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  • kenpasternak

A book reading, Finnish style!

Last Thursday evening I was invited to read stories from my book, “Exploding Turkeys and Spare Trousers, Adventures in Global Business,” at the Kirja Club (Kirja=Book in Finnish), a private members club in Helsinki. It was a well-attended and a 'not your ordinary bookstore’ style event.

In 2016 I was in front of this group when the 3rd edition of “Performance at the Limit, Business Lessons from Formula 1” was published, although on that occasion rather than read excerpts, my son Charly interviewed me about the book and my experiences with Formula 1.

This time the evening was structured somewhat differently. Before my session there was a rum tasting led by a representative of a major beverage manufacturer. This was followed by a presentation on the history of licorice (Finns love licorice) along with a tasting of several products from a private Finnish manufacturer. Then we had a delicious dinner of ‘vorsmack’ (a favorite of Finland’s hero, Marshall Mannerheim) with baked potato.

Amidst the smokey haze of post-dinner cigars, I took a seat in a leather armchair and shared my background as corporate banker, management consultant, speaker, and author to give context to the stories in the book. I also commented on how the book was conceived from experimental posting on LinkedIn of stories each with a business or life lesson, with support from my 100 Coaches Agency colleagues, and the growing reception they received on social media.

I then read several of the 53 stories in “Exploding Turkeys,” in some cases expanding on the story to give it even more relevance to this audience. We ended the evening with a raffle for copies of the book, which I was delighted to sign.

It was a fun evening, and I was grateful to the Kirja Club for allowing me to invite a few friends and supporters: US Ambassador Douglas Hickey, Alberto Carrero, Pekka Pohjakallio, and Charly Salonius-Pasternak. Rick Collins, you are an event organizer extraordinaire!

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