Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

Cass writes a story about America, who lives in a post-World War IV United States, now known as Illea, where there is a caste system in place ranging from Ones to Eights. America is a Five, which is the artist caste, and is in love with Asper, who is a Six, and would be a union that would be frowned upon if it came to fruition. The prince if Illea, Maxon, has come to age where he must find a princess. Any girl aged 16-20 can enter their name into the Selection. Thirty-five finalists are chosen, America being one of them, even though she has no intention of becoming a princess and is only doing it to help her family and because she promised Aspen she would, before he broke up with her after realizing that he could never provide the life for her that he thinks she deserves. America makes it known to Maxon on the first night in the palace that she is not interested in him, but does not want to return home to face the heartache left by Aspen. Maxon keeps her in the Selection and they become friends, with America serving as his insider with information on the other girls. Slowly, America takes a liking to Maxon, who is falling for her hard. But rebel forces keep attacking the palace, leading to a draft. Aspen is drafted and is stationed at the palace, which reignites their romance. Who will America choose?
Book 2, The Elite, will be released on April 23, 2013.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

I think this is a book every manager needs to read. Pink discusses what motivates people at work. I thought it would be more about general life stuff, like what "drives" us to finish a project or lose weight, things along the lines of The Power of Habit, but I was still not disappointed. It made me realize what is important to me in the work environment, like a flexible schedule (and how "flex time" doesn't count...a truly, whenever-you-want-to-work-as-long-as-you-clock-40s schedule). I think managers could learn a lot from reading this because it would make them want to know their employees better and learn what is truly important to them. Would they prefer a higher salary and less vacation time or more acknowledgement of a job well-done instead of higher pay, etc?