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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Books & Coffee

I've been tagged by a virtual book club, of some sort. I'm supposed to tell you about 10 books that are important to me. Thanks for the invite, Zee!



To spice things up, I have decided to add some coffee to my presentation. Enjoy!
No pastries today. I overdid on Nutella yesterday.


Tribute Blend
Hmmm, now - 10 books that left their mark on me in some way or the other. 

As a kid I read books like other people eat meals. 3 a day. I was borrowing piles of them at the library on a weekly basis. In college I had to read serious books of the non-easy-reading kind. Growing up in Switzerland this meant reading, summarizing and discussing books in German, French and your choice of English or Italian. I decided to keep the Italian in the kitchen.

Here goes:

Max Frisch, Homo Faber
A middle aged engineer who refuses to believe in coincidence or fate survives a plane crash but chooses to travel by boat this time. The young lady he meets during that trip turns out to be the daughter he didn't know he had.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Les Jeux sont faits
Two people fall in love in the afterlife. They claim they should have met while alive. They get one chance to go back to life and meet. Interesting fact: dead people can mingle among the living, but cannot be seen or heard.

George Orwell, 1984
A guy who works for the Ministry of Truth in an environment of total political control through "Big Brother" is writing a secret diary and having a covert relationship with a coworker. At some point he ends up in a room full of rats. I recommend you skip this part.

Then I got my first job, and the only thing I was reading for the next 10 years or so was Cosmopolitan. The boyfriend was not impressed.

After moving on, I worked full time and attended HR classes. Lots of reading on policies, labor law, psychology and social securities. 

My jobs also required reading up on how to deal with mergers and acquisitions and the necessary downsizing, off spinning, reorganizing and INSERT OTHER ECONOMIC BS TERMS from a leadership perspective.

When I started working for the coffee company, I did some reading in order to become a coffee master. Also it was part of the business to read Howard Schultz's Pour your heart into it and onward. But there was a book that my British HR leader recommended:

Mitch Albom, the five People you meet in Heaven
In his afterlife (yes, again!) a guy who died, meets random (or not) people who provide some insight into his life. Also some answers about the meaning of life.

I wish I could tell you that somehow I resumed reading more real books. Instead I have a couple of parenting books piling up on my nightstand that I never got around to finish, and the only time I go to bookstores is on vacation. Every trip to the U.S. must include a visit to B&N, preferably one with a SBUX section. The smell of freshly brewed coffee while you are browsing for books? Life doesn't get much better than this.



Where does that leave my list? I read on airplanes. If for nothing else than time, long-haul flights are a good opportunity for me to read:

Emily Giffin, Something borrowed
A young lawyer who has always played by the book, falls in love with her best friend's fiancé. Torn between loyalty and love, she is sneaking around until the decision is kind of forced onto her.

Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic
A regular girl whose desire for clothes is greater than her wallet, gets herself in all kinds of trouble. Because it is fiction plus she is incredibly resourceful and charming, she manages to get out of trouble, meet and get married to the guy of her dreams. 

Meg Cabot, Every Boy's got one
Being a maid of honor at your best friend's wedding sounds nice, especially when the couple elopes to Italy! If only the best man wasn't paying so much attention to his blackberry and lighten up a bit! Most parts of the book consists of e-mails going back and forth.

Meg Cabot, Queen of Babble
Clueless college graduate tries to find a job and apartment in NYC and ends up in Southern France instead, spending the summer doing - not much. She does meet a guy though and ends up moving in with him and becoming a wedding gown restorer in the sequel. Will she sew her own wedding dress?

Lauren Weisberger, the Devil wears Prada
Humble, non-fancy, adorably down to earth girl, gets the job millions of girls would kill for: fashion magazine editor's assistant. Turns out she's got to work for the boss from hell. How is she going to survive the year that'll secure the recommendation she needs in order to land a real writer's position?

Laura Wolf, Diary of a mad Bride / Mom to be
Organized professional prepares her wedding and becomes pregnant in the sequel. Hilarious example of how life happens while you are busy making other plans to do lists. 



Yes, some of my books are stored in a laundry basket. Shoot me ;-) Wait, I've got a good excuse. They wait for being picked up by a busy friend who wanted to swap books. That's right?

I hope you have enjoyed seeing behind the curtain of my book shelf. Or other depository.  Now it's your turn! I'll tag you on Facebook or via e-mail. 

Play along if you like. Don't feel bad if you don't!