September 22, 2021

Off-Topic: My Top 10 Books of 2013

As this is the last blog post of 2013, please indulge me an off-topic digression as I salute the top ten books I’ve read over the past year.  Over the past six years, I have read between 69 to 105 books per year. (This diabetes y viagra year, my total weighed in at 71, but I was not aiming toward any particular goal.) I do confess to being a enthusiastic reader as well as a book-aholic.


I also confess that none of the following books directly address the profession of insurance claims adjusting. However, at least three of them are applicable to the context of adjusters.  Two apply to adjusters as thought workers who must generate ideas in order to excel at their professions. In addition, another book aimed at boosting productivity is chock-full of tips which can be embraced and adapted by adjusters to improve their effectiveness.

Therefore, without further ado and without

a drum roll, I humbly nominate my favorite 10 books from 2013:

            #1.  Learn, Create, Teach: A Guide to Building a Creative Life by Claire Lieu.  This book was an unexpected gem.  Don’t think that is doesn’t apply to you because you’re not a painter, sculptor, novelist or actor.  Any knowledge worker that has to generate ideas can use this book.  (See my expanded review on Amazon.)

            #2.  Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen.  Hard to put down  this autobiography of novelist Kate Christenson, who I term a “culinary cougar with oversized appetites.”

            #3.  Man Alive by Mary Kay Zuravleff.  Pediatrician gets struck by lightning and becomes obsessed with barbequing.  Sounds like a realistic novel premise to me!

            #4.  What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderekam.  I admit it — I’m a productivity geek.  As such, I couldn’t resist this book. 

            #5.  Sparta by Roxana Robinson.  Fiction comprises only about 15-20% of my reading, but this poignant portrayal of a Marine trying to re-integrate himself into mainstream life is compelling.

            #6.  Nine Inches: Stories by Tom Perrotta.  I’ve read ALL of Tom Perrotta’s books, so I’m a sucker for anything he puts out.  Some have termed him “the Steinbeck of suburbia.”  I was not disappointed by this collection of short stories. 

            #7.  One for the Books by Joe Queenan.  I wish I was clever enough to write like Queenan, who’s weekly Saturday column in the Wall, Street Journal is like a whipped cream dessert for the soul.  Queenan is not only a gifted writer, but a voracious reader who puts me to shame.  This stroll down his reading journey was manna for this book-aholic.

            #8.  Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior by Rorke Denver.  I’ve long been fascinated by the Navy SEALS, well before the spectacular bin Laden raid thrust them back into the limelight.  If you are at all interested in the elite of America’s warrior class, you must read “Damn Few”!

            #9.  The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp.  A great companion volume to “Learn, Create and Teach.”   

            #10.  Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff.  If you are an NFL fan — and even if you don’t like the New York Jets — you will love this book.  The author spends a year embedded with the Jets organization to give you an inside view of the exhausting but exhilarating job of coaching a professional football team. 

For all of you who read the weekly Claims Coach posts, I deeply appreciate your time and appreciate the insights of those who have commented upon posts and who have responded in different ways on LinkedIn and through direct outreach.

I wish you a happy New Years and a very successful 2014!

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