Brett Blumenthal is a bestselling author, known for her wonderful books on wellness. Some of her most well known titles are 52 Small Changes for the Mind, A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite for Your Best Life and Get Real and Stop Dieting. As well as being a prolific writer, Brett Blumenthal is also a talented speaker, who regularly speaks at conferences, spas and wellness centres around the world. Brett also regularly writes for online publications such as Huffington Post, Yahoo! and a collection of renowned offline publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. With over 20 years of experience in the area of wellness, Brett Blumenthal has also appeared on NBC, FOX and CBS, as well as appearing on Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Radio Show on Sirius Radio. In her career, Brett Blumenthal has amassed numerous awards, including the Shine from Yahoo! ‘Woman of the Year’ award. I was excited to talk books with Brett, and learn about her reading habits. Please enjoy my interview with Brett Blumenthal…
When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?
Wow! You are getting right to the heart of one of my biggest challenges! As someone who once worked in corporate America doing “named jobs” of Architecture and management consulting, it has always been a challenge defining my current career. I’ve finally come up with a way to describe my career: “Creative Entrepreneur” or “Professional Creator.” I make things. I’m really good at coming up with ideas, and making them happen, and so, both from an author standpoint and as a professional artist and photographer, these “titles” work.
Nothing. Full disclosure, I’m a terrible reader. Running your own business makes it seem as though you never have time. That said, when I do read, I often turn to non-fiction. I love self-improvement and always have been fascinated by the process of it. The book I most recently read was #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. I always love underdog success stories!
What’s your earliest memory of reading?
I was always fascinated by the Native American culture. I read Sacajawea by Anna L. Waldo at a really young age, and I was enthralled with anything by Jack London (White Fang and The Call of the Wild). I am so deeply moved by the spirit of animals, and when we can get a glimpse of them in a more profound way, I’m moved.
If you could encourage young people to read one book in particular, what would it be?
There are so many books, and so many different ages of “young people” it is really hard to narrow this down. I love books that make kids think. Even my 3.5 year old can benefit from books that teach him something about life or about values.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
I have had 4 careers, and have worked for 4 different companies (post college). And in truth, I have loved all of my jobs. I think to define the “worst” job, for me, is to define the worst “Part of a job.” And in short, that would be boredom. When you are bored and uninspired, it is time to do something different.
Do you read as much as you’d like to?
As I mentioned before, no. I wish I had more time. One of the things I love about writing books, however, is that it really forces me to read a lot. The research required of writing non-fiction books propels me into a frenzy of reading I often lack.
What books do you feel are important reading for people on your career path?
I think it is important to read what inspires you. There are so many good books out there that discuss writing, marketing, and business. But, if you aren’t enjoying it, move on. If you don’t think you’re getting anything out of a book, move on. Find what inspires you, and read that. That will propel you into doing great things.
Is there a book that you’ve read more than once? What is it and why did you revisit it?
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. What an era. Absolutely loved it as a kid, and then as an adult, I had a totally different experience and came away with totally different insights.
Depending on the time and place. I love Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton which talks about how we need to capitalize on our strengths and stop shoring up our weaknesses. This book is very simplistic, and an easy read, but a lot of people spend too much time on their deficits to fully appreciate their assets.
What’s your favourite genre of book?
Non-Fiction. Wellness, and self-help. As mentioned, I love learning about myself, and self-improvement. We are such complex animals and I constantly seek ways in which to improve myself and my journey on this planet.
What do you think a world without books would be like?
How do we define books? In theory, we will soon be a world without books because so much is going online and into an e-format. I think that is sad. As an artist, I often love touching and feeling and seeing books in person. I like to flip the pages, I like to smell the paper, I like to see how far I’ve gotten through it…so, to me it would be sad.
Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?
Not really. I have had spurts in my life, but as my tastes and passions have changed, so have my interest in various authors.
Do you think digital books will ever completely replace real books?
I hope not. But I worry they will.
One book I’ve always felt gave people a feeling of restoration of their faith in humanity is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is an old book, but it really changes the way people think.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?
Again, there are so many great books that it is really difficult to say any one has mad such a large impact on my life. I’ve taken pieces of books with me throughout my life. Some have changed the way I think about love. Some have changed the way I think about myself. Some have changed the way I think about life and what it means.
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
I am getting really interested in historical novels and biographies. I think we are at a real interesting time in history right now, and understanding how we’ve come to this point is something I’m very intrigued by.
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?