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Improvement on the way

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently as I was in the past. This is due, in part, to a long bout of sickness at our house, marriage problems, the holidays and my full-time job as a book editor. But also, it’s because I’ve been rethinking the direction my blog should take. I really want to help people through books, video games, and movies…through stories. Those things–especially books–are my passions; they’ve helped me so many times in so many ways. They’ve been, at times, any one of these things:

I want to help you to be happier, to enjoy life more, to solve problems, to get closer to your potential, through books and other stories. So…here’s what’s on the way:

Conversations About Books on Important Issues

There are a lot of nonfiction books out there on issues such as gun control, immigration, women’s rights, prejudice, etc. These issues, as well as the divisiveness we’re all experiencing over them, have been on my mind a lot lately. I would imagine they’ve been on yours too. So that I can

  1. understand all sides of those issues better, and
  2. give you a run-down of what’s out there so that you can, in turn, read those books and have more informed conversations with your spouses, neighbors, friends, enemies, city council members, state senators, governors, congressional representatives and senators, I’m going to get copies of as many of them as possible and tell you things like:
  • What’s in them?
  • Are they based primarily on research, opinion, or something else?
  • How positive/constructive are they? Do they do more than just point out the problem?
  • Are real-life examples given?
  • What are the author’s qualifications for speaking authoritatively on this issue?
  • What do they have in common with other books on the subject? How do they differ? If I had only $10 to spend on a book and 10 minutes to read it, which one would be the best to read?

I’ll be calling this new direction “jamieTALKS: Common Ground,” modeled after the well-known TEDtalks, with voices of the experts delivered in digestible chunks. It will start with a summary of tips on how to have a civil conversation, how to compromise, and how to listen, gleaned from books such as Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson and Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury. This is because I dearly hope that these posts I write will spark conversations that lead to actual changes in the fabric of ALL of our lives, changes that make us safer, happier, and more content. 

…While Still Talking About the “Fun” Books, Video Games, and Movies

This doesn’t mean, however, that my reviews of books and video games will go away. I’ll just provide them in a different way, and less frequently. Because I’ll be doing a lot more research, I expect to only post every two weeks on Fridays, although this may change to once a month. Each post, however, will be much more “meatier” and, hopefully, useful to you.

…And Deals

Of course, I’ll also still share the best deals I can find, after scouring the internet, on the books I recommend, or let you know when they go on sale.

several coins squeezed together in a clamp, resting on a small calculator which rests, in turn, on top of a paper with columns of numbers running down it

So watch your inbox for notification of my next post, or if you haven’t yet subscribed to my mailing list, please do so so you can be notified. 

Ultimately, it’s my hope that this new direction will inspire a better “everybody narrative.” We’re all participants in the stories of humanity; let’s learn how to be better “authors” together! Happy new year!

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