All Aboard the ARC: HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose by John Coleman

HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose by John Coleman

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Harvard Business Review Press in exchange for an honest review. I have not received compensation for the inclusion of any links for purchase found in this review or on any other page of The Voracious Bibliophile which mentions the HRB Guide to Crafting Your Purpose, its author, or its publisher.***

If I’m being honest, I approach most self-help and/or personal growth books with a healthy dose of skepticism. It’s not that I’m a Negative Ned or a Pessimistic Paul, per se. It’s just that the market is so saturated with hundreds (probably thousands) of these titles that contain basically identical content that I can’t help but roll my eyes whenever I see a new one hit the shelves. Even the anti-self-help, cool, trendy, swear word-laden titles have started to reach critical mass. At first it was cool to read these because you could be like, “Look at me! I’m bettering myself but in a cool hipster way. F$&$ yeah!”

Even the anti-self-help, cool, trendy, swear word-laden titles have started to reach critical mass.

Even worse than the typical fare one finds in the Personal Growth section of bookstores are the ones that purport to help you find your true purpose in life. Purpose. Such a heavy word. Just listen to anyone who’s achieved a modicum of success in any given field and they’ll tell you all about how they found their true purpose in life. For the rest of us, these people serve as shining examples of our own glaring mediocrity. If only we could find our purpose, maybe we too could enjoy the level of personal and professional fulfillment that these people have.

Just listen to anyone who’s achieved a modicum of success in any given field and they’ll tell you all about how they found their true purpose in life.

The truth, however, is a little more complex than that. I recently got the opportunity to read and review the HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose by John Coleman, published by Harvard Business Review Press. In it, he managed to dismantle some of the skepticism I’ve accumulated over the years through the careful analysis of his own research, plenty of evidence from other reputable sources to back it up, and more than a few real-life examples to provide illustrations for the concepts he lays out in his book. All in all, I was impressed.

Coleman begins his book by discussing the “crisis of meaning” modern society is currently experiencing. Many (if not most) people go to work simply to earn a paycheck. They find no meaning in the work they perform and their days are filled with drudgery and the overwhelming sense that nothing they do matters or provides value. Because of the proliferation of information technologies which allows them to be accessible at all times, they also have no work-life balance. When life is all work and no play, misery quickly ensues.

When life is all work and no play, misery quickly ensues.

One of Coleman’s main assertions throughout his book is that purpose is not something inherent or static. It is fluid and malleable. More than anything, it is something that can be crafted by each individual to provide meaning and happiness in each area of one’s life. It is not always something that one finds, but rather something that can be designed to fit the needs and desires of each individual based on their backgrounds and values.

More than anything, it [purpose] is something that can be crafted by each individual to provide meaning and happiness in each area of one’s life.

Another thing I liked about Coleman’s book are the numerous exercises he included to allow the reader the chance and space to put to work the concepts which he discusses. Whether someone is fresh out of high school or college or already somewhat (or even mostly) established in their chosen career field, I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t benefit from Coleman’s wisdom.

Whether someone is fresh out of high school or college or already somewhat (or even mostly) established in their chosen career field, I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t benefit from Coleman’s wisdom.

The HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose was released by Harvard Business Review Press on January 11th, 2022 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: The Hiking Viking by Laura Gehl (Words) and Timothy Banks (Pictures)

The Hiking Viking by Laura Gehl (Words) and Timothy Banks (Pictures)

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Capstone Editions in exchange for an honest review.***

Leif isn’t like other Vikings. He doesn’t like to battle or brawl, holler or howl, wrestle, or throw spears. No, Leif’s idea of a good time is hiking to the top of the fjord and beholding the majesty of the natural world.

No one in Leif’s family can understand why he is the way he is. They’re always pressuring him to join them in the activities they enjoy, which naturally leaves Leif feeling like an inferior outcast in his own clan. When it comes time for the Viking Games, Leif’s family’s honor is at stake and he can’t let them down. What Leif learns and is able to teach his family and the other members of his village is that the best contribution you can give to your community is being yourself.

What Leif learns and is able to teach his family and the other members of his village is that the best contribution you can give to your community is being yourself.

Laura Gehl and Timothy Banks have crafted an instant classic with The Hiking Viking. With gorgeous illustrations and positive messages about the benefits of honoring your own authenticity, The Hiking Viking will appeal to young readers of all genders.

The Hiking Viking is due to be released on February 1st, 2022 by Capstone Editions and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Book Review: Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman (Author) and Loren Long (Illustrator)

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman (Author) and Loren Long (Illustrator)

Amanda Gorman is, quite simply, a revelation.

Amanda Gorman is, quite simply, a revelation. In Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem, Gorman’s mellifluous and uplifting text is paired with Loren Long’s gorgeously-rendered illustrations to show readers of all ages that everyone has a voice and everyone can (and should) be an agent for positive change. I think it’s fair to say that 2021 is the year of Amanda Gorman. She catapulted into the spotlight after she was chosen to recite her poem, “The Hill We Climb”, at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. She is the youngest person to ever be chosen for that honor. She was photographed by Annie Liebowitz for the May cover of Vogue, becoming the first poet who can make that claim.

…if you ask her, she stands on the shoulders of giants – the Black ancestors whose DNA she shares and whose lives she honors with her work to create a more just and equitable America.

It would seem that Gorman is racking up “firsts” like nobody’s business, but if you ask her, she stands on the shoulders of giants – the Black ancestors whose DNA she shares and whose lives she honors with her work to create a more just and equitable America. In addition to Change Sings, which was released by Viking Books for Young Readers on September 21st, she is also the author of three additional books: The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough, which she self-published in 2015; The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country, which was released earlier this year; and Call Us What We Carry: Poems, which is due to be released on December 7th by Penguin Young Readers and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.