Wrapping up yet another year. Normally New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, but this year it looks like I won’t be celebrating it in my customary ways thanks to a bastard of a cold taking me over. Sneezing, sniffling, coughing, and eye watering isn’t conducive to a fun night out on the town. So after I finish today’s appointments and grab some grub I’ll be holing up in the ol’ apartment and sipping tea while entertaining myself online the rest of the evening.
Currently I’d like to share a few more titles of books I’ve taken up time with recently. Beginning with James Hollis’ Through the Dark Wood: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, which I really appreciated and will be re-listening to in this upcoming year. Provides a ton of food for thought that is very timely and sorely needed.
After that I listened to the audio version of James Hollis’ Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up, which I also very much liked and needed to take in and will be re-listening to in months to come. Can discuss these titles in greater depth another time when my head is a bit clearer and I possess more energy.
Sent my cousin a copy of Hollis’ Under Saturn’s Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men but haven’t had a chance to read that one yet myself. Plan to do so eventually.
One audiobook I listened to recently but didn’t much care for was Brené Brown’s Rising Strong. Having listened to her TED Talks on shame in the past, this was the first book of hers I decided to delve into. It contained some useful nuggets, but overall it didn’t really deliver the type of information I was seeking at the time. Learned a bit more about her background and Texas upbringing, which was interesting, but she’s focused nowadays on organizational leadership and so her material is more oriented in that direction.
I am currently in the middle of listening to the audio format of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes From the Underground and am enchanted with it. Speaks a language I comprehend, perhaps more so than I ought to admit. Another I’d like to discuss in more detail in the future.
The print book I’m currently nearing the end of is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. It’s proved to be a very interesting read and has a feel not dissimilar to books like Freakonomics. Recommended it to a friend and may lend him my copy once I’m through with it. It’s entertaining and engaging while providing us with more background information on people like Bill Gates and Bill Joy and how they seized the unique opportunities afforded to them early on that opened up the possibilities for their future career ambitions. The book’s primary focus is on how external variables play into the provision of opportunities and how that combined with our own dedication as well as cultural and social conditioning can lead to successful outcomes, at least in some cases. Basically he’s poking a hole in the notion that success is solely determined by the individual “pulling himself up by his bootstraps” and rather typically involves a perfect storm of opportunities being made available (right place, right time in history) and one being resourceful enough to take advantage of them. A worthwhile read.
Those are the books I’ve been dallying with in December 2015. Just ordered a few more that should arrive next week.