In my related Friday With Joan July 2018 blog post you’ll gain some insight into obstacles to professional development and ways to work around them. Reading is a relatively easy way to advance yourself and your career. Here, I provide some links and suggestions for your reading list.

Keep in mind this is a fraction of what I’ve read and do regularly read. I have stacks of articles and news items I’ve pulled to share, some for professional development, some for further discussion after reading.

When you follow @MeetingsToday you'll find more to read and learn from daily. Now, on this article or on the main blog post, add what you are currently reading or recommend.

Selections are numbered for ease of skimming through, but not necessarily in order of rank. Also, as the title of this article implies, a few of the items mentioned are videos and/or audio versus text.

Recommendation No. 1:

Guy Kawasaki’s “The MacIntosh Way,” published in 1991 and read by me in 1994, and subsequently “How to Drive Your Competition Crazy” and “Selling the Dream.”

I fell in love with Guy’s writing and brilliance. (Thanks, Rod Marymor, for introducing me to “The MacIntosh Way”!) Guy is a prolific writer and a mensch. You can find his books in many places and all are worth reading.

Here’s a good overview of what Guy has written (results via Google Search).

Recommendation No. 2:

Susan RoAne (aka “The Mingling Maven”) wrote (and speaks about) “How to Work a Room,” great networking advice for all people, even for those of us who are Introverts and often prefer corners of rooms.

Recommendation No. 3:

An enlightening read, Dan Pink’s “A Whole New Mind,” is about right brain thinking and how it benefits work among us all. What I hope is that many more will read it or read again (alongside his latest book, “When,” to understand much more about how to do more, better and more creatively).

What’s so interesting about right-brainers taking over is the conversation on ASAE’s Collaborate about using improvisation and other creativity to improve performance.

Here’s an overview of the first book via Medium. And here’s more on the second via NPR.

Recommendation No. 4:

Given our times and the amount of research done, reading more about the history of our country (see also below about Jack Tapper’s book) is critical. This New York Times’ story about the new exhibit at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello that finally opens the door into the life of Sally Hemings adds to the research done to understand who Mr. Jefferson was and what his relationship with Ms. Hemings was or might have been.

The interviews with descendants of their relationship had heart-breaking stories that certainly play to the discussion today about race.

Recommendation No. 5:

Reading reporter and author, Jake Tapper’s “The Hellfire Club” helped me remember so much of the times of the Army-McCarthy hearings, a time when my parents made me watch on our huge-cabinet, small-screen TV the hunt for Communists in the U.S. I’ve learned over many years that the genres I most enjoy are history, historical fiction, biographies, mysteries, crime, and just good storytelling with excellent dialogue. I’ll be curious to find out, in the comments section, once you read it what you think. Especially if you are not a Boomer who lived through or knew more about the era about which this is written: The McCarthy hearings in the 1950s.

One review from The New York Times gives you a bit more background.

Recommendation No. 6:

A book that impacted even more how I view the history of the United States and the issues of race and law was “Devil in the Grove” by Gilbert King.

It is painful reading and it is, more so, necessary reading, about the early career of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, and about the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Recommendation No. 7:

I recently finished reading the latest book, “The Secrets Between Us,” by author and professor, Thrity Umrigar. My gratitude to Donna Brandwein for telling me about this author who, remarkably to me, was willing to “friend” me on Facebook.

This latest book is a sequel to “The Space Between Us.” In addition to exquisite writing and characters that are complex, I am learning so much more about the people and culture of India. Most of all, “The Secrets Between Us” is about home, place, the intersection of birth and circumstances, and the importance of friendship.

Each of her books is “must read”—this, given the times in which the world is living, even more so.

Recommendation No. 8:

My friend (and colleague), Mike Rowan, gave me three books he’d read and knew I’d love. He was right! I’ve sent them on to Maggie, a friend since grade school and she and I have wondered how we, growing up and going to school in Ohio, were never asked by Lenore Clippinger or other teachers to read these remarkable books about the frontier that was Ohio.

Written by prize-winner author, Conrad Richter, the Awakening Land trilogy—“The Trees,” “The Fields,” and “The Town”—are miraculous to read. The prose beautiful; the history illuminating.

Maggie and I observed that for the time at which they were written and about the time they were written, having a strong woman protagonist was remarkable.

The books are sometimes sold in a single collection. And you can’t read one without the others. Do read in order as noted above. It will only make sense. I wish there were a sequel!

Recommendation No. 9:

I also read, based somewhat on this New York Times review, “Less” by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Andrew Sean Greer. It is a book I’d like to discuss with others before commenting.

If you’ve read it, contact me at and let me know what you thought.

Or please do so after reading. And we’ll discuss it too!

Recommendation No. 10:

I cut out and save articles from print or save links to others to use in training and to send to people. Below are just some pulled out over a short period of time.

We’ll place these all together as my 10th reading (or watching or listening) recommendation.

In just one weekend’s newspapers (The Washington Post (WaPo) and The New York Times (The Times), there was so much that relates to my work—our work alone that I share what I found and how you too can begin to see the connections. Note both publications require subscriptions once you hit a certain number of articles in a month and I do subscribe to both, but know not all have the means to.

But I still recommend bookmarking these articles and checking back every now and again.

This article, “Penalizing Pregnancy, From Walmart to Wall St.,” is critical for all working people regardless of where one works. Even I, who keeps up with trends, was astounded at the discrepancies in treatment and more, in pay, for women and men before and after children.

Questions to ask of future employers, eh?

There were stories in both papers as well as in Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist about the trade wars. With thanks to MaryAnne Bobrow for pointing me to the PPIA (the association of makers and sellers of meeting tchotchkes) when I asked a question about the impact of these same trade wars on all the exhibit and meeting giveaways, many of which are made in China. You can do the research to find more—just search on “trade war with China” and you’ll begin to see the impact.

June 17 was Father’s Day. My dad (z”l) died in 1987 just short of his 65th birthday. I’ve never stopped missing him. When Frank Bruni wrote “Losing Fathers, Then Making History,” it made me wonder even more about the impact my dad’s life and death had on me. It may be easier to read now that Father’s Day is past for this year. And to each of you who have lost fathers, my heart goes out to you.

So much we didn’t resolve when they were alive, isn’t there?

As the immigration wars play out, our industry is being and will continue to be impacted just as we as consumers are being impacted. Yes, the humanitarian issues are immense. I know too well that in our industry “the business case” is more popular reading. There are many articles about farm workers being arrested because the farms at which they work didn’t get the visas needed and still the crops had to be harvested.

For those who love crab meat—or have meeting goers or restaurant patrons who do—this article by Scott Dance in The Washington Post is about the crab houses that lost out in the visa lottery and its impact. Were I you, in addition to reading this, I’d follow closely the impact this has on product availability and pricing.

The MGM at National Harbor in D.C.’s Maryland suburbs (or is that Maryland’s D.C. suburb?!) made quite a splash when it opened. It seems that other Maryland casinos are following suit—adding nongaming amenities like guest rooms and meeting space. Watch as the competition heats up in this WaPo article by Luz Lazo.

If you’re in my age group or older you will have been in the “Duck and Cover” generation. If you’re looking for practical advice about how to survive a nuclear attack for you or your hotel guests or your family and friends and meeting goers, look to this article.

It’s a wonder that it’s not a priority again for the United States, eh?

In “Redrawing the Bounds of Reality” by Reggie Ugwu in The Times I read with utter fascination. I wondered what it will mean for our work in meetings and hospitality.

I’m sure Corbin Ball and Jim Spellos will have more to say!

And this! “For the Love of My Son, I learned to Love Elsa” about a son who fell in love with Elsa from “Frozen” and the experience it brought to the entire family. In a time when appreciation for gender identity and non-binary gender thinking is what we need, it was a heartwarming read.

Very practically, this about frequent-flier plans from The Times Travel section will perhaps help or more, confuse, you. Are you still participating? Do you expect to get anything in return?

D.C. stories about students who are experiencing new worlds always “grab” me. This one by Sarah Larimer in WaPo about the Howard University’s volleyball team and their trip to Africa is important about the world we live in and how we can expand our views by … yes, travel!

And in my love of history and in the spirit of knowing we need to expand our visions of those who came before us, this, by the WaPo’s Peter Slevin, about Ida B. Wells, is important reading.

Wait … do you know who she was, what she did and her importance?

If you do or don’t, read this to learn more.

With thanks to Naomi Romanchok, CMP: here’s an important article that elaborates on the question—who’s responsible really when you hold an event and someone damages decor? It certainly gives us something to think about for ensuring safety—of people and objects!

Port-a-Potty Takes Flight isn’t really funny. Well, certainly not to those who ‘took off’! It again makes us think about the risks in putting on meetings and events! (a Youtube video).

My friend, Ken Fischer, who once taught at the MPI Institute, told me all about the remarkable life story of Aaron Dworkin. I’ve subscribed to “AaronAsk” (a podcast) to look at the world differently and at how creativity is used in so many ways. Each episode is uplifting and thoughtful.

For vacationers or business travelers, it will be great to read “Mexico City Through the Eyes of Children” to learn more about what to do when you travel.

When you want to have hope, read this and watch the documentary. I’m proud of these two young men—both have been students of my niece. I met them in 2017 when that year’s documentary was screened at the Museum of African American Culture. This year they again entered a video about Atlanta’s history with race and how it changed what they did clearly with an eye to business.

YAY you, Ke’Von Singleton and Malik Hubbard! You will always be in my heart and world.

To you, the Atlanta CVB: I’d pay them for permission to use on your web site.

I was neither a fan of nor listener of Prince [don’t judge me!]. Yet, reading this New Yorker article made me sad—for his talent, his life that made him so isolate himself, and that his home, Paisley Palace, has been turned into a museum. So telling was one paragraph in the story: “Most of Prince’s fans didn’t know him personally, yet his work was essential to their lives. When he died, where could they mourn? An ungenerous reading might be that Americans are so ill equipped to manage death that we are forced to mediate it through tourism. We soothe our pain by buying a plane ticket, booking a hotel room, buying a keychain: expressing gratitude via a series of payments. …” So then I thought about so many trips friends have described—to honor a famous person through their art (museums), or in the cemeteries in which they are buried.

A Final Note (and Three More Recommendations)

Yes, I read lots online—blog posts, articles, publications. I listed a fraction of things I found interesting lately and am hopeful you’ll take some of your vacation time (do you take vacation in the summer?) to read more and to add reading to your regular routine.

You might add Gina Glantz’s wonderful site Gender Avenger to your reading list for it’s look at the inequality in many issues of gender.

And PHLDiversity, a division of the Philadelphia CVB, has a great podcast on diversity. Worth subscribing to. You’ll also find terrific resources at their site.

The best for last: my friend, Jamie Triplin, has written a beautiful, meaningful, fun and beautifully illustrated (by Shaelyn Daniels) children’s book that I recommend for all of us to read to help create acceptance in understanding of ourselves and others. Here’s what Jamie says about her book:

“This book is perfect for children who come from the African Diaspora, have a mixed heritage, difficulty fitting in, and/or feel they are ‘too different.’ It also serves as a great guide to teach your child how to treat those that are different from them. This book will boost confidence, encourage an empowering and supportive environment, and be a positive reinforcement in the home.”

Jamie's book is called “Malia the Merfairy and The Lucky Rainbow Cake.” Ask your local bookstore to carry it. Each person to whom I’ve given it has been delighted.

Related Reading From the July 2018 Edition of Friday With Joan

Click here to view additional content in the 07.06.18 Friday With Joan newsletter.