June 29, 2012
A Month of Italy by Chris Brady Now Available!
Have you ever felt overworked, overstressed, maxed out, and out of focus?
Have you ever needed a break from it all, meaning something more than a frenzied weekend or busy plastic vacation?
Have you ever had enough of your cell phone, emails, social networks, texts, and the like?
Have you ever felt like you were out of balance and needed some serious restoration?
Have you ever considered the fact that you could take a career break—a sabbatical—to allow you to clear your head and restore your focus?
Have you ever dreamed of traveling through the back roads of Italy and seeing the famous Tuscan countryside?
Have you ever wanted to sample Italy's cuisine, sunsets, culture, art, architecture, and history?
Are you entertained by humorous narrative and adventure stories?
Anyone who can answer "yes" to even one of these questions will be happy to learn of the release of NY Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Chris Brady's latest book A Month of Italy: Rediscovering the Art of Vacation this July. For just a little taste, here is the dust jacket inscription:
“What can possibly be said about Italy that hasn't been already? Primarily, that you can enjoy it, too! Refreshingly relatable in a genre previously populated by wealthy expats and Hollywood stars, this book chronicles an ordinary family taking an extraordinary trip, and most importantly, paves the way for you to take one of your own! With hilarious wit and fast-paced narrative, Brady thrills with honest commentary on what a ‘trip of a lifetime’ actually feels like, and most endearingly, he succeeds in convincing you that not only should you take a similar one, but that you will! Within a few pages, you'll be visualizing panoramic Tuscan vistas and breaking open the piggy bank, laughing as you turn the pages and dreaming of your own escape. This story is one of going slow in order to go fast; it’s about rediscovering and bringing back into favor a lost art, namely, the art of vacation, and it is—or rather should be—a story about you.”
In his uniquely humorous fashion, Brady relates the importance of strategic breaks and even sometimes "radical sabbaticals" to sharpen one's saw and maintain peak performance, optimum health, and overall well-being. The dominant message of the book is: "Sometimes you have to go slow in order to go fast!"
Brady's book certainly couldn't come out at a better time. Americans are working more and more hours and taking fewer and fewer vacations, leading to stress, burnout, and health challenges. Among the list of developed countries, the U.S. now ranks near the bottom when it comes to the average number of paid vacation days taken per year, with a staggeringly low average of just thirteen days (compared to forty-two for Italy, thirty-seven for France, and thirty-five for Germany). Even worse than the small number of breaks Americans take in a year is what they do with their time during those breaks. One survey stated that 88 percent of Americans carry electronic devices while on vacation to communicate with work! That's 88 percent! Given the fact that the idea of taking a vacation is nothing new and almost everyone seems to agree that at least some downtime is critical for maintaining peak performance and happiness, these trends in the opposite direction are shocking.
Brady relates his own personal story in the book, where he explains that he had lost his passion for excellence, was finding himself snapping at people, and was becoming annoyed at situations that would normally not even bother him. Then he realized that he had gotten away from his own well-proven formula for what he calls "strategic sabbaticals": intentionally scheduled breaks of various durations taken with the express purpose of keeping himself sharp and fully engaged in life. "People used to ask me all the time how I stayed so enthusiastic and motivated," Brady states. "Suddenly, I realized they weren't asking me that anymore!"
A "radical sabbatical." Brady packed up his family of six and headed to the dreamy land of Italy, sticking mostly to the back roads and blending as deeply and smoothly as possible into the local cultures. What followed was a love and adventure story filled with hilarity, architecture, history, art, family, and success fundamentals.
And the result?
Within one year of Brady's sabbatical, he relocated his family home to another state as he had long dreamt of doing, founded a multimillion dollar company with several of his best friends, and wrote a best-selling book—not bad for the clarity provided by just one four-week break!
"Most people don't think of vacation as an art form," says Brady, "but it is. Too many people aren't taking sufficient breaks, or the right kind of breaks. A proper vacation should be more than rest—it should bring restoration. Living a fulfilling life that matters only happens with specific intent. And learning how to stay sharp and 'in the zone' is a very important, in fact strategic, part of that." Brady's book does an excellent job of communicating these important life truths, largely because of its wildly entertaining narrative style. Brady doesn't pontificate with a bunch of "dos and don'ts," but instead demonstrates the art of vacation through his own adventures.
Critics are already raving about the book. Here are some of the early reviews:
“I was intrigued from the first sentence clear through the book! It teaches so many life and leadership lessons—about family, relationships, learning, improving, and becoming better. I’ll read it again and again, and I’ll read it on the plane on every vacation I ever go on.” – Oliver DeMille, NY Times Best-Selling Author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, Freedom Shift, and 1913
"A beautiful story and pivotal idea for a book!" – Richard Bliss Brooke, Author of Mach II, The Art of Vision and Self Motivation, and The Four Year Career
"With humor, Brady shares the unbounded pleasure of vacationing with your family in a land of heart-warming history, incredible beauty, the most gracious people, and of course, the world's most delicious food and wine! After reading his entertaining work, you will be charting your own course to Italy." – Sharon Lechter, Co-Author of Outwitting the Devil, Three Feet from Gold, and Rich Dad Poor Dad
“Extremely engaging and delightful—a well told story!” – Chris Gross, CEO of Gabriel Media Group, Inc. and Co-Founder of Networking Times
“This is a book every traveler should read and bring along in order to experience the best of Italy.” – Dr. Gaetano (Guy) Sottile, President and Founder of Italy for Christ, Inc.
“Witty, funny, and at points downright hilarious, but mixed with profound truths shared in a way that makes one pause and ponder.” – Orrin Woodward, Winner of the 2011 IAB Top Leadership Award
“A spellbinding lesson in learning how to live again, with real purpose. You can’t stop turning the pages . . .” – Art Jonak, Founder of MastermindEvent.com
“I have never read a book that teaches so much while being this fun at the same time.” – Tim Marks, Best-Selling Author of Voyage of a Viking
“This is the best work Chris Brady has written to date. If this is a vacation handbook, it has redefined the vacation experience.” – Venkat Varada, Silicon Valley Executive
“Vacationing truly is a lost art, and Brady poignantly and beautifully illustrates why it is so vital for driven leaders. A timeless treatise on ‘sharpening the saw,’ A Month of Italy is a book I will sip and savor, ponder and reflect on time and time again. Not only are Chris’s insights powerful and refreshing, but his vivid and witty writing is simply a pleasure to read. Reading this book is a charming vacation itself, and it will inspire you to vacation deliberately, effectively, and joyfully.” – Stephen Palmer, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America
“In our hectic lives, we are rarely 100 percent present in any situation. Chris Brady shows that with proper play time, our work time is so much more effective. He has freed my spirit!” – Jason Ashley, Country Singer/Songwriter (Texas Songwriter of the Year 2008)
“Italy is unique. Moreover, it is a country where the traveler can enjoy the most various experiences. Chris Brady’s book has the ability, astonishing even for an Italian, to convey to the reader that variety, that richness of feelings, sights, perfumes, tastes . . . and people.” – Senator Lucio Malan, Senior Secretary of the Presidency of the Italian Senate
Whether readers are looking for an entertaining summer beach read or a manual for living a better life, A Month of Italy will surely fit the bill. A Month of Italy can be found wherever books are sold, and the author invites readers to join the community of others who are Rediscovering the Art of Vacation at www.amonthofitaly.com.