The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Littleprince“The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery is a sweet fable of a pilot who crashes in the desert and runs into a young boy who tells of his story of the asteroid where he lives and the other asteroids he has visited inhabited by a single adult.  Each asteroid that he visits he gets to know the adult and their ridiculous idiosyncrasies such as the King who demands obedience but has no subjects and the narcissist who so desperately wants to be admired.  The Prince tells of the Rose on his planet who he fell in love with but had to leave due to her vain.  While exploring Earth together, the pilot learns the lessons the child has to offer such as openness and curiosity.  Together they run into a fox who teaches an important lesson of relationships and love.  When the lessons are learned, the prince allows a snake he meets to bite him in order to return him to his asteroid to be with his rose.

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

This book is delightful in its simplicity but also a great reminder of how serious we take life and ourselves as adults.  We oftentimes miss the point entirely as we are wrapped up in ourselves and our roles.  We miss, forget, or take for granted the relationships we have established.  We are quick to judgment about others and are too focused on the mind and how we think.  We forget about our feelings.

This book will not take up much of your time but can be quite impactful.  It’s filled with illustrations on just about every page.  As a bonus, a movie version is available on Netflix here.  I was surprised that the movie version was not just about the story Saint-Exupery writes but an even sweeter relationship between the pilot and his young neighbor.

Read this book if:

  • You are in need of a reminder of the innocence, curiosity, and wisdom that children hold
  • In the mood for a endearing fable

Buy it Here

Saint-Exupéry, A. D. (2018). The Little Prince. NY, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck examines the concepts of “fixed” and “growth” mindsets.  A fixed mindset believes that talents come with us and cannot be improved upon.  A fixed mindset spends their time proving their abilities over and over again as well as externalizing and internalizing when problems occur.  On the other hand, a growth mindset believes that qualities can be improved upon due to efforts, work, and support from others.  When problems arise, a growth mindset would examine the issue and put a strategy in place to remediate.  “I can improve” vs “I give up.”

“What any person in the world can learn,  almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.”

Dweck provides a good understanding in the first few chapters of the two concepts including examples of academic and artistic ability.  She then moves into entire sections on sports, business, relationships, parents/teachers/coaches including how the mindsets show up and real world examples of fixed and growth.  Lastly, she goes into how to change your mindset to more of a growth.  The author points out that we all have fixed mindsets in certain areas and even “false-growth” mindsets.  This is important to understand as it is not black and white.

I really enjoyed this book.  Keeping the concept simple and unpacking it in various ways really drives the point home.  In a similar vein to Malcolm Gladwell, Dweck provides examples of people and businesses that truly exhibit these traits to help the really understand.  I was intrigued to continue reading, have found a new perspective for approaching our many intelligences, and learned what it takes to overcome setbacks or “failures.”

Read this book if:

  • You are willing to view and approach yourself differently
  • Are a leader, parent, coach, teacher, etc
  • Interested in change

Buy it Here

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Taoofpooh“The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff is a cute little book exploring the principles of the philosophy of Taoism.  Hoff uses the characters, predominately Pooh to show how their traits and actions reflect Taoism.  Such as Pooh being the epitome of the “Uncarved Block,” when he has used his “inner nature,” and following the “Way” by not forcing or interfering and experiencing life as it happens.

“It means that Tao doesn’t force or interfere with things, but lets them work in their own way, to produce results naturally.  Then whatever needs to be done is done.”

Each chapter explores a different aspect of Taoism including a conversation with Pooh and a story or two to drive it home.  I have tried reading the “Tao Te Ching” that this book was based on and found it more difficult to understand, but it started to click more for me by reading this.  I was also interested in this book as oftentimes the characters of Winnie the Pooh are symbols of mental health diagnoses.  Overall, I think this is a cute and simple explanation of Taoism.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in Taoism
  • Have read the “Tao Te Ching”
  • Love Winnie the Pooh

Buy it Here

Hoff, B. (1982). The Tao of Pooh. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Wash face“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is a book about the lies we believe and how to stop believing them in order to live your most full life.  Rachel owns an event planning company in LA as well as runs a lifestyle blog.  She uses her own experience growing up to explore the lies we are told by our parents, friends, society, media.  Her influence primarily comes from interaction with her blog and social media followers to expose what real life is like without the curated stuff.

“It also might be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of  chaos you’re currently crying about.  What I mean is, the things you think  are so difficult could be someone else’s dream come true.”

Each chapter is titled with a lie, explored through Rachel’s life and lens, and ends with what has helped her overcome and shed that lie.  She comes from a Christian perspective so if that is your jam, this will resonate with you.

Overall, it’s a cute, easy to read book.  I did not love the book as I feel I’ve heard a lot of the same things before in other books with more research behind it.  I think the book is probably fairly popular with her social media followers.  Hollis tries to make herself relatable, but in some ways, she is hard to connect with for the regular person, as she leads a life very different than most of us.  I did appreciate some of her messages, her approach and her vulnerability.

Read this book if:

  • You are a woman looking for empowerment

Buy it Here

Hollis, R. (2018). Girl, wash your face. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Rising strong“Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene Brown is the third book in her sequence about overcoming adversity and coming out the other side even better than before.  Brown references “being in the arena” where we reckon(with our uncomfortable emotions), rumble(with the stories we create including shame), and rising from the fall braver and stronger that creates the new revolution that we live.

“The Rising Strong Process; The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives.”

In Brene Brown fashion, she explores the falls we all experience in life(mistakes, death, loss, etc), and how vulnerability, shame, courage, failure, perfectionism, just to name a few, play into it.  She divides the book into chapters of what it takes to “Rise Strong.”  Each chapter includes a vignette or two(usually from her own experience), the reckoning, the rumble, and the revolution.

You cannot go wrong with anything that Brene Brown creates.  The topics are so relate-able and so is she.  You will find yourself identifying with her vignettes and even laughing through this exploration of difficult topics and experiences.  I especially liked her reference to the Pixar Movies formula for their storylines.

Read this book if:

  • You are human(because we all know we love her work and have all experienced fall)

Buy it Here 

Brown, B. (2017). Rising Strong. Random House US.