As an office full of book worms, rather than dressing up as our favourite character for the day, we’ve decided to give you a small snapshot into the stories on our bookshelves by writing a few lines about what we are all currently reading.
As a mind management tool that’s been around for a long time, I was inspired to read The Chimp Paradox after my nine year old’s teacher said she used some of the principles to help her class with overcoming confidence issues. I’ve only just started it so can’t give a full summary but according to Professor Steve Peters your inner chimp can be your best friend or your own worst enemy and the book forces you to look at why you think and act in a particular way and how you can manage this to optimize performance in both your work and personal life. Sounds good to me! We recently carried out personality tests in the office and I’m very interested in this whole area and how understanding personality traits, strengths/weaknesses and how our minds work and influence our actions better can contribute to a more successful team dynamic.
I’m currently re-reading the follow up to Lynne Truss’ famous ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation’ by Claire Dignall. ‘Can You Eat, Shoot & Leave?’ is designed to “fine tune your skills, taking guilty pleasure from testing your (already somewhat unsettling) seventh sense.” It acts as a ‘workbook’ for the original and I revisit it often as a refresher. It also helps that it is just as funny and even easier to digest! My favourite (but most frustrating) section is on colons and semicolons. As the author predicts, I tend to use dashes when unsure – a clear sign that I’m not as much of a punctuation pro as I think I am! I find that writing in so many different styles for so many different media, including blogs and social media, every day can result in losing sight of the basics when it comes to good writing. Reading and re-reading these books helps me to keep improving. I love the fact I can dip in and out of them to give myself a dressing down and overcome some of my grammar smugness. It doesn’t help with my desperate desire to take a marker pen to every wrongly used apostrophe I see though!
I’m reading Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights! I loved the Roald Dahl books as a child and luckily, his granddaughter has the same way with words that he did. Celebrating good food and good company with some mouth-watering flavour combinations her book takes you through the year as a journey from spring to winter with seasonal discoveries at each stop along the way. It’s worth it just for the pictures – yet somehow they never seem to look quite as good when I try to replicate them- hopefully 2018 will be the year I master the perfect dinner party!
I’m currently reading ‘The Organized Mind, Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload’ by Daniel Levitin. I like to think I’m already quite an organised person (ha!), but this book has some really useful advice on not only why certain memorisation techniques work better than others when we’re learning something new, but also how we can utilise them to make decision making effective. It’s not an easy bedtime read so I keep dipping and delving into it when I’m feeling in the right mood but so far it’s really interesting. I’ve also just finished ‘Say Nothing’ by Brad Parks which I’d definitely recommend if you like a bit of a crime-thriller, I couldn’t put it down!
‘Practicing the Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle is the second of a two-book series about spiritual enlightenment and living ‘in the now’. If anyone asked me what my religion is, it would have to be spirituality rather than a specific religion as such. There are so many books about the different ‘stems’ of spirituality such as chakras, reiki healing, accessing your higher consciousness, crystals, moon cycles and signs etc. and although I have loved reading a range of these books, ‘Practicing the Power of Now’ is one that resonated with me the most and I believe I have got the most out of, personally – I am able to translate Eckhart’s words into my daily meditation practice and in ‘real life’, in the process of working towards achieving spiritual enlightenment.