As I Cee It

Archive for the ‘books’ Category

For the past several years, I have not only set a reading goal for myself, but a challenge as well. The bulk of my reading is romance novels (that’s what I like). But the yearly challenge ensures that I read other types of books as well. Each year, I choose a book in one of the following categories: popular (in the past 2 years), non-fiction, sports, classic.

You might say I took the shortcut with this year’s selection.  Our department has monthly meetings and the presenters for March chose showing appreciation for their topic.  This was the book study for the session.  As I knew it would fulfill this year’s non-fiction spot, I went for it.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace is exactly as the title suggests. Gary Chapman, of The 5 Love Languages, takes those languages and shows how they apply at work. What I enjoyed most about this book was the examples of how to show appreciation for each of the languages. More than anything, this book helped me see that not everyone likes to be appreciated in the same manner and to be cognizant of that fact. I’ve had discussions with my coworkers about it and we’ve freely shared what languages we scored highest in (the book comes with a code so that you can take the Motivation by Appreciation Inventory).

I do not mind sharing with you, and it came as no surprise to me, that my primary language is Tangible Gifts. Seriously, when I get gifts, I feel like this:

Source: The Gif Library

On the surface, this may seem greedy, but for me it’s more about someone taking the time to pick out something they thought I’d enjoy and surprise me with it. Gifts are big in my family. Every birthday has a subtle Best Gift Ever competition going on, and at Christmas time, there is nothing subtle about it. It’s not about the money, it’s about how well you know the person and getting to see their reaction to something you picked out for them.

Read if you like: Appreciation, feelings, taking quizzes.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was last year’s non-fiction pick.

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For the past several years, I have not only set a reading goal for myself, but a challenge as well. The bulk of my reading is romance novels (that’s what I like). But the yearly challenge ensures that I read other types of books as well. Each year, I choose a book in one of the following categories: popular (in the past 2 years), non-fiction, sports, classic.


In this #1 New York Times bestseller, the CEO of Starbucks recounts the story and leadership
lessons behind the global coffee company’s comeback.

In 2008, Howard Schultz decided to return as the CEO of Starbucks to help restore its financial health and bring the company back to its core values. In Onward, he shares this remarkable story, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic periods in American history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.

I don’t usually read business books, but this one piqued my interest when it was released. I like Starbucks, why not read a book about it, right? I got it last year on clearance and a book like this generally stays on my shelf for a minimum of a year before I make my way to it. But I plucked this one out early.

For those who may be curious, the book doesn’t focus too much on the early history of Starbucks. Instead, the focus of Onward is during the time when the company wasn’t doing so well, when they were hitting lows in their stock prices. Specifically, the ceo (they don’t capitalize titles at Starbucks…) writes about ho they got there and how they got out of their troubles to become the Starbucks we know and love again. Honestly, this book got to be a bit much at times. I don’t genuinely believe all the things Schultz shares about the employees and how much they truly mean to the top brass at the company. This could be due to my slightly cynical nature. If you’ve worked at Starbucks and tell me this is true, then so be it. I mostly thought he was talking the good talk and, if nothing else, the book was a nice PR move. It almost made me want to work there… until I remembered that food/beverage service isn’t my thing.

Some sections took me some time to get through, others had my eyes crossing, and the name dropping was unnecessary. But there were good parts. I was truly interested in what they did to turn things around, because I remember when they were closing a bunch of stores (including the one closest to me). Am I mad about the time I spent reading it? No. If I could go back in time, knowing what I know about it, would I tell Past Cee to read it anyway? Ehhhh, probably not. I’d probably tell her to reach for something more fun. Like the Heroes of Olympus book I’ve had sitting on the shelf since Christmas.

Read if you like: Business, corporate culture, name dropping, coffee beans.

The Circle Maker was last year’s non-fiction pick.

For the past several years, I have not only set a reading goal for myself, but a challenge as well. The bulk of my reading is romance novels (that’s what I like). But the yearly challenge ensures that I read other types of books as well. Each year, I choose a book in one of the following categories: popular (in the past 2 years), non-fiction, sports, classic.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?


As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

First up was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl as my popular choice for 2013.  It’s rare that I have trouble describing a book or movie, but this seems to be one of those times.  I don’t want to give anything away, so trying to explain what I liked about it is difficult for me.  Overall, this book is crazy.  I mean, it’s insane.  It was very easy for me to see why this book was so popular. Gone Girl is unlike anything I’ve read in a really long time. I couldn’t stop reading it, because I had to know how it ended. It was full of a feeling of suspense that not a lot of authors can’t convey this successfully. Honestly, I wondered about the author’s mind that she could even come up with this bizarre story and its looney characters.

Read if you like: Mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and crazy folks.

The Art of Fielding was last year’s popular pick (it also doubled as the sports book).


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