Books on My Sidebar and The Spirituality of Imperfection

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Down at the bottom of my sidebar, I have a large widget under the heading “Storytelling Books.” A few notes about these books… They fall basically into these three categories:

  1. Books about storytelling, primarily applied forms of storytelling, such as storytelling for healing, organizational storytelling/business narrative, and storytelling in career and job search.
  2. Storytelling how-tos, such as how to journal, how to craft your life story, how to do digital storytelling, how to use stories in presentations, and how to use stories in training and communication
  3. Books that are told primarily in stories, including entire books that are a story or fable, such as Peter Weddle’s Recognizing Richard Rabbit and the business novel Edge by Corey Blake et al, as well as collections of true stories on similar themes: how people got their jobs, interesting careers people have, how people escaped from corporate America, stories of marriages, workplace stories, stories of the Great Depression, stories of science, and stories about values.

The other thing I need to say about these books is that most of them are not exactly recommendations because … I confess that I haven’t read most of them. Yes, I’ve read some and can heartily recommend them. The books are on the sidebar because I have come across them while researching entries for A Storied Career. I own many of them.

But I am a slow reader to the point where my deficiency in reading speed is almost a learning disability. I once took a speed-reading class in which I discovered that I didn’t really want to read faster. I will confess, however, that my slow reading has been problematic — in graduate school for example. I have also developed a pattern of reading myself to sleep, so anytime I read, my body starts to think it’s sleepytime.

This summer, I’ve made a commitment to read a good chunk of the books on my sidebar. I just finished the book I was writing (I think I write books faster than I read them), so I have a bit more time.

spiritualityImperfection.JPG My first selection was The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning, which I had come across multiple times in research for this blog. I had seen it mentioned in both storytelling circles and addiction-recovery circles. Both are directly relevant to me because I am a 26-years-sober recovering alcoholic.

The Spirituality of Imperfection by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham essentially embodies the spirituality of 12-step groups, particularly Alcoholics Anonymous. I did not use AA in my recovery; I quit drinking cold-turkey. But this book made me realize how important storytelling is for recovery and made me long for a 12-step group even after being sober for more than twice as long as the 10-year period during which I was drinking.

It’s a beautiful, gentle, inspiring book. At first I was puzzled about where the storytelling element was even though the book is full of illustrative stories.

At this point, it occurs to me that this entry is getting kind of long. I want to share with you some of the storytelling wisdom of The Spirituality of Imperfection and thus, the sharing continues in the next entry.

2 Comments

Katharine, now I understand where your skill with storytelling and big questions comes from; it didn’t click when you first interviewed me. I’ve been a friend of Bill and Bob’s for 18 years. I hear the most amazing stories in meetings, and listening to others has taught me to be present - really present.

It has also made me generous.

If I could sum up what telling wisdom stories has taught me over the last 20 some years, it would be: be humble, be present and be kind. It’s a recipe for life - and great stories!

Warmly, Andree

Thank you so much for these words, Andree. In addition to a desire to experience the sharing of wisdom stories, I have a need to be more present. You have nudged me further toward something I’m convinced I must experience. Many, many thanks.

About
A Storied Career

A Storied Career explores intersections/synthesis among various forms of
Applied Storytelling:
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  • organizational storytelling
  • storytelling for identity construction
  • storytelling in social media
  • storytelling for job search and career advancement.
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A Storied Career's scope is intended to appeal to folks fascinated by all sorts of traditional and postmodern uses of storytelling. Read more ...
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Dr. Kathy Hansen

Kathy Hansen, PhD, is a leading proponent of deploying storytelling for career advancement. She is an author and instructor, in addition to being a career guru. More...

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The following are sections of A Storied Career where I maintain regularly updated running lists of various items of interest to followers of storytelling:

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Links below are to Q&A interviews with story practitioners.


The pages below relate to learning from my PhD program focusing on a specific storytelling seminar in 2005. These are not updated but still may be of interest:

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