My Top Two Reads of 2010

In 2010 I managed to read a decent amount of books.  Granted, I went back to school so some of them weren’t by choice.  Out of everything I read there were two clear winners: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle titleI read Barbara Kingsolver’s book for fun, at the suggestion of a colleague who works on sustainability issues.  I picked it up in early 2010, about six months after seeing Food, Inc and right before getting deep into Michael Pollan’s books.  2010 was the year I began to care about where my food came from, and Kingsolver’s book inspired me to start producing some of my own food.  I don’t foresee myself ever having the time or available land to produce my own food for a year (although I would honestly consider it a joy), but I’ve gone from a small container garden to a multi-bed backyard garden which will be expanding significantly next year.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle made me yearn for a simpler time when you didn’t have to read a label to know what’s in your food, and chances were you knew the person who grew/made it.  I’ve already re-read it once, and will likely read it at least once every growing season.  Bonus – it has great recipes!

Switch book coverI actually picked up Switch from the public library in early 2010, only to let it sit on my desk until its due date.  Lucky for me, it was also assigned reading for one of my courses this summer.  The Heath brothers have a very enjoyable writing style, which I found conducive to both long and short periods of reading.  The book makes you think about change in three elements: the elephant (emotion), rider (rationale), and the path (environment).  If a leader fails to pay attention to all three elements of change, it’s highly unlikely he/she will be successful.  This book is great because of its ideas, illustrations, and practical applications.  But I won’t give it all away – pick it up and read it for yourself!

This post was written in response to Blog Prompt Monday, a weekly feature of the Student Affairs Women Talk Tech blog.

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