Summer 2014 Reading Choices

Choosing a name

Since it is summertime, the focus of tonight’s discussion was a little bit different than normal. Everyone who wanted to participate put their name in a hat (my bike helmet was the hat). I asked Riley, who  works at the Michigan News Agency, to choose the first name. After that, the person speaking pulled the next name when time was done. We ended up with five different books being discussed tonight! Quite a bit to take in. Below the group picture is a short summary of each presentation.

group with books

The first name chosen was Moh’d, on the far left in the picture. He discussed “Doblin – The Ten Types of Innovation” by Larry Keeley. Moh’d stated that the book discussed innovation –  defined as what is new and useful – and how to apply it to different parts of a business to be profitable. He had a handout based on this page and discussed a few of the companies. Gillette, for example, will sell a razor really cheap, knowing that the consumer has to replace the blade. For a Keurig, the math shows that a $70 machine will mean an additional $700 spent in a year, based on two people having two cups per day at $.50 each cup (or $2/day). I’m definitely adding this one to my list! How about you?


The next person was Todd, who is on the far right in the group picture. He brought a business card and bookmark for everyone that went with the book that he wrote called “Out of the Darkness and Into the Blue.” Besides telling us what the book was about, Todd explained why he decided to write it in the first place, and the process for doing it. He was able to retire from his position as a public safety officer in December of 2012, and in order to remember his experiences, he started documenting it all. As he reviewed what he had written, Todd realized that not only was he writing a memoir,  there were training ideas that could be considered “lessons learned.” It was at that point that he decided to organize it for publishing. Todd’s main target market who he hopes will read his book are these three:

  1. Regular citizens, so that they have a better idea of why public safety officers do what they do.
  2. Potential future officers, so they have an idea of what to expect.
  3. Current officers, in a mentor role, so that they don’t make the same mistakes that he did.

If you are interested in this book and live in the Kalamazoo area, it is available at Michigan News and other local bookstores, and it is also available online.

Following Todd was my discussion on Conscious Capitalism, a previous book club choice and post. I had to return it before finishing it when I originally checked it out. I finally had a turn again and still didn’t quite finish it before it was due. Luckily, I found it at another local library and completed it! Most of what I discussed was from the appendices. My favorite section was about how businesses pursue profits like people pursue happiness. Both of those are  results, not something to chase after. This was emphasized in a section on conscious capitalism myths, which the authors agreed with or disputed.

If this book is on your list, I highly recommend reading those last sections! I liked the book enough that I want to buy it, and I don’t buy books often anymore.


The fourth book was presented by Barb with some help from  her son, Todd. It also had an interesting beginning. Barb’s mother’s mother’s father (great-grandfather to her) wrote poetry in the mid to late 1800’s. When Todd found the book as the family was going through old items, he organized and edited it so the world could have access. He was asked about his favorite poem, which he read for us. It was something different than the usual business book topics and everyone enjoyed hearing it. The book title is “Tommy Hawks Hill,” and is available locally or online.

 Finally, Matt was able to present his book choice, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which had also been a previous book choice and post. He discussed the definition of an outlier and gave physical and other types of examples of why a person or situation might be one, which included culture, the 10,000 hour rule, and birth month or year. It was pointed out that there was a lot of passion needed at some point, in all of those examples. Barb stated that all three of her children are passionate about something, and it is what they do in life, yet she didn’t have that same experience.

Matt and Moh’d and I stood outside of Michigan News after it closed and continued to chat. One of the topics that came up is how many projects each of us have going at any given time, on top of work, school, family or other commitments. Moh’d stated that after watching what others with a full plate seem to do he realized this: “When the plate is full, get a bigger plate.”

Happy reading!


Stacy (a.k.a. “The Book Lady”)


1 Comment

Filed under 2014, KBBC Choices (by year)

One response to “Summer 2014 Reading Choices

  1. Pingback: Book Club Turns Two | Kalamazoo Business Book Club (KBBC)

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