Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Fry's English Delight by Stephen Fry

I have just finished listening to the entire series Fry's English Delight and am considering this my fourth book of 2014.

Like everything Stephen Fry does, I think it is worth taking the time to consume. He is the delight. 

Should I read this? Yes
What did I learn? Metaphor means "to transfer" in Greek and is used in modern Greek language for furniture removalists and bank transfers. The word in English means to transfer a meaning from one thing to another.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

Book three of 2014 is How To Live On 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennet.

It is from very early last century, and after you stop giggling at some of the silliness, it is thought-provoking. The main idea is that we have one equaliser and that is that we have 24 hours in a day. How we use that is important. It really encourages you not to have time where you're just waiting and doing nothing.

Not sure I agree with it all but it is interesting. A very short read and worth the effort, even if just for the smile.

Should I read this? Yes
What did I learn? How to look at my down-time and find an active way to live life.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance

Book 2 for this year is: We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance by Seth Godin.

As someone who has read his blog religiously for years, I found this book was concise and to the point as expected. The idea was interesting and one I'd heard others voice but didn't know where it came from.

Weirdness being about choice and the growth of the Internet supporting small tribes who would have been outliers is an interesting idea.

As someone who spends a lot of time making my own choices (good or bad) and has a lot of people telling me how I should act to be normal, this resonated on many levels.

Should I read this? Yes
What did I learn? I feel far less pressured to conform. Not that I ever really did but now I feel less concerned about it.

Monday, 6 January 2014

On Depression

Imagine that the laws of the universe changed. Imagine that to maintain the structure you have, you would have to concentrate with all your energy on all the bits that make you, you.

You have to picture the molecules made up of the atoms made up of electrons and protons and neutrons and tiny things that are proven in colliders.

The last thing you think at night is the shape you are and that is held until the next day when you wake up and you think the same so that it holds your shape.

Think of all the effort it takes. The pure exertion of effort that you must give to make your toe a toe and your lung a lung.

If you let go for even a second, you will fade in to billions of tiny parts that never recombine.

It is tiring, right?

That is what it is like to be depressed. That is how much effort it takes.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Outliers: The Story of Success

Last year I wanted to read 25 books and I read 27. This year, I aim to read 25. This is the first.

Outliers is another great Gladwell book that made me go and look up a whole bunch of concepts, studies and ideas to get a deeper understanding behind his ideas. Ideas that bring together psychology, anecdotes and statistics to tell many interesting stories about the favourable variables that come together to give people advantage on top of which hard work and risk taking can lead to success.

Having read Blink and Tipping Point, which changed the way I think, it took me a while to get to this much bigger book. It however has changed the way I think about approaching life more than the first two.

It was interesting that Gladwell is part black Jamaican. I don't usually google the authors I read but I did at the end of this book due to the last story about his grandmother. He is different to what I imagined. Go the fro.

Now, I must go off and work out what factors make up being me.

Should I read this? Yes
What did I learn? Success if all about opportunity, luck and hard work.