I am notorious for reading multiple books at one time. Well not literally at the same time, I probably would be helping NASA if I had those skills! But I do like to read two books at the same time, one fiction and one non-fiction depending on the mood I am in at the time. I do this because I love to learn, but there are times when I just want to daydream too. Having two different books on the go helps to satisfy both of these cravings if you will. So whenever you visit here you'll see a mixed bag of books, which I hope you can take something from.
Lost Connections - Johann Hari (A fantastic Christmas gift idea!)
In my opinion this is not only one of the best books I have read on the causes of depression and anxiety, but the best gift a friend could ever give. So thank you James!
Johann Hari weaves his journey in developing this book with his experience of depression and anxiety like he was knitting a Christmas jumper. However this is not a book of "pain porn" as he puts it, but an incredibly well thought out piece of writing. From the start it hooked me with it's genuine storytelling and backs it up with research on each chapter's focal point. As someone with the attention span of a pissed gnat I particularly enjoyed the way Johann broke down the chapters into short sections. Not only did it allow me to reach a natural break where I could stop, but gave me the opportunity to sit and reflect on a point that I had just read, fully absorbing it. Above all else I felt validation for a number of things that I have believed true about the causes of depression. There was a moment when I shouted "YES!" whilst reading and I can count the books that have done that on one hand!
I would recommend this book to anyone because it is not just for those diagnosed with depression, it is about a much deeper and far reaching disconnection being felt in today's society. In its pages it identify the problems, but offers up the solutions for us all to use.
*Currently 95% through*
Range - David Epstein
I have to admit that I slowed down a little with this book because of reading the one above! However it is an excellent read that offers up an opposing theory to the "10,000 hours to mastery" that is by now so well known.
In Range David Epstein uses examples of "specialists" such as Tiger Woods (10,000 hours + master) and compares him with "generalists" such as Roger Federer. The idea that thousands of hours of practice and "Tiger parenting" are the way to produce success is destroyed in the studies that Epstein provides. It takes patience to offer up alternatives to an idea that has been popularised in the media and Epstein does this well with story after story explaining the science.
For me personally it was refreshing to read that the "practice to perfection" path is not the only way to succeed and that we shouldn't dispel people like me who try a thousand different things. In a big way it provided me with some validation for my years of flitting from one job to another, learning new skills and trying out different approaches. I am certain there are many of you out there who would appreciate that too!
*Currently 50% through*
The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss
Where to begin! I love this book so much! It's an epic 1000 plus page read that restored my energy and enthusiasm for fiction. Actually that's a lie, the first book in this series The Name of the Wind restored my energy and this one has kept it running since!
Now you may not think you like fantasy, but did you enjoy Harry Potter? Have you heard of His Dark Materials? Or perhaps you've read a little Terry Pratchett before you became a wealthy banker? Well this is up there with all of those, yet more like the real world than the others. So if you think Harry is a little too childish for you, then this is the adult version that you will enjoy.
Basically it's an epic story about a ginger who happens to be a ladies man without realising. If that doesn't convince you to read it then I don't know what will!
*Currently 50% through*