-the-chase Drive-By style. Up today is…

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Who’s it for? This book is just out today, but is so compelling it’s already racked up more than 25 reviews via amazon’s Vine program and last I checked was ranked in the top 100 books on amazon…before you could even get it! I guess that’s because a ton of people are looking for practical, non-preachy information about how to get and stay happy. If that’s you, this book just may be the perfect start to your new year.

What’s it all about? The book tracks Gretchen’s year-long journey into the wacky world of happiness research, tips and strategies. Gretchen’s not a researcher or professor, she’s a real person living in Manhattan. So, rather than reporting on the science and sharing others’ stories, she decided to round up all the major claims and theories that’ve been set out over the last few years, from positive psychology to the great philosophers, and test them in her own life.

Every month, Gretchen focused on a different happiness strategy, doing what she could to bring it to life, then observed what happened. Did it work? Was it total bunk? How could she tweak it to get the biggest happiness bump possible? Her goal wasn’t to push any agenda or strategy, but rather to “do, observe and report.” So, there’s no bias to prove anything right or wrong, just great information.

What makes it so different? Three things make this book very different than the growing gaggle of happiness books out there.

One, it’s written from the perspective of a real world person. I’ve read every book that’s come out on happiness over the last 5 years. There’ve been many great ones, but they’re pretty much all written from the prospective of researchers or aggregators of research. And, I LOVE research, but I’ve often been left wondering…does that really work? Gretchen is living life and testing the theories laid out in the books and papers of most others in the field. There’s no agenda beyond that.

Two, it’s supported by a fantastic, established blog that I read regularly and an online happiness project toolbox that’s got real value. Gretchen’s been writing The Happiness Project blog for almost 3 years now and somehow managed to write a book that builds upon, but is very different from the content in the blog. Together, they work magic. The book acts as an anchor and the blog turns the book into a constantly evolving and growing community, where Gretchen interacts with her readers every day.

Three…the woman can write. This isn’t a one-off for Gretchen. She’s an author with a number of other books to her credit. And, she’s not afraid to get personal and funny. The Happiness Project isn’t written to make Gretchen look good, instead, it reveals through stories and insights a very real, engaging person and a process of discovery we can all connect with. And, in fact, as the book unfolds, that’s exactly what she challenges us to do. Connect with and create our own Happiness Projects.

Thumbs? Totally up. Will we all walk away and do what Gretchen’s done? Doubtful. But, you don’t have to buy into every strategy proffered or try everything she tried. You’re not Gretchen and she’s very aware of that fact. The idea is to personalize your journey, to try then adopt what works for you.

The way I see it, resolution season is a few days away and most resolutions, when you boil them down, are rooted in our desire to be happier.

The Happiness Project is a great starting point for that process.

Go grab your copy today!

[Disclosure – I was given a review copy for free (though I would’ve gladly paid when it came out), the link to the book is an affiliate link, so if every reader buys a copy I’ll have enough to buy myself a new hair net tomorrow and Gretchen is a friend, so while I’ve tried to be unbiased, c’mon, she rocks and I want you guys to be her friend, too…dammit!]

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Brogan and Smith’s Ballsy Move

Lots of authors make claims. But, this is different… On Monday, online giver bar none, Chris Brogan, and his writing partner, Julien Smith, released their new book, Trust Agents. It’s a good book. Strike that. It’s a really good book. Because it explains the deeper shift in the process of gaining trust, establishing credibility, then […]

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