Sunday, January 25, 2009

Re-discovering Books

Or the Silver Lining of Being Sick

So far 2009 has been a bit of a bust for me as I have been sick for the entire time with a variety of non-life-threatening ailments.  The plus side is that I have been able to read some books!  Back in the spring I bought Daniel Pink's 'A Whole New Mind' and only made it about 40 pages in.  Well I got a chance to read it and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  Then, on one of my forays out of the house to procure tinctures etc, I picked up Malcom Gladwell's 'Outliers' and devoured it quickly.  Another great read that has me analyzing my own personal success and wondering what factors will impact the success my children will experience as they grow up. Both Pink and Gladwell do a wonderful job of weaving stories of individuals to make their respective points.

Different Types of Reading

Now I find myself wishing I had some more unread books on hand to read.  There is something really satisfying about books that I'm not getting from reading blog posts.  I enjoy reading posts and engaging in conversations in the comments, but books really feed my soul.  I guess I need to have a balanced diet when it comes to reading.  I've also got to make sure that I'm not so busy that I don't have time for books.  A problem that I have with books is that I feel compelled to finish them; I have difficulty just reading a chapter and putting the book down for a day or two.  Reading a book in just a few sittings is not a good strategy if you have a job and a husband and two little kids to look after ;-)

Now on My List

Since tweeting about reading these two books it's been recommended that I read 'The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives' by Leonard Mlodinow and  'The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything' by Ken Robinson.  So I'm on a quest to get these books; so far my local book sellers and library are not helping me out.

Any Recommendations?  What's on Your List of Books to Read?

What books have you enjoyed lately?  What book(s) are you pining to read?


  1. Recommendations? To a librarian, are you kidding! This blog isn't long enough to list them all!
    How about:

    1. Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson (ISBN: 1-4129-2767-6)

    2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
    by Barbara Kingsolver. (ISBN: 978-1-55468-188-4
    It's a book about a family that leaves Tucson, Arizona for the rural reaches of southern Appalacia and decide, for one year, to only buy food raised in their own neighbourhood or live without it. Great story!

    My book list? I have to ignore it until May. It will positively kill me, I have book withdrawal just thinking about it.

    Happy reading,

  2. I've read both of the books you are looking for. They are exceptional. I posted a slideshare summary of the drunkard's walk. It is very good. is the link. You have to listen to me explain it. Which if you can tolerate can give you an idea of the book. All the best.

  3. @Cindy, thanks for the recommendations! I have read a couple of Barbara Kingsolver's books, 'Poisonwood Bible' being one of my favourites.

    @Charlie, thanks for the link to your slideshare presentation. It was from you that I heard about 'The Drunkard's Walk' and I'm looking forward to getting my hand on a copy.

  4. Kia ora Claire!

    If ever in the history of humankind, there is a day of reckoning, and all the assets, products and things of aesthetic usefulness are assessed and catalogued, the book will be near the top of the list - easily in the top ten.

    It is at least as worthy as the wheel. In my time, I have written several verse on this cherished atrefact.

    And there still standing on the shelf, that old
    And now more treasured roll of hallowed rhyme,
    A second-hand edition bought and sold
    And bought again perhaps a final time,
    For in that aged encasement I've been lost
    And found a tranquil solitude in verse,
    And many times more recompensed the cost
    When poetry would all my being immerse;
    The sunburst-sepia cedar-fragrant sheaves
    Have kept their freshness, and that poignancy
    I first found joy in reading never leaves,
    But stirs in me the same expectancy
    When first I glanced into the book and yearned
    To sense that prized awareness I've since learned.

  5. @Ken, so you're a science guy, techie, musician and poet?! Thanks for the poem!

  6. I completely agree, there is nothing better than a good book and the time to read it! Thanks for the reminder about Daniel Pink's book, I'd heard of it, but had forgotten (this time I wrote it down!).

    My recommendations would be:

    Boy Smarts by Barry MacDonald (especially if you have little boys at home!)

    The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

    An Imaginative Approach to Teaching - by Kieran Egan (SFU prof)

    For fiction, I highly recommend The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Fabulous book!

    Kind of an odd combination, but those are the few that I've read in the last year. I have a shelf full of others waiting...if only I could catch a cold...

  7. @Errin, Thanks for the recommendations! I do have 2 little boys so perhaps 'Boy Smarts' should be next on my list. I hope you get some time to read your shelf full of books... without getting sick :-)


Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! Any spam comments will be deleted.