18 Years of the First Friday Book Synopsis – Just what is the First Friday Book Synopsis?

So many books -- so little time
So many books — so little time

I’ve just sent out our e-mail for the March 4 First Friday Book Synopsis. (Click here to register now). We have met every month (except for one snow month, as I recall), since April, 1998. This means that our March session is the completion of eighteen full years. Read that again – monthly sessions – two books every month — every month — for eighteen full years.

There is one comment that I hear more than any other. It comes in many forms, and is a variation of this: “I did not understand what you guys did until I experienced it.”

Karl Krayer and Randy Mayeux
Karl Krayer and Randy Mayeux

In fact, just last Saturday, I presented three synopses back to back to back to a group of Doctoral students at the University of Dallas. (Karl Krayer led a discussion after each synopsis). One student, working as a Project Manager in a large organization, said: “I didn’t understand what this was. This was great. I thought it was just a book review – and it is not a book review.”

Here’s what I think. It is true: You really can’t understand what we do unless you attend. We have come up with something unique. If you listen carefully, and follow along with our comprehensive handouts, you really will grasp the key messages of the books we present.

In my handouts, I always include a few pages of key quotes/excerpts from the book. People basically get to “read my highlights” with me. And I include key principles, important stories… And, at the end, I include my lessons and takeaways.

We help people know the important ideas from the books, giving people direction on what to work on in their own life and career.

After the session is over, our participants are able to talk about the ideas in the books in a meaningful way.

But, of course, many then buy the books and read them for themselves. Almost always, they tell me that my synopsis captured the essence of the book, and then they learned even more when they read it for themselves.

So, call it “enough” for some, and then a substantive “teaser” for others.

Of all the comments I have heard in recent months, this was one that motivated me, and captured what I try to do. One newcomer said “you’ve reawakened that intellectual part of my life.” Another participant said it slightly differently – “you are raising the intellectual level for those who attend.”

As for the event itself, we always have three key elements – the content of two good business books; a great breakfast (the Park City Club really does have a great breakfast!), and terrific conversations and networking. At our February session, we had an even 100 people attend. That’s a lot of potentially valuable conversations.

So, as we complete our 18th year, we are proud of what we have accomplished. But, we never rest. After all, next month, and the month after that, there will be two more good, new books. There is always the next new thing to learn.


Here’s a professional’s take on our event. A few month’s ago, Cheryl Hall of the Dallas Morning News wrote this about our event — Dallas consultants are ghost readers for the business set. It’s definitely worth reading.

Would you like to reserve a table at our event? When you have a group of 8-10, you can reserve a table for your group/organization. Just let us know. You can send me an e-mail.

And, if you cannot attend our live event, check out our companion site. We record our presentations (audio recordings), and you can purchase our synopses – audio recordings + handouts – at our companion site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.


2 thoughts on “18 Years of the First Friday Book Synopsis – Just what is the First Friday Book Synopsis?

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