Currently Listening To… The Instrument of Peace


Jake Shimabukuro plays “the instrument of peace,” the Hawaiian ukelele, at TEDxTokyo.  This is such a tremendous performance!  My favorite is his rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

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Advice: Storytelling and The Top 10 Books You Must Read… NOW!


“Stories are easier to remember — because in many ways, stories are how we remember.” ~ Daniel Pink

Stories are important to all of us, but they are an integral part of my life.  I’ve been a reader since I was born.  When it was bedtime, I’d read under the covers with a flashlight… Even today, I devour entire books at a time and often can’t stop once I open that first page.  In school, I studied English Literature and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in the field.  My favorite authors are James Joyce, Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, and Philip Roth.  My favorite short stories are written by Flannery O’Connor, Ernest Hemingway, and Eudora Welty.

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Today, I wanted to share my favorite stories with you by posting the Top 10 Books You Must Read… NOW!

  • (1) Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
  • (2) N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn
  • (3) Percival Everett, Erasure
  • (4) J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey
  • (5) William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • (6) Philip Roth, American Pastoral
  • (7) and (8) Cormac McCarthy, The Road and Child of God
  • (9) Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
  • (10) James Joyce, Ulysses.  Now some may say this text is difficult.  It’s not too challenging if you read it alongside The New Bloomsday Book and have a great support system to guide you.  If you can’t read it for a course, I’d suggest reading it with a serious book club.  This text is akin to running a marathon, so work your way up to it with Dubliners and then A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

I spend an entire lecture dedicated to storytelling in the presentation course I currently teach.  Earlier this month, I posted my Storytelling Lecture; you can view it here.

Duarte Designs did a blog post in 2009 on Robert McKee’s 10 Commandments of Storytelling.  Check out this fantastic guide here.

The ability to tell stories allows you to connect with an audience.  Garr Reynolds discusses the art of storytelling here as it relates to Bill Cosby, a masterful comedian and storyteller.

Lastly, my favorite TED Talk of all time is Sir Ken Robinson’s “Schools Kill Creativity.”  I blogged about the Talk here.  You have to check it out, and even if you’re seen it once, watch it again just to focus on Robinson’s ability to tell stories.  He is a master.

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