Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Club Picks

At our XO alum book club last week we picked the books for October, November & December. Here they are...

Juggling Elephants by Jones Loflin & Todd Musig - In this fun parable written by corporate trainers Loflin and Musig, the hero, Mark, gets more than just an afternoon of family time out of a visit to the circus with his daughter—he gets a new way of organizing his life. Using the extended metaphor of the three-ring circus, this short volume is written as a dialogue between Mark and his ringmaster mentor, who teaches him how to better coordinate the activities happening in each ring. Readers who take themselves too seriously might have trouble getting past the large print, circus illustrations and a dialogue style more commonly found in children's books. But the book passes along several circus maxims that easily translate to balancing professional and personal relationships as well as one's personal pursuits, such as the ringmaster cannot be in all three rings at once and the key to the success of the circus is having quality acts in all three rings. While the advice is not new, the presentation helps it stick in your head, increasing the odds of keeping your act together.

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White - Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that diamonds from the Confederate Treasury are hidden in the house. So he turns the charm on with Melanie, only to discover he's the smitten one...It turns out Jack's search has caught the attention of a malevolent ghost. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak and even murder.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh - First presented in Freakonomics, the story of a young sociologist who embedded himself in Chicago’s most notorious gang and captured the world’s attention. Gang Leader for a Day is the fascinating full story of how Sudhir Venkatesh gained entrance into the lives of a group of drug-dealers and went on to witness—and participate in—events that have rarely been described in print. A brazen, page-turning, and fundamentally honest view of the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, it is also an emotional and complicated look at the friendship that develops between the sociologist and a gang leader, two ambitious men a universe apart.

1 comment:

Katy said...

I really wish I could form an intelligent response to this post... but alas, you know my physical rejection to reading. ha ha.