What Lexi Reads

I'm a writer, a traveler and a dreamer. I read a lot.

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Hire managers of one: Managers of one are people who come up with their own goals and execute them… When you leave them alone, they surprise you with how much they’ve gotten done. They don’t need a lot of hand-holding or supervision.
Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37Signals. Great book about how to start a business in the new digital world. Sparked lots of ideas (and I was nodding in agreement throughout), but the authors don’t offer much practical advice about HOW to implement their advice. Overall, a recommended read in a format that’s well-suited to those of us with short attention spans.

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WILD Gets 5 Stars

Cheryl Strayed’s WILD was so, SO good. It’s not just about a woman who hikes the challenging Pacific Crest Trail; it’s about how Cheryl comes to terms with her mother’s death and learns to love herself.

What’s so well done about this book — and why it’s a great study for anyone who writes memoir — is how Cheryl weaves memories of her mom and ex-husband and drugs and love into the experience she’s having on the trail. She dips in and out of memories so seamlessly. And at the end, she uses an awesome technique to tell us just how life turned out for her, so the reader can feel satisfied.

I was honestly shocked to see that a book about a woman hiking alone in the woods had become so popular… and now I know why. Compelling story! Don’t miss this one.

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People like to think that Offline and Online are different places, that what happens in Cyberspace bears no relation to Meatspace.

Trying to see them as separate is a mistake. It will just cause you pain.

The Internet is not some add-on to your plate; the Internet is central to your life.

Now don’t get scared. You can still go outside and roll in the grass. Real life still exists. Just as life on the Internet does.

My favorite lines from Hugh MacLeod’s Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear.

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A Can’t-Put-Her-Downer: UNBROKEN

I’d never heard of this book before I found myself out of reads during my trip to Nicaragua. I asked for non-fiction recommendations on Twitter, and a follower suggested a new story by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscut): Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.

Turns out it’s on the best-seller list, and for good reason. I couldn’t put the book down, and I keep thinking of itto this day.You know a story’s good when you don’t want it to be over and you continue thinking about the character even after you’ve put it down.

At first, I thought Hillenbrand’s writing had a and-then-and-then-and-then quality to it, which I admit turned me off as a writer. But the story of the Olympian and POW was so powerful, and she so made him come alive for me, that I kept turning… and turning… and turning. Digitally, of course, since this was my second-ever read on my new Kindle Touch.

If you want to learn while you read (this was the first time I’ve read about WWII) and you enjoy inspirational stories, definitely pick this one up.

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My last WOW read this year

My patience for novels is low, but Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone totally hooked me. Awesome read.

A few folks I talked to said they had trouble finishing this book, and I admit it was a bit long. But the ending was so worth it. And even after I put it down, I kept thinking about the characters; I felt like I knew them that well.

I like reading books where I learn something, and this novel fell into that category because I now feel more schooled about Ethiopia’s history. And I truly appreciated Verghese’s acknowledgments chapter, whereby he went through exactly what was based in truth and what was made up.

Had I critiqued this story for Verghese in its early stages, I might’ve brought up how the main character, Marion, seems to think beyond the normal scope, sharing details the character only could have learned in retrospect. That pulled me out of the story a few times, especially when, as a child, he told the story like an adult. And yet, it worked. The novel worked. Some rules, apparently, are meant to be broken.

If you haven’t read Cutting for Stone yet, definitely add this to your pile.

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Another by Jonathan Fields: Uncertainty

I promise this isn’t the first book I’ve read since September… But it’s the first book I’ve finished.

I didn’t find Uncertainty riveting, but I did walk away with a new mindset for reaching my goals. Fields’ main point is that you’ll never accomplish great things unless you learn to stare uncertainty in the face, unless you can use the negative energy cultivated by doubt to propel you forward. When you’re pushing yourself to new heights, it’s normal to be scared.

I particularly loved his section on exercise, partly because I didn’t expect it in this book. I already knew exercise helps me be more creative, of course, but I can’t be reminded of this too many times. Plus he made me feel normal for getting bored working out at the gym… which has motivated me to seek out more fun, heart-pumping activities. That in itself made this book worth reading.

On to the rest of the to-read pile!

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Jonathan Fields’ Career Renegade

The subtitle of this book is How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love, which is why I picked it up, looking for a little inspiration. Little did I know the book would be about exactly what I’m doing now: building an online business to make money off my skills and knowledge.

Picked up some excellent gems here, practical ones. Gonna try to add my ebooks to Clickbank.com, possibly buy a website domain simply for ebook #2, and this got the gears turning in my head about a smart way to use StumbleUpon, which I’ve pretty much neglected so far.

The best part though, is that reading this book sparked a ginormous idea about another course I want to launch. I love when books do that!

Really looking forward to Fields’ next book, Uncertainty. If you haven’t watched the book trailer, check it out — It brought me to tears.

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Secret Daughter, a novel by  Shilpi Somaya Gowda, was SO good I read it in less than 48 hours. And I  don’t usually like novels! The author beautifully intertwines the  stories of a poor mother in India who gives up her baby for adoption and  the American woman who brings that baby home.

Secret Daughter, a novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, was SO good I read it in less than 48 hours. And I don’t usually like novels! The author beautifully intertwines the stories of a poor mother in India who gives up her baby for adoption and the American woman who brings that baby home.