Tag Archives: Facebook

Friends Weigh In: How to Choose Which Book to Read Next — PLUS: 3 Quick Recommendations

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends

So many books, so little time… Sometimes I just go to one of my shelves and find something I haven’t picked up yet.

Tony blames it all on “The Goldfinch.”

For me, Donna Tartt’s divisive novel deserves only half the fault.

But we’re both in the same place, stalled in trying to figure out what to read next.

My friend and I are good, steady readers with broad interests, usually going from one book to the next. But lately we can’t find our groove. We both realized this when we tried to read “The Goldfinch” at the same time, after some positive early buzz but before the Pulitzer. We are fans of literary fiction, and I had enjoyed Tartt’s debut, “The Secret History.”

But each of us sheepishly admitted we weren’t enjoying this one, and we eventually gave up before page 200, or about a quarter of the way through. It was just such a slog, almost unreadable – and then we heard from more friends who had the same response.

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends, from gutenberg to zuckerberg, John Naughton

Micro-reviews of some of what I have been reading lately….
From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: Disruptive Innovation in the Age of the Internet, by John Naughton. Sort of like a Malcolm Gladwell book, this traces the history of innovation, starting with that famous Bible all the way up to the most famous social network. Naughton draws fascinating parallels and shows how changes in communications lead to profound changes in everything.

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends, Tweet Naked

Tweet Naked: a bare-all social media strategy for boosting your brand and your business. Levy’s an engaging writer and this is a highly readable primer on getting started. The faux provocative title just means: Be transparent.

 

How do you decide what to read next, books, reading, novels, Believe Me, Michael Margolis, a storytelling manifesto, Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch, ask Facebook friends

Believe Me: a storytelling manifesto for change-makers and innovators. By Michael Margolis. Short, smart, thought-provoking. And free online. Get it, read it over a cup of coffee, talk about it with a friend or colleague over a couple more.

The experience left Tony and me both oddly unable to get back on track with something new. Tony says he’s baffled by reviews now, and I admit my attention span seems shot – challenged, at least – by my focus on digital communications and social media.

(I have been reading books about those topics, though, as they relate to content, storytelling, branded journalism and such – just for different reasons and with different rewards.)

So I asked Facebook friends, How do you decide what to read next? Is it reviews? Cover art? Oprah?

The result has been a lively discussion, an edited version of which I want to share. Please join in, through the link at the top of this post. Let me know what works for you and what you’ve been reading lately, especially if it’s good. Or even “The Goldfinch.”

Stephen Bell Miller: I troll bookstores, take suggestions from reviews or interviews I hear on NPR; I look to biographies and mystery series; and the classics are always on my list.

Priscille Dando: Recommendation from someone I trust is the biggest influencer–friend, librarian, independent bookseller, reviewers at Booklist, publishing reps that know my taste. I do pay attention to Buzz books and awards but a book jumps the line if someone I know loves it.

Scott Pierce: My latest was The Circle by Eggers. I got it at Church Street Coffee & Books (in Birmingham, Ala.) for two reasons: I’d read Eggers before and loved him, and I trust Carrie to stock great reads.

Peter Rubin: I read a lot. They are cotton candy for the brain type books. If there is a CIA black ops, political intrigue, super spy thriller then I read it. If I like the author — then I binge read all his/her books. I know people who like the same types of books and ask them if I have run out of new ones to read. So, in essence, word of mouth from a trusted source.

Kelly Pierce: I mostly pick books up and flip to a random page. If I like that passage, I buy the book. Not very scientific. Sometimes I get heads up from friends or hear or see an author interviewed that sounds interesting.

Connie Ogle: Sometimes it’s something so simple as the cover or the description. … I read Fourth of July Creek recently and ended up reviewing it bc a colleague had suggested it. I do read reviews, too, of course, though I never trust Amazon reviews (what if it’s the author’s sister???) I get ideas from Twitter #fridayreads, too, and just looking at hashtags for books to see what people are talking about.

Michael Van Ausdeln: For me, it’s reviews. NYT Book Review plus Amazon Best of the Month.

Question: What was the problem with Goldfinch? I liked it thru the lens of grief. It was the reaction of seeing your mother die. It worked for me.

Connie again: It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, The Goldfinch, but I only got about 200 or so pages through and was annoyed throughout. I swear, a book is set in NYC, and all the NYC literati lose their minds. Good grief. When I heard how it ended I was even more glad I bailed out.

Nunzio Michael Lupo: Nyt book review. Sometimes being interested in a subject and hunting around for it. Like right now I’d like to find a good one on the politics of the Second Vatican Council and one on the 1968 Democratic convention

Phil Kloer: Goldfinch seems divisive. I thought it was amazing, Dickensian. Franzen is also divisive but I have loved his last two, I go by reviews (NYT, NPR, even sometimes Amazon), FB word of mouth, but in most cases the author’s track record.

Cara Neth: My neighbors put up a little library across the street so I tend to wander over and grab whatever looks good when I want something new. I just read “Great Expectations” for the first time because it was there. Otherwise, I focus on working my way through the stacks of books that I’ve bought over the years and never got around to reading…I want to get through those before I read the latest hot novel. I thought “Secret History” was overrated, so I haven’t had any interest in “The Goldfinch”…but if it shows up in the little library, I’ll probably pick it up.


RELATED: The Little Free Library Movement

RELATED: On storytelling and content

RELATED: 12 Annoying Words and Phrases

Advertisements

When Curiosity Leads to Adventure, You Get a Story You Want to Share: Alaska Love in Photos

Alaska, map, Wasilla, Denali, McKinley, wildlife, beautiful scenery, hunting, fishing, salmon, bear, moose, cabin, camera, Facebook, video, family, wolf

My sister Sammye out with the dogs, The Great One behind her

Alaska, map, Wasilla, Denali, McKinley, wildlife, beautiful scenery, hunting, fishing, salmon, bear, moose, cabin, camera, Facebook, video, family, wolf

Vince casts his line

Alaska is one of those places people are curious about. Whenever I mention that I used to live in the Great Land, they usually say, “I’ve always wanted to go there.” Or “Is it really that cold?” Or “Do you know Sarah Palin?” (Answers below.)

Even for some Alaskans, like my brother-in-law Vince, the curiosity doesn’t end. It turns into love. A native of Michigan, Vince has a passion for Alaska that has continued to grow over his 30-plus years there.

He and my sister Sammye love the outdoors — bow hunting, salmon fishing, river boating. Snowshoe softball playing. Racing up mountains and swimming across rivers.

They have a remote recreational cabin near majestic Denali National Park. They get there via riverboat in summer or snowmachine in winter.

Vince’s photos reveal not only a love for a special place, but also his willingness and delight to dive into photography and social media — so he can share his excitement. I’m always telling him how stunning the images are. (See his Facebook page for lots more.)

But what caught my eye most lately are these shots from a camera Vince attached to a tree to record what happens when he and Sammye aren’t around. He equipped it with a motion sensor and the camera takes pictures of various four-legged visitors strolling by the front door. There’s something about these. Intimate isn’t right, is it? Maybe they’re just cool because they’re a different view than what’s usually seen.

Or because it’s another display of Vince’s curiosity — and his need to tell these stories of Alaska.

I also admire the two beautiful shots at the top. They all make me wish I could visit the cabin and catch some more king salmon with my family. It’s been too long.


(Answers: You should visit, absolutely, because it really is a great place. Yes, Alaska can be very cold, of course — often but not always, in some places but not all. And, no, I don’t know Palin.)


 

MORE PHOTOS: Lucy Hale makes her Opry debut

MORE PHOTOS: My most popular posts — Ponce City Market, The King of Pops

MORE PHOTOS: North Avenue’s most iconic images

7 Times U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Civil Rights Legend, Has Conquered Social Media

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis is Atlanta’s veteran Congressman and a civil rights legend. He’s also a master communicator, as anyone who has seen him speak or has read his riveting, beautifully rendered memoir, “Walking with the Wind,” can tell you.

Now Lewis has been providing some of my favorite updates, photos, tweets and videos on social media lately. Just Thursday night, I saw this Facebook status update:

During the movement, we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter. We didn’t have the Internet. I am constantly amazed at our capacity to communicate using new technology. I hope you all will take a few moments and follow on a new platform for me, Instagram. But we must remember it is not enough to click like or retweet, we have to use our bodies and let the sound of our marching feet roll across America.

I had to smile when I read that — and it’s not the first time Lewis has been a highlight online. His story is the story of the modern South, a living example of this country’s deepest struggles and triumphs. Now in his 70s, he’s carried his story to Facebook and Twitter … and Instagram. Here are six more of his recent social media highlights.

Rep. John Lewis, congressman, congress, u.s. representatitive, rep, Atlanta, Georgia, civil rights, hero, legend, social media, master of the house

On Facebook on July 7, Lewis wrote: “Fifty-three years ago today, I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for using a so-called white restroom.”

* On Twitter, @repjohnlewis, July 8: “Hate is too heavy a burden to bear. Love is a better way.”

* And July 2: “If the Civil Rights Act was before the Congress today, it would not pass, it would probably never make it to the floor for a vote.”

Rep. John Lewis, congress, congressman, Georgia, Atlanta, Stan Lee, Marvel comics, ALA, American Library Association

With Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee on June 3 at a conference of the American Library Association.

 

* Superheroes Unite! Lewis has published a graphic novel memoir, “March,” and was a childhood admirer of comic books. Here he is with Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and countless more, at a librarians’ conference. Some 3,000 people liked this pic on Facebook; he also shared it on other sites.

* No Pinterest? I couldn’t find an account for Lewis on Pinterest. But there are countless pins, including this one from NBC News, 7 Things to Know about Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.)  This is also a nice primer on Lewis and his achievements, for anyone who wonders what all the praise is about.

* The ‘Happy’ Dance: Lewis posted this on YouTube a few weeks ago, and then it was everywhere. Joyous and sublime.


BUY: ‘Walking with the Wind,’ his memoir

BUY: The ‘March’ trilogy graphic novels

 

What’s Her Story: Small-Town Shop Owner Uses Integrated Marketing to Tell Her Tale, Grow Her Business

Helene Singer Cash, Crystal Couture, Lebanon, Tennessee, TN, town square, small town, boutique, internet, marketing, Facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, fashions, shoes, accessories, nashville

Helene Singer Cash

Helene Singer Cash lost her shop space in 2010 when a flood devastated much of Nashville, Tenn. She reopened 30 miles to the east, on the old town square of Lebanon, population 25,000 (slideshow below). Since then, Crystal Couture – where Singer Cash sells trendy women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories – has grown so much that she’s moving into a space more than three times the size and just a couple doors over. Singer Cash says the key to her success has been a marketing approach that mixes traditional methods, small-town hustle, the Internet and social media.

You’re a small business in a small town. Do people ever ask what you’re doing on the Internet and Facebook?

Oh, all the time. People always ask me, why are you trying to talk to people everywhere, and I say because I want to sell to people everywhere. The Internet has opened up the world to everybody who’s willing to learn how to use these tools. We’re on Facebook and Twitter (@TheCrystalStore), Pinterest and Instagram, plus have a website with a  blog – all of that.

Is that wide net effective in a small town?

It’s just a part of it. We also advertise in four small, local newspapers, and have partnered with publications to write fashion based articles once a quarter, which I don’t have to pay for. And we sponsor a morning segment on one of the local radio stations every morning during drive time. People forget that newspapers and radio in small towns are still doing well and are affordable for small businesses. You have to mix it up to let people know what you’re about.

Your website does more than just promote your merchandise. Why is that?

We want to be seen as fashion experts and friendly advisers in this community – and to talk about popular trends and current events in fashion. It helps connect us to our customers and our community. We want to tell a story,  to have an emotional attachment, to create synergy so that there’s a reason you want to come out and visit us. There’s a story to it, an emotional attachment or commitment, and they want to be included. People like feeling a part of things and feeling included.

You’re fairly new to this town and you’re a part of a mini-rebirth on the square – with several trendy boutiques popping up next to the old antique shops.

We are really involved in Lebanon and very committed to our community. That’s the other thing, you know – you have to support your community, and we do. Giving back is a huge part! You have to support the community that supports you. We like to work with non-profits such as United Way, New Leash on Life and Historic Lebanon. We are active in the city with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wilson County: Place to Be, 2 different Chambers of Commerce, tourism committees. I attend city council and county commission meetings and actively know the council and commission members. We sponsor the Lebanon High School Band, Leadership Wilson and Books from Birth. We support, sponsor and donate to many charitable organizations, events and projects.

Some small business owners think they don’t have time for social media, or they’re intimidated or think it’s just a fad. What do you say to them?

Social media is not a fad and it is here to stay!  No matter if you are a bricks & mortar, e-commerce or both, social media is a huge part of what you do.  From branding to marketing–you can shape the opinion others have your business by creating social media campaigns.  Remember, social media is not just Facebook.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


 

WHAT’S HIS STORY: Behind the scenes of ‘The Walking Dead’

WHAT’S HIS STORY: The Run Commuter gets to work on foot

WHAT’S HER STORY: From street crime to studios, a reporter’s journey

Monday Funny: A Pirate’s Tale

From my friend Jim Harper, raconteur extraordinaire in Tampa, comes this slightly modified tall tale, which he posted on Facebook and agreed to let me share here. Thanks, Jim. And … ba-da-bing!

Jim Harper, Gasparilla, Tampa, pirates, bus

Jim Harper

Locals need no introduction to Gasparilla. But for the rest you, it’s Tampa’s version of Mardi Gras — only with pirates. Along with ribald revelry along the parade route, there are parties galore in the neighborhoods nearby. They start in the morning. Alcohol fuels the day.

I’d like to share my own experience as a cautionary tale. After my fourth Gasparilla party yesterday — and who knows how many bloody marys, beers, rum punches and such — I had just enough sense to know I was over the limit.

So I decided to do what I have never done before: I took a bus home.

Sure enough, there was a police roadblock checking for drunken drivers on the way. But, since we were a bus, they waved us past. I arrived home safely and without incident.

This was both a relief and a surprise because I had never driven a bus before. I don’t even know where I got it.  And, now that it’s parked behind my condo, I don’t know what to do with it either.

http://video.tampabay.com?freewheel=90964&sitesection=tbtimes&VID=25558477

RELATED: 6 Key Points about Buzz Words

RELATED: Remember the Blinking Twelve on the Old VCRs?