July Reads (Listens)

Hi,

Sitting down and stringing words together after a hardly-forgivable silence of 5 months feels like that first time back at the gym after a sequence of “tomorrows” (yes, that’s the “guilt” sign flashing in the neon lights). It’s also exciting and has that comfortable feeling of “ohh”, of coming round, of the right time and place.

So as it’s just past July (my wonderful Birthday month), it is time I revisit my New Year’s Resolutions. Particularly, the weekly commitment to sitting my butt down and typing-typing-typing in the hope of words forming into something I would be able to refer to as writing (one day that is).

There is a gazillion topics I would like to bring to your attention. At the same time, part of my resolutions was about focusing on one things at a time: starting it, going through with it and completing it. To help me with that, I have been actively using Headspace – my app for daily moments of mindfulness. This would be a topic for a another post though 🙂

So what I would like to talk about today is my July reading/listening list. It was my commitment to myself that I read nine new books every month of 2015 and July was a month of good progress (five pieces of enjoyable writing). It also “helped” that I was on sick leave because of eye problems. Which led me to trying out Audible – the audiobook app.

So here is my July reading list with some very general impressions in a couple of sentences:

1) Elon Musk: Inventing the Future by Ashlee Vance.

This was the read of many raised eyebrows. I find it absolutely incredible – the ability to imagine worlds the way they never were and bring people to join in your vision. It is a story of many stories, possibly lives, combined into a biography worth familiarising yourself with.

2) Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

The story of Pixar. The story of managing people in a creative environment. The story of how “Up” was not originally the touching story we know it to be or how “Monsters Inc” were meant to go down very different alley. The story of creating fantastic organisations. I enjoyed this one so much, I listened to it twice 🙂

3) The Peter Principle by Laurence J. Peter.

This was a quick read. The book was written to elaborate on the Peter’s Principle or the idea that we are all promoted until we reach our level of incompetence. This would be why things don’t work, people get frustrated with their jobs and some choose to pretend to be worse at their professions than they really are.

4) The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki.

I have been a long-standing fan of Mr Kawasaki ever since one of my former bosses handed me her tiny laptop at a gas station saying, “watch this” and quoting the speaker as the video progressed (the video link here). The book is about starting your own business and the hurdles along the path of an early entrepreneur. Some of the contents are now slightly outdated but in general the book was a) good and b) useful.

5) Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg (also read by Mr Pegg).

This was my favourite read (apologies, listen). So much so that I am intent on producing a separate post just about the brightly-colorer writing, thought-provoking “pearls of wisdom” here and there and just a good biography/Sci-Fi robot story. I commit to sharing my favourite quotes from this one.

I do feel the need to admit that audiobooks have been a challenge: I tend to drift away from the audio from time to time (dreams, thoughts, drive to get another cup of coffee etc). When I realise I am not present with the book, I rewind and practise mindfulness (over, and over and over :))  These would be my words for tonight.

Thank you for reading this and chat next week.

Me

PS I would very much enjoy hearing what you’re read in July and what you recommend I check out.

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