I’m really starting to feel the heat (literally and figuratively). Falling behind is a serious reality. Truth be told, the Tour de France is really digging into my reading time. Seriously. It’s on every night from 7-10, which previously was a great time to read. Now I’m glued to the TV, reading a page here and there during commercial breaks. “The Tour de France?” you’re thinking to yourself. Yes, Le Tour has done me in..it’s just so damn exciting. Just give it a try, you’ll see! (I may or may not have a cycling addition)
Here’s a look at what I read in June…
Who doesn’t love a little mythology? This urge was spawned after watching The Avengers (which Thor, Odin’s son is apart of) and realizing that I’ve never actually read any Norse mythology…and I love mythology.
When I found this, it was a free kindle download from Amazon, which is great. But later after I’d started reading, I found an illustrated version for $.99. I thought that was a no-brainer and paid the buck. here are my two recommendations. Read the book and keep the dollar. The ‘illustrated’ version basically has a picture at the top of each story…let me rephrase. A crude, black and white illustration at the top of each story (maybe 10-12 all together). The cover of the illustrated version makes you think that this is going to be full of pictures of the gods and the battles, giving you a beautiful representation of the story…that’s unfortunately not the case.
Regardless, it was fun to finally read some Norse mythology. Go check it out.
Sounds interesting right…right? A little different maybe? While this wasn’t bad, I thought based on the title, it could have been better, maybe even a little more unique. I had the same disappointment when I read American Psycho (which I don’t think I’d recommend to anyone). American Psycho would have been sooo much better without the blood and guts and more of the main character freaking out inside his own head at the color and font on his ‘friends’ business card…(the color was ‘Bone’ if you don’t remember). Killing people was just fluff, the real meat of that story was how this uber rich brat was so caught up in being better than everyone and having the “best” things and even a better business card that it was driving him crazy…literally. More of that and less of the actual murders would have elevated that book by leaps and bounds.
So how does that relate to The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning? The book wasn’t bad…I’d have to say it was mediocre at best, bordering on good. There just wasn’t a whole lot of memorable aspects of the story other than the setting in Reykjavik. In my opinion, much like American Psycho, this book would have benefiting from more internal dialogue. Let the reader hear what’s going on in his head as he’s stuck in hiding…better yet, when he has to find a job…make him a housecleaner as the title suggests! Walk the reader through how this former Hitman goes about cleaning a house like he would have done a hit. How he relates a mop and bucket to his former tools of the trade. That would be more interesting and much more memorable. Instead we’re left with an odd story about a hitman on the run who ends up in Iceland and falls for a girl whose parents are religious fanatics.
Here is another one that wasn’t exactly what I was expecting (maybe June should be the month of not what you were expecting). Again I ran across this on Amazon and judging by the cover, I thought this would be really interesting. The artwork is fantastic and a little creepy at first glance. It pulled me in.
Turns out this isn’t a horror novel or scary story, it’s a fantasy novel about a boy whose mother is dying of cancer. The monster is his conscience trying to help him through this horrible time in his life. This wasn’t a bad book by any means, just not my cup of tea.
Thank You Economy is one that’s been on my radar for a long time. It’s written by Gary Vaynerchuk who runs winelibrary.com. If you’re not familiar with this, you may be more familiar with Tony Hsieh’s (founder of Zappos) book on a similar topic.
Essentially it’s all about caring about your customers and trying to create a relationship with them. It’s not Mad Men anymore, you can’t buy customers through a TV commercial or billboard.. You’re customers have an impact on your bottom line and you can’t ignore that. You can’t talk over them or buy a huge ad to shut them up. The internet has given a voice to your customers and social media has given you the tools to interact with them and show them that you feel that they are an important part of your business, which they are.
The Thank You Economy is a great concept, but one that few companies actually adopt. There are a multitude of reasons as to why (Gary actually runs down this list in the book) but the fact remains that media is changing and the way companies interact with customers is changing. To stay relevant and to keep ahead of your competition, businesses need to create relationships with their customers and start interacting with them rather than pushing them aside.
Great read, I’m glad I finally picked it up.
Ugh. I really like this guy, but I think I bit off a little too much writing advice in a relatively short time. The problem isn’t when I’m reading this book, because I do like it. The problem is the thought of picking it up doesn’t sound as enticing as something else I could be reading.
Truth be told, I’ve been reading this on and off for about three weeks and I’m still not technically finished. It will get read, but maybe not before the end July. Confessions of a book a week reader.