Welcome October the time when things start to cool off and we get some fall colours and cool times.

One of my favourite things to do is find a sunny spot and do a bit of reading which is part of what got me through 8 books this month.

This month was split 50/50 with fiction and non-fiction.

1: Parenting with Love and Logic

A gift from a good friend of mine this is a great book for any parent with kids still at home.

The basic principle is to make the problems your kids have truly in to their problems not take care of them for your kids.

A good example would be, instead of fighting your kid about wearing a coat you let them be cold. They learn from the natural consequences of their decision.

I’ve already parented pretty close to this but there were lots of extra strategies given.

One of the best parenting books I’ve read.

2: A Win Without Pitching Manifesto

Who likes going through the RFP process?

Yeah I don’t either and I’ve been saying no to them for a long time.

A Win Without Pitching Manifesto is just that, a manifesto about getting work without going through a labourous pitch process.

Being a manifesto it’s light on application and tactics, but high on inspiration. It’s a quick read that’s going to give you some solid ideas about getting out of the pitching for work process that we mostly dislike.

The main takeaway I can leave you with is to value your work and say no to RFP’s. You can do that by being a real specialist in your field (I wrote about how).

If you’re truly a specialist then clients are going to be courting you for your time not the other way around.

Quick week long read and worth your time for sure.

3: The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

Did you know that you can train yourself to think more effectively?

Yes, yes you can and this book can give you the information you need to think more effectively.

The 5 Elements of Effective thinking is a great read that gives you awesome exercises to help you think outside of the box and develop novel solutions to problems.

Thinking like this is really what they should teach at school instead of testing for wrote memorization.

4: Pines (Wayward Pines 1)

Great book about a world that doesn’t quite fit.

Everything seems so nice but under the pretty exterior there is a mean side that kills of you don’t conform.

But why does this nice town keep people in? Is it sinister or is there a reason that no one should head out of town?

5: Wayward (Wayward Pines 2)

In the second book or hero steps on to the side he was fighting last time, if does he.

Is he outing the rebels or helping them?

When he calls a fee what is his real plan?

Will the twon survive the aftermath?

Another great instalment in a great series that had me unable to put the book down.

6: The Last Town (Wayward Pines 3)

Our third and final instalment of the series see our last town on earth deal with some major political upheaval which results in the death of most of the last humans on earth.

Will they make it?

Will the move out of the last town on earth or will they stay and deal with a food supply that will run out?

Will there be a satisfying ending that then has a cliffhanger single sentence?

Yes there will be that cliffhanger to let you know things aren’t really done and there is no more books to follow at this point so…

Still a great series which I enjoyed and will likely read again at some point.

7: Minding the store

This is the story of the fabled Neiman Marcus specialty store in Dallas.

From the point of view of Stanley Marcus we get to see the retail giant his father and aunt established and which he took over upon his father’s passing then passed to one of his son’s when he was ready to step back.

The first 60% is mainly devoted to the history of the store.

No sale is a good sale for the store unless it is a good but for the customer.

That is the guiding principle of the store which is able to sell $25k fur coats and $30 dresses.

They make no distinction between either of those customers and are just as likely to charter a plane to fix the problems of either client.

Having worked in a family run business the most fascinating talk was of how they let family work their without them assuming any unearned authority.

There are lots of great teachable moments for anyone that serves customers in this history of the store.

Now the final bit wasn’t for me. It includes personal observations about which fashion designer’s are easy or hard to work with. Some history on the Dallas economy and teaching you how to collect art.

That may apply to some people, but that wasn’t me.

I’d read the first 60% again since I’m sure I’d pick up a bunch of other great tips on running a service based business.

8: Pathfinder Ruins

This is the second instalment in the Pathfinder series. I have read the first one a few times, most recently in June of 2014.

I loved the story but the ending left much to be desired. I’ll leave off the spoilers and I’m in for the third book in the set just don’t expect much from the end of this book.