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Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Seven-Year Itch Has Been Scratched

The Seven Year Itch by George Axelrod (on WildmooBooks.com)
The Seven Year Itch by George Axelrod, 1955

Greetings Everyone!

After writing here at Blogger for seven years, I've decided to scratch the itch I've had for some time and have moved the blog over to WordPress. At this time, it looks like all the archived content made it over to the new site, which also has a search option if you're looking for anything from the past.

I'm still blogging under the name WildmooBooks.


What does this change mean for you, Dear Reader?


👉  If you have this blog bookmarked as wildmoobooks.blogspot.com, you'll have to change that to wildmoobooks.com. That's all.

👉  If you have the blog bookmarked as wildmoobooks.com, the most you'll have to do is refresh your browser.

👉  If you've signed up for email delivery in the past, I am moving that option to a new service, so, for now, you don't have to do anything. I'll import existing subscriber email addresses and there'll be an option for new subscribers soon.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog for the last seven years. I look forward to continuing to write about books and libraries for years to come.

Happy Reading!

Chris

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What do you want to be when you grow up?

How to Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick (WildmooBooks.com)

A couple years ago I stumbled across Emilie Wapnick's TED talk -- "Why some of us don't have one true calling" -- and I felt like I'd found a soul mate. In that presentation, Wapnick talks about how she had a life-long pattern of getting very deep into a subject and then eventually losing interest. Repeatedly. She thought there was something wrong with her.

I've gone through the same struggle in my life and felt as if there was something wrong with me. I bounced from the Marines to hospital work to college/graduate school, teaching, retail management, marketing, library work, massage therapy, et. al. Luckily for me, I had parents who were interested in a variety of things that modeled taking the time to pursue those interests, so I didn't feel like a complete alien. I can still hear my dad and his sister, one of my favorite aunts, laughing about how they hadn't figured out what they wanted to be when they grew up. They were in their 40s then. However, both my dad and my aunt were gainfully employed and I, back then, sometimes worried about my ability to support myself.

In 2007 I took Tom Rath's Strength Finder test and my top strength was learning, which, according to his definition, means I'm more interested in the process of learning than in outcomes. No surprise there. That helped me feel better about my jumping around on the career stage. I've also come to see how skills gained at one job or area of interest have helped me in subsequent jobs or interests.

However, it was seeing Wapnick's TED Talk that helped me let go of my worries and actually embrace the fact that I don't have one true calling when it comes to career. All that I've done thus far has been awesome--it's fed my soul (well, not everything did that), advanced my knowledge and skills, and helped me make great connections with people. She gave me the freedom to let go of some of the shame I'd been carrying around about not completing programs, staying in jobs for way too long, and interests that I once proclaimed were IT that fizzled out.

I jumped at the chance to review Wapnick's new book, How to Be Everything: A Guide For Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want To Be When They Grow Up, for TLC Book Tours and now available from HarperOne.


From the publisher: What do you want to be when you grow up? It's a familiar question we're all asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, the question has unintended consequences. It can make you feel like you need to choose one job, one passion, one thing to be about. Guess what? You don't.

Having a lot of different interests, projects and curiosities doesn't make you a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." Your endless curiosity doesn't mean you are broken or flaky. What you are is a multipotentialite: someone with many interests and creative pursuits. And that is actually your biggest strength.

How to Be Everything helps you channel your diverse passions and skills to work for you. Based on her popular TED talk, "Why some of us don't have one true calling", Emilie Wapnick flips the script on conventional career advice. Instead of suggesting that you specialize, choose a niche or accumulate 10,000 hours of practice in a single area, Wapnick provides a practical framework for building a sustainable life around ALL of your passions.

You'll discover:
• Why your multipotentiality is your biggest strength, especially in today's uncertain job market.
• How to make a living and structure your work if you have many skills and interests.
• How to focus on multiple projects and make progress on all of them.
• How to handle common insecurities such as the fear of not being the best, the guilt associated with losing interest in something you used to love and the challenge of explaining "what you do" to others.

Not fitting neatly into a box can be a beautiful thing. How to Be Everything teaches you how to design a life, at any age and stage of your career, that allows you to be fully you, and find the kind of work you'll love.

The book has three parts:


Part I: Everything? Welcome to the Tribe. This section is all about giving consolation and encouragement to world-weary multipotentialites, Emilie's word for those who have multiple interests and creative pursuits. There's nothing wrong with you! She goes over the strengths of being a multipotentialite and offers advice on how to live a happy life balancing money, meaning, and variety.


Part II: The Four Multipotentialite Work Models. Different Strokes for Different Folks. Wapnick has found that there are four major ways multipotentialites work and offers strategies on how to figure out what your style is and how to best work it/them. Fascinating perspectives that will give you insight into yourself and how you might work most effectively.

Part III: Common Multipotentialite Stumbling Blocks. Slaying Your Dragons.  This section was the most interesting to me because it's where I am now. I'm working on my personal productivity system, embracing all the things that make me unique, and gaining confidence in my choices. Wapnick offers advice on how to talk with people in various contexts about your multipotentialite life. This section is helpful for me and I think it would be INCREDIBLY helpful for younger folks just starting out on their journey or those who are embracing their various passions for the first time, no matter what their age.


How to Be Everything by Emilie Wapnick (WildmooBooks.com)
My Reading Buddy

Wapnick's ideas as presented in her TED Talk were a big part of my decision last year to jump into entrepreneurship with my wife Laura. She's a personal coach and we're taking her in-person workshops and transitioning them into online classes. My love of learning, teaching experience, customer service skills, and marketing background, among other things, are all coming into play. It's been a fun and challenging year and Wapnick's book is full of hope and helpful tips for the work I'm doing with our business and my own projects. All of Wapnick's advice is geared toward helping multipotentialites enjoy the work they're doing and the life they're living. This is a book I'll read again and dip into here and there for reminders.

Graduation season is here and this would be a great gift for the high school or college graduate in your life. I wish I'd had a book like this when I was in my 20s. It would've saved me from a lot of worry, self-flagellation, and sticking around in programs/jobs for too long. The way our business world is changing--relying on and rewarding people who are adaptable and well-versed in a variety of fields--this could be a success manual for those who aren't satisfied being specialists in one field.




Watch Wapnick's TED Talk:




Title: How To Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

Author: Emilie Wapnick
Publisher: HarperOne (May 2, 2017) 240 pages
Bottom line: Highly recommend to seekers with multiple interests that are trying to figure out how to do everything they want to do.
Source: Review copy via TLC Book Tours



About Emilie Wapnick

Emilie Wapnick is a speaker, career coach, blogger, and community leader. She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps multipotentialites integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on a single path, Emilie studied music, art, film production, and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University in 2011. Emilie is a TED speaker and has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, The Financial Times, The Huffington Post, and Lifehacker. Her TED talk, “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling,” has been viewed over 3.5 million times, and has been translated into 36 languages. She has been hired as a guest speaker and workshop facilitator at universities, high schools, and organizations across the United States and internationally.

Find out more about Emilie at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Library Visit: Manchester Community Library, Vermont

I'm in Manchester, VT this weekend for Booktopia (a weekend full of authors and readers, created by Books on the Nightstand and now hosted by the Northshire Bookstore). 

The first year I came up from Connecticut for Bookstopia, four years ago, the new library was under construction. The second year my time didn't jibe with the library's open hours, but the third year--last year--I finally made it inside. It's taken me a full year to get this post up, but better late than never and I'm here again, so it's the perfect time.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
This way to the library! I know I'm not the only one who gets excited when she sees this sign.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The modern design reflects the clean lines of traditional Vermont architecture.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Small windows adjacent to the large window in the photo above. The children's section is along this side of the library.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
There is LOTS of marble in Manchester. The front of the library features a marble walkway and marble benches.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
A view of the whole library.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The front entrance.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The foyer. Comfy seating and a cafe. To the right is a large community room, bathrooms, and access to the lower level. Straight ahead is the help desk and just to the left of that are doors to the children's section.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Helpdesk/circulation and new book displays.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The Loft - a  dedicated space for middle schoolers.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Work tables in the stacks.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Comfy seating in the stacks.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Cather on the shelf.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
I appreciate the clear, bold labeling - so easy for patrons to read and for staff to spot miss-shelves.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Color coding makes alpha even easier! Speaking of color coding, the library uses the Glade System in their nonfiction section (which is NOT what is pictured above). The Glade System uses color coding to organize nonfiction categories. Check out the breakdown here.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Reading area. The periodicals section is to the right of the fireplace.

Frances Skinner Willing, Portrait, Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Frances Skinner Willing's portrait hangs over the fireplace. She founded the first library in Manchester in 1897. 

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Standing in front of the fireplace, looking toward the front of the library. The help desk is way back in the upper righthand corner.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Computer stations.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The children's section, which is through doors to the left of the help desk.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Large play/event area in the children's section.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Free books for children.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
The community room. Behind me is a large screen for films.  Those large doors open into the room with the fireplace. A patron told me they open them for large events.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Lots of stuff going on in the lower level.

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Happy to see more of these water bottle filler stations popping up in libraries. (I first saw them in airports.)

Manchester Community Library, VT (Featured on WildmooBooks.com)
Such a beautiful library. If you're ever in the area, stop in for a visit. The librarians are friendly and happy to talk about their libray. 

The Manchester Community Library
138 Cemetery Avenue / Route 7A
Manchester Center, VT 05255
mclvt.org

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Readathon Recap and Book Club Bookstore

My Reading Nook (WildmooBooks.com)
My reading corner.
 I didn't read as much as planned or for as many hours as I thought I would for this marathon. I think I was overtired, which makes it hard for me to settle down and focus. Seasonal allergies are also messing with my mind these days. It's all good. Some readathons I'm a reading machine, others not so much. This one sorta snuck up on me. I'll be more prepared for the October readathon which is usually the one I hunker down with more. Save the date: October 21, 2017!

Chris Wolak and Cynde Acanto owner of the Book Club Bookstore, South Windsor, CT (WildmooBooks.com)
With Cynde Acanto owner of Book Club Bookstore

I started the day in my reading corner with Jason Rekulak's The Impossible Fortress and read for about an hour before writing a blog post, checking in with readathon social media, and doing some family stuff. Then I headed out to South Windsor, CT for the Book Club Bookstore's grand opening of their new location. As you may know it was also Indpendent Bookstore Day yesterday, so I felt compelled to visit at least one bookstore.

Book Club Bookstore Grand Opening, South Windsor, CT (WildmooBooks.com)


I knew I'd be arriving at the tail end of the party, which was scheduled for 10:30-12:30, and a traffic jam on the interstate put me further behind, so I arrived as the last of the party goers were leaving and folks were cleaning up. I had a nice browse and talk owner Cynde Acanto.

Book and Plant Haul from the Book Club Bookstore, South Windsor, CT (WildmooBooks.com)
My book and plant haul.

Book haul details:
  • Connecticut Valley Tabacco by Brianna E. Dunlap (author event 5/24 at 6 pm)
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Literature by Slyvan Barnet (I used to have a copy)
  • Danse Macabre by Stephen King (the Master's book about the horror genre)
  • Stephen King Country by George Beahm (because I now live close enough to easily visit)

It was my first time visiting the store and I really like it. It's small, but well curated and sells new and used books. The left side of the bookstore is primarily adult fiction and some YA/kids books. The right side is adult nonfiction. The front of the store features gifts made by local artisans and a nice selection of live plants (cacti and small plants for terrariums as well as terrarium kits and supplies). My terrarium has been in need of a refresh, so I bought some reindeer moss and a miniature plant. I think it's some kind of ivy.

They host an impressive number of author events and book clubs. Check out their Facebook page or website for more information. I hope to attend their Stephen King book club sometime.

Stephen King Book Club, Typewriter display, Book Club Bookstore, South Windsor, CT (WildmooBooks.com)
Creative way to display the Stephen King Book Club schedule

After the bookstore, I did some grocery shopping. Would you believe the grocery store I stopped in didn't have frosted strawberry pop tarts? Sad. That's one of my readathon staples. I only eat them two or three times a year as a special treat. The place had unfrosted strawberry pop tarts. Does anyone really eat those? I should have checked those two boxes for dust.

You Are a Badass Audiobook (WildmooBooks.com)
Need motivation? Try this audiobook.

All things aside, the lack of pop tarts was the only hiccup of the readathon for me. Sure, I could've gone to another store, but I settled on Good-n-Plenty for my sweet treat instead. I'd also finished the audiobook I was listening to by that time--You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, which I highly recommend if you need some motivation. I might have driven to another store if I had more listening to do. You know how that goes.

After making dinner, eating, watching an episode of Grace & Frankie, playing with my dog, and then playing a few rounds of Rory's Story Cubes with my wife, I messed around online some more, walked on the treadmill while reading The Impossible Fortress before finishing the night reading in bed.

Overall, it was a good day with some reading, a wholly satisfying bookstore visit, and no pressure to do anything else...which is probably my favorite thing about readathon.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Readathon Opening Survey

WildmooBooks Finalized TBR Stack #readathon
Finalized TBR stack!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon has begun! Thought I'd jump in and do the opening survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? 
USA > New England > Connecticut > Guilford

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. Reading it for Booktopia and have heard nothing but good things about it.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Potato chips!!! For three weeks now I've been practicing chip discipline and only eating chips once a week. Today is the day! 

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I'm 51 years old and recently started a book podcast with my friend Emily (Book Cougars). Middle-aged book lovers represent! I think more middle-aged folks should start blogging if they aren't already.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I'll be taking a nap or two during the day, not because I'm old, but because 1) naps are good and 2) I'm on a multi-day sleep deficit from traveling during the week.

You can find other participant's responses here.

Off to read now!
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