Books …

Book Shelf - Me

I should let this quotation speak for itself … but I have some thoughts about books and reading to share with you:

Even when two people read the same words at the same time, what they experience is unique to them.

A book, once read, can never be unread.  The threads of thought that you experience stay with you.

Reading reveals the power of words and phrases and of characters and structure to inform, engage, and inspire … when you choose the right books.

Young people’s books have pictures, to help our young minds learn to dream and imagine.  As we age, we design our own illustrations and create our own worlds.

Wherever you grew up and whoever you knew, books help you learn about all those other places and people you did not know existed.

A good book requires three “R”s:   Reading, Reflection, and Rereading.  Dare I add a fourth “R” by saying “repeat as needed or desired.”?

What thoughts would you add about books and reading?

Feeling very thankful for the gift of books in my life in the Heartland ….



Image:  me

Books For Sale:) …


The University of Phoenix St. Louis campus is having a Book Sale!:)


If you read, if you know a reader, if readers live in your home, or are part of your family, here’s an opportunity to give them quite a gift.

Child reading

While you are shopping, check our our degree programs in Education … a value-added profession.

Click HERE for more information.

Feeling a delicious tingle every time a book is sold in the Heartland ….


3 Creativity Tips …

Pencils“When I teach critical and creative thinking, I often get push-back from students who use some version of “I’m just not creative” to deny any ability to think differently than they are programmed.  

This makes me crazy … and presents a challenge to help them realize that everyone has some creative ability.  We just have to realize and claim it.  

Here are three suggestions to stir your creative juices, in no particular order, and without claim to be the most effective.  They just work for me …


Yes, black and white both count as colors – never mind the technical definition.  Move beyond the business colors (Black, Blue, Red, and Green) and experiment.  Make your notes in Purple or Brown, or even in Magenta:).

Try not to assign a code to the use of a color … just use whatever color you choose, find interesting, or that comes to hand when you reach for a pen.

You may not be any smarter for using colors, but you’ll have more fun taking notes in meetings. … and NO, it’s not the same when you electronically select a color for your font on your tablet, Ipad, or notebook.  I’m talking real, old-fashioned writing here.


I recently read a passage from a very old book, which included a description of a long-neglected attic.  The words “Cobwebs” and “Clutter” jumped out at me.

Right now, I have no idea what will come of these two words, but the sound of them together makes for an interesting title.   Cobwebs and Clutter” … you will see this again someday.

Words can spur our imagination.  Be aware of the words you see and read, and open your mind to new uses for them.

MEMORIZE A Shel Silverstein POEM …

You don’t have to WRITE poetry to be creative.  Just learn the words and say them out loud. Okay, you can memorize anyone’s poem, but I think Shel Silverstein is a great choice to stimulate your thinking.  

It is difficult to not include more inflection and dramatic flair when you are reading and saying “Where The Sidewalk Ends” or “One Sister For Sale“.   Here’s an easy one to start you off:

Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird 

And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

If you’re a bird, be an early early bird—

But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

~Shel Silverstein

Shoot … you might even find some good learning as you go.  For example, the above little poem has some solid thinking about how our perspective changes based on our role.

These three suggestions are NOT the only or the best ways to be creative, but they usually work for me.

Trying to memorize “Sarah Sylvia Cythnia Stout“, who would not take the dishes out in the Heartland …


Monday Morning …

Homework 1

If we are enriched by the books we read, why aren’t I a lot smarter …?

A small selection of books partially unread or waiting on my desk to be absorbed and analyzed.  Not all the books, read and unread, which live in my house … just the  ones at the top of the list this week. 

Some represent paid work, some are volunteer efforts, and some are just for fun … All seem to me to hold value for me and others, if we simply read, reflect, and act.

The perception does exist among some that what we read is both a window into our interests, values, and beliefs, and a dandy measure of what we bring to a work equation.

With all this in mind …

What’s on your reading list?

Wondering where the time will come from in the Heartland ….


My Titles:

Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology by Todd B. Kashdan and  Joseph Ciarrochi

Take Charge of Your Talent: Three Keys to Thriving in Your Career, Organization, and Life by Maruska and Jay Perry

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

The Golden Years: Healthy Aging and the Older Adult by Christopher W. Bogosh

The Book of Psychological Truths:  A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Really Good Thinking for Really Great Living by R. Duncan Wallace

Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem by Peter Lamont

Winning On Purpose:  How  To Organize Congregations to Succeed in Their Mission by John Edmund Kaiser

“Narnia For Adults!” … Now there’s a hook …

Space Trilogy - C S Lewis  - NASANot usually into blatant promotion … I much prefer the subtle ways … whatever…

C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy special e-book offer

Dive into C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy—Narnia for adults!—with this special e-book offer. Today until January 8th, all three titles are $1.99 each!.

This appears to be a great deal on some excellent reads from one of the masters, if you like your stories spiritual and engaging.   The enhanced e-version concept fascinates me and I believe we will see much more of this with classic titles.

When I read C. S. Lewis, I am usually challenged in terms of my leadership style, communication skills, and spiritual maturity.  While his stories are imaginative, they are also some of the most down-to-earth reading out there.  

Three valid choices here:


If you have already read these titles, why not revisit and see what new insights they offer?


If you have read and did not enjoy these books, why not give them another chance?  After all, you are older and wiser now:)


If you have read and enjoyed them, why not treat yourself once again?  Go ahead, gift yourself … you know you want to:)

Who knows?   You might just end up doing all three.

Click the link above for details.  by the way, I earn absolutely nothing if you buy.  You will not be supporting my left-wing wacko causes and I remain blissfully uncontaminated by commercial ends.


Taking my own advice in the Heartland ….


Image courtesy of NASA who apparently had some time on their hands in 2011.