Books I've Read: March 2019

1. Story Factor, Annette Simmons

I’ve been a little obsessed with learning more about storytelling and narrative lately. This was the first of many books that I’ve cued up to learn how to become a better storyteller. I started down this path to help me with improving the novels that my boyfriend and I have written but I’ve also started to see how it is applicable in so many other arenas as well outside of fiction writing.

People don’t want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith—faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell. It is faith that moves mountains, not facts. Facts do not give birth to faith. Faith needs a story to sustain it—a meaningful story that inspires belief in you and renews hope that your ideas indeed offer what you promise…Story is your path to creating faith….People value their own conclusions more highly than yours. They will only have faith in a story that has become real for them personally. Once people make your story, their story, you have tapped into the powerful force of faith.

Simmons highlights six types of stories for all of us to keep in our influence toolkit:

  1. “Who I Am” stories

  2. “Why I Am Here” stories

  3. “The Vision” story

  4. “Teaching” stories

  5. “Values-in-Action” stories

  6. “I Know What You Are Thinking” stories

2. How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, david richo

This book was recommended to me by a friend. It got too philosophical and lofty for me at times but I did appreciate some of the passages below in thinking about how to maintain and sustain boundaries of self as well as the relationship. As someone who’s possibly (read: likely) to be too independent in my relationship, this helped clarified places where I need to bend and stretch more.

“The five As — attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing — are the results of and conditions for mindfulness.”

Attention from others leads to self-respect. Acceptance engenders a sense of bing inherently a good person. Appreciation generates a sense of self-worth. Affection makes us feel lovable. Allowing gives us the freedom to pursue our own deepest needs, values and wishes.

In a committed relationship we finally let go of our ego's formidable insistence on being right, on getting our way, on competing and wining. We may still have argument, but they do not last as long, they end in resolution, they involve less replay of the past. We take the content of the argument as information rather than as grist for the mill of resentment. Instead of demanding that our expectations be met, we seek agreements. Now we fight, but do not stop loving.

3. atomic habits, james clear

So many people have recommended this book to be and I see why. While most of the information was not new to me, I really appreciated his clear (ha!) writing style and graphics as well as the attention to embedding instructional design and assistive resources throughout the book.


This graphic had me shook not because of the improvement curve but the decline one. As a low key math and science nerd, thinking about all the times where I not only don’t engage in good habits but also make the “just one time” choice does serious damage to my long-term goals.

“True behavior change is identity change.”

“The word identity was originally derived from the Latin words essentitas, which means being, and identidem, which means repeatedly. Your identity is literally your “repeated beingness.””

4. books in progress

  1. Telling True Stories, Edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call

  2. Make Your Mark, The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact, Edited by Jocelyn Glei

  3. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, Daniel J. Siegel, MD