I only made it through two books this month, but considering the behemoth size of Schwarzenegger’s biography, I’m impressed I even got that far.
My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger – Man, I thought I was an Arnold fan before – but now I might be a fanatic. I loved this book. There’s so much he has done with his life, and I can understand that many still see him as a silly character, of sorts, but the fact that he went from a very poor immigrant family to the most influential bodybuilder, Hollywood action hero, real estate mogul, and politician speaks to more than just being “silly.” He’s a thinker, a learner, and a diplomat in all that he does. At one moment, he’s networking with bodybuilders globally and winning Mr. Olympia, then he’s in Spain filming Conan the Barbarian, all while hanging out with Andy Warhol and courting Maria Shriver at the Kennedy compound. Oh, and buying up real estate on the side and oil-painting in his free time. Who does that?!
I was fascinated with the background of bodybuilding and how he made it into Hollywood. Since I abhor politics, that part was a bit boring for me, but reading about his Republican values while being mentored by the Democratic Kennedys helped me better understand his point of view. Did he talk about steroids? Yes. Did he talk about his affair? Yes. Did he apologize for mistakes? Absolutely.
There’s so much content that you would need a book study to talk about everything, but I’m even more convinced that if we could get that “you have to be a born-US citizen to run for president” rule changed, he would have my vote.
Find Your Courage by Margie Warrell – It’s not exactly a secret that working with my boss this year has been…challenging. After one particularly toxic interaction, I got on the internet looking for guidance and randomly chose this book. On one hand, it gives very practical advice for how to say what you need to say without being a total dick, and on the other hand it was a tad redundant. The book isn’t just for work, but basically giving specific steps to making change in your life, whether it be work, relationships, health, etc. The point is that if you keep doing the same things over and over, your life will never change or be as fulfilling as you want. For me, I found benefit in how to set boundaries with my boss, and how to keep myself from whiny-mode and put myself into action-mode. I’m just not sure how many times I need to read, “If you’re not saying what you want to say, you’re not being your real self.” Ok – got it the first ten times.
On a final note, be expecting at least one more big-time-fan post about Arnold. There’s more to come.