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For the next few months a big chunk of my reading will be devoted to these giant books. Or it should be, so help hold me accountable! I’m taking a 12-week prep course and then testing for the SHRM-SCP, (like the SPHR) an HR certification in December. I’ve never been great at tests and studying and both of my degrees just involved writing papers, which I was always decent at. So I’m a little nervous and will need to be diligent about hitting this books. This is a certification that I’ve debated for a few years, but it’s time to stop chickening out and just do it.
What I Read In September
Not going to lie…the first third of this book was slow. I’m glad I hung in there though because it started to pick up as it got into Apple products that I recognize and love! I’ve been an Apple convert for years after I got fed up fighting with constant issues on my PC and Android phone. But this book isn’t all about Apple…it talks about strategies that you could apply to any business, or life in general. The beginning is slow, but it picks up and is worth the wait. It had me Googling old Apple ads and commercials and remembering gems like these.
Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein
I don’t remember how I heard about this book, but it’s been on my shelf for awhile. I picked it up the other day to see if I would still want to read it or get rid of it. (I wasn’t sure I could get into the interview format.) Turns out I did want to read it, right away! I got used to the writing style and sucked in really quickly. It really brought me back to my childhood!
Sully: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow
I recently mentioned that if a book catches my eye, I indulge and this was one of those books. I didn’t realize it’s the same book as Highest Duty, which I’d heard of but hadn’t read and I also didn’t realize this was a movie! Shows how out of touch I can be. In July I read Miracle on the Hudson, which tells the story of Flight 1549 from the passengers’ point of view. It was really good but left me with a lot of questions, mostly about what was going on in the cockpit and what’s the story behind this awesome captain? Sully was the answer to those questions! It’s also his biography, so there are parts about learning to fly as a young boy and serving in the Air Force…so right away I knew I’d be mailing this one to my dad as soon as I was done!
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
This book brought me right back to a college science class I took in 2008. The professor challenged us not to purchase any bottled water for an entire year…and I haven’t since. It awakened a dormant little hippie in me and an interest in treating the planet with respect. That interest has gone up and down throughout the years, but lately it’s back in full force. It’s interesting how things come full circle eventually. I’m not sure I could do the zero waste thing, but I do want to cut back on waste in general. It goes along with minimalism, living simply, forgoing chemicals, eliminating disposable, and avoiding plastic. Cutting back on waste as a whole fits right into the picture for me. It all overlaps. I firmly believe we have a responsibility to leave the earth in the same, if not better, condition as it was when we arrived.
This book was good. I give it 5 stars. I learned a lot, was fascinated, and a little disgusted. I will be changing some habits for sure. It makes you think and really open your eyes.
Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan
Continuing my education in sustainable fashion…this book was super helpful. I mostly read the first section about the different concerns one could have about the fashion industry. It really explained the terms and helped me identify the things that most concern me personally. The rest of the book got a little more into fashion than I’m interested in, so I skimmed it for the really helpful recommendations of places to buy clothes in line with my values. It’s set up like a work book, so if you get this one, go with the hard copy.
Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt by Melanie Lockert
Melanie Lockert is a personal finance blogger at Dear Debt and invites readers to share their Dear Debt letters. Her blog is informative and the letters are inspiring! (I shared my letter last spring.) I was really excited when I saw Melanie had a book coming out! It’s a short read but jam-packed with useful information, including strategies for paying off debt, ways to save money, ways to make money, and really handy resources. Plus it was interesting for me to learn more about Melanie’s journey!
The Thin Green Line: The Money Secret of the Super Wealthy by Paul Sullivan
I heard about this one back when I listened to the So Money podcast and have wanted to read it for a while. Paul Sullivan spends a lot of time interviewing the super wealthy and over time he has learned that there is a difference between being rich and being wealthy. Wealthy is the one to strive towards. The book has some subtle political undertones about the whole 1% thing, but if you can overlook that, there are some good insights and perspectives.
No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy Seal by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer
It’s been a while since I read a military book and they are always quick reads for me, so this was a good one to round out the month. This is written by the same Navy SEAL who wrote about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in No Easy Day. There was a lot of controversy around that book in the military community, giving so much inside information on Bin Laden’s capture only a few years after it occurred, while there was still a war going on. Even reading this one I had the same concerns about how much detail is shared about somewhat recent operations. And then there is the fact that SEALs generally don’t take credit for things so No Easy Day was a bit unusual in that regard. (Although, to be honest…it seems like books like this one are simply more common in recent years.) Several parts of this book were redacted and blacked out because the author and the military couldn’t agree on what was acceptable to share.
Despite that, I enjoyed this book just like most military books I read. SEALs are badass and it’s interesting for me to read about the war that I served in (Iraq) and the one that was intertwined with my military career back home (Afghanistan). It might be weird that I enjoy reading this stuff, but I bet I’m far from the only OIF vet that does. It’s strange to read it, knowing I was there and a part of that piece of history…although my experience was very different (and easy!) compared to the stories in this book…If you liked No Easy Day or any Marcus Luttrell books, you’ll like this one too.
Now back to those HR textbooks…