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Book Review: The Art of Gathering

“Gatherings crackle and flourish when real thought goes into them, when (often invisible) structure is baked into them, and when a host has the curiosity, willingness, and generosity of spirit to try.” Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

“The Art of Gathering” by Priya Parker is a captivating and insightful book that helps us to rethink the way we approach and experience gatherings. She defines a gathering as a group of people coming together for a purpose and gatherings can be a business meeting, a wedding, a birthday party, a funeral, just about any way that people come together in community. Knowing the purpose for a gathering is key. In this book Priya has us look at gatherings from different perspectives and in very insightful ways. She offers a wealth of practical advice on transforming our everyday gatherings into extraordinary, purposeful events.

The book is full of personal anecdotes, case studies and research-backed information that illustrate her ideas and concepts. It captured my attention from the very beginning and had me wanting to keep reading so that I could get to the next fascinating story. These stories covered corporate conferences, dinner parties, international assemblies, and even a family reunion or two.

The book has eight chapters that take us on a ‘gathering’ journey. We are guided through each step of the gathering process and given invaluable advice along the way.

One of the main takeaways for me is the point Priya makes about the invitation. The actual start of the gathering happens with the invitation and the majority of the experience happens before the gathering actually begins. Henrieta and I originally read this book when it came out about five years ago and since then have recreated the ways in which we invite people and prepare for our events. I have also used Priya’s advice in my personal gatherings as well.

Overall, “The Art of Gathering” is an exceptional guide for those of us looking to host transformative gatherings that leave a lasting impact. It challenges conventional notions of gatherings and provides fresh perspectives that inspire us to approach our gatherings with intention, purpose, and creativity. Priya’s expertise, combined wither her engaging storytelling and practical insights, make this book a valuable tool for anyone planning any gathering.

I challenge you to see your next gathering with a fresh perspective!

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