I first heard about this meme through Mischenko at Read, Rant, Rock & Roll, though it was originally created by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Definitely check out both of their book review sites. Mischenko’s is an old favorite of mine, and though Renee’s is new to me, it’s been great so far!
This meme is all about sharing favorite books that were published more than a year ago. It’s crazy to look back and see how many reviews we write (my number is in the thousands now, many published way before I had this blog), and I’m looking forward to digging through the archives and rediscovering some of my favorites.
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Every so often I go through a nonfiction kick. A few years ago I remember I was reading a bunch of books on how to interact with coworkers in the workplace, which is ironic because I work at home looking after my kids… But How to Have a Good Day was one of the books I picked up at that time.
It’s a bit dense, but the book is packed with really good, practical advice on interacting with people, making the most of your relationships (in a positive yet non-hyper way), and not sweating the small stuff. I take notes on a lot of the nonfiction stuff I read, and I still go back to my notebook for this one! I read it back in 2015, but the advice is still relevant. Here’s my original review!
Caroline Webb has managed to write a heavily researched, evidence-based manual that can be helpful to just about anyone. Which probably makes it sound horribly boring, but it really isn’t!
Most of the book is written for people who work–at the top or the bottom of the food chain, it doesn’t matter. But even I, as a stay-at-home mom and writer, found plenty in here to apply to my life. Webb’s tone is very conversational, and while the content is dense, she manages to inject levity and humor often enough that I never felt bogged down.
The book is divided into seven parts. In a nutshell, these parts address:
- Setting your intentions
- Organizing your self and your life in a more strategic way
- Making the most of your relationships (this is BY FAR my favorite section, holy smokes)
- Being your best, most insightful self
- Maximizing your impact
- Increasing your resilience
- Boosting your energy.
As I mentioned, my favorite section, hands down, is the section about building relationships. I thought Webb offered so much good stuff here, I was blown away. Some of my favorite insights from Webb:
- Nobody ever experiences an entirely objective version of reality (and this is what leads to misunderstanding). This may seem like an obvious point, but the scientific explanation behind this is fascinating.
- Webb’s advice on how to give a “positive no” (basically delivering disappointing information with positivity and warmth) is life-changing, in my opinion. I’ve already put this one into practice and seen great results.
- Along the same lines, I also love Webb’s strategies for diffusing tense situations and delivering difficult information with kindness, clarity, and tact.
And even still, there is so much more to this book. How to Have a Good Day offers plenty of helpful insight into the nature of human interaction and the science behind why we act the way that we do, that I really believe there is something in here for everyone. It’s not a book to rush through, so take your time with it. It will be worth the effort.
Also, if you do enjoy this book, I’d also recommend Unfinished Business.