Back to School Reading Challenge: I’m in

In the midst of the many changes I’m making for my life this year, I’ve also decided to go back to school this fall. Things at work are looking a little less certain for me and I really want to take my career in a new direction, so I’ll be pursuing a degree in Marketing to help make the transition.

With a degree program comes a lot of reading, so I’ll need to get back in the habit of reading a little bit every day and I think I’ve found a perfect way to do just that before classes start in late September/early October.


Per the guidelines for the challenge, I’m choosing to participate at the Sophomore level by reading 3-4 books between last Wednesday and September 30. I’ve identified my first three books and I’m looking for suggestions for a fourth.

  • I’ve already started my first book, Platform by Michael Hyatt, which I purchased last year after attending the Blissdom conference but never started reading. This book is about how to take a powerful message – whether for a paid product or just information you want to share with those who would benefit from the knowledge – and make sure your target customers know about it, can find it easily, and can interact with you on social media in order to enhance their understanding and/or appreciation of what you’re producing. I know there are a lot of folks out there who struggle with depression and/or diabetes and wonder how on Earth they can ever get out of the darkness and build a healthier life for themselves. Lord knows I don’t have all of the answers but perhaps something I can share will help others make healthier decisions for themselves and their families, and that would be really tremendous.
  • For my second book, I’m going to read The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. Just before leaving for the FitBloggin conference in June, I saw a link to Dr. Brown’s TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability, and it hit me like a punch in the face. I have lived nearly my entire life trying to be “perfect” – whatever that means – instead of just being who I am right now, imperfections and all, and actually allowing myself to enjoy life instead of waiting until everything is perfect. Not light reading but definitely worthwhile.
  • For the third book, I’m looking forward to reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. This book chronicles the adventures of a young woman who, after facing tremendous tragedies, decided to challenge herself by hiking the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Washington, even though she had little to no experience as a hiker. Seriously! This is some brave stuff as far as I’m concerned and I need a little more brave in my life as I step into the new challenge of being a college student at nearly 46 years of age, with a full-time job, and while (successfully) managing Type 2 diabetes and depression.

We’ve reached the Audience Participation portion of the program now, ladies and gentleman, because I need your help to choose my fourth book. I want something light and frothy that will make me laugh and possibly cry, but nothing too emotionally draining because I want to go into my first class on a high note, inspired and ready to learn. Leave your suggestions in the comments, if you would. I’ll reveal the winner next week!

Have you read any good books lately? Been on any life-changing journeys? I’m all ears!


    These look great! I have Platform but have yet to read it all the way through so I’ll be curious about what you think. The other two sound really good!

    You might try one of the books by Tom Peters — they are encouraging and should be of interest to someone with an interest in Marketing.

    Have you read Getting Things Done by David Allen? That might be useful as you take on the adventure of going back to school.

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  • I just started to read Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann – at less than 1/4 of the way through, I have to force myself to put it down and do stuff that needs doing! Given your interest in clothing, I think you might want to check it out.


      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for coming by and leaving such a helpful comment. I’ve added the Lehmann book to my Amazon wish list (my virtual “to-read” list) because it sounds like something I’d really enjoy!

      Thanks again for your visit.


      • Hi Denise,
        Happy to help. BTW, I got the book from my local library. Our library system has an online “my reading list” feature. I add books to it, and when I’m ready to read one, request it online. If my library doesn’t have the book, it requests a copy from another library in the area. It’s a much less expensive way of reading than buying!


    Good for you. I have a hard time getting any books read even though my Kindle is loaded!


      I know what you mean, Kay Lynn, and I frequently have the same problem. Right now I’m struggling with Book #1 for this challenge, Platform by Michael Hyatt. I think choosing a practical book for my first read might have been a mistake because I’m about 2/3 through and finding it really tough to keep going. Not sure if I should give it up and move on to something more engaging, or try to push through.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • I read Wild when it came out last year – really liked it!


      Oh good, Leslie, I’m really looking forward to picking it up once I’m done with Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, so I’m glad you liked it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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