Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! My mom announced a last-minute trip, so I won't have access to my computer for a while. So, I figured I'll take the chance for a blogging break till the New Year for a blogging break (unless I get time in between Christmas and New Year).

In advance,


Friday, December 19, 2014

The Time Bandit Solution by Edward G. Brown

I requested this book because I really need to manage my time well. What I got was a book that was about time management, but focused on time management in the workplace. Oops.

To summarise the Time Bandit Solution, to manage your time, get rid of distractions by time-locking. What is time locking? It's setting aside a period of time where you are not interrupted by anything. The first part of the book was basically about how you can convince your bosses, clients and colleagues how to let you organise your time so this is possible.

While it was rather repetitive at first (especially since I was convinced of the benefits early on, and didn't think the rest was applicable), the last part of the book was slightly better. The author went on to talk about decision fatigue, scheduling, and all that. While I don't think I'll be using his focusing meditation exercise, I did manage to pick up some helpful tips about how to schedule my time.

I do have a thought though. Other books I read say that for studying, it's best to vary what you do and what you revise. Same goes for practicing sports. For example, it's best to practice a random mix of irons, drivers, putters and such in golf than to spend the whole practice on iron, the next one on drivers, etc. But here, the main focus is on setting aside a block of time to do one thing. The compromise that I can find is that in this one block, you can have variation, but you have to have only one purpose. Either that or the skills for study and work are different.

Basically, this would be an excellent book for someone who wants to learn how to be more effective in the office. The author goes into detail about what you should say, what you should write to convince your boss. For the rest of us, you can just skim and pick what you need.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer

What am I supposed to feel about this book??

Shakespeare and Co. is a really famous bookshop that even I've heard of. So of course any look into how the bookshop is run would interest me. But, it didn't really talk about anything but the inhabitants of the bookshop, and that's the part that I'm not sure I like.

Shakespeare and Co. is an unconventional bookshop in Paris. The owner's a communist, and he lets any writer sleep in the bookshop for free. As long as, you know, they help out. The author Jeremy Mercer arrives to Paris after being threatened for breaking a promise he made with a criminal. In an effort to save money, he ends up living at Shakespeare and Co., and rediscovers his dream to be a writer.

Except, not much writing seem to take place. Sure, he's required to read a book a day, and he mentions writing a few times, but the impression I have is that reading and writing take a backseat to the true stars - the eccentric characters living in the bookshop - Kurt, Nadia, Simon, George (the owner) and many others.

In fact, the cast was so 'interesting' that it drowned out everything. If I didn't know the book was set in Paris, I could easily imagine it set in a commune somewhere. The people in the book are talked about more for their eccentricities than for their writing. Whether you like this bunch depends not on whether you like their writing (because you don't see much of it), but whether you like their characters.

All in all, this was an amusing book. If you like the characters, you'll probably like it. If you want to read about a bookshop, you may be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - The Irresistible Fairy Tale by Jack Zipes

Ok, this Teaser Tuesday book is chosen for a very specific reason. I've been wanting to read it because it's about Fairy Tales, but for some reason, I've not been able to get past the first chapter.

But, I've heard it's a good read, so hopefully this teaser whets my reading appetite.

"It is well known that Little Red Riding Hood in the two classical versions by Perrault and Grimms is not a heroine. She is more of a wimp." 

What is your teaser Tuesday?