I don’t typically read inspirational books very often. It’s not because I don’t like them, they were just never really my cup of tea. I don’t scour the local Barnes and Noble® looking for inspirational books or life-changing novels, so picking up The Carpenter by Jon Gordon and Ken Blanchard was something that was definitely out of my comfort zone. Would I do it again? Yes, but not because it changed my life. Instead, The Carpenter was a short, sweet novel with good symbolism and lessons that really give you food for thought.
Let’s start with the most obvious symbol: the carpenter himself, J. Emmanuel. The J. isn’t short for anything, according to the novel, but after a few more minutes of reading the book, I realized what J. could possibly stand for, and my inner Christian cheered. In addition, the beginning of the book doesn’t really mean anything at first (and I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t read it), but the more you progress, the more the main character Michael (and consequently the reader) realizes that what happens isn’t a curse but a blessing.
Then there are the lessons themselves. They center around three main values that can not only be applied to business but to life, as shown in the book as a basketball game. They are great lessons, and they also implement strategies to remember those lessons as more challenges appear as life goes on.
I haven’t said a whole lot because I really want you guys to read this novel for yourselves. Even if you’re not a business major/owner, the strategies and lessons in this book can apply to anyone. While I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but think of my own struggles and I began thinking of ways to overcome them by applying the three main values to them. If I were to take anything away from this novel, it would be that I cannot control what happens in life, but I can control everything else from within.
Is there a novel you guys have read that’s changed your life? Or a novel that’s given you a new perspective?