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Feb. 15th, 2017

11:53 pm - Books 7 & 8 - 2016

Book 7: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they'd feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women's favour - of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business - draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.

Thoughts:
I have spent more meetings than I care to count being the only woman in the room, and I’ve been told more than once that I am too bossy. I’ve been rejected for jobs purely because I’m female, given my qualifications were the equivalent of my male competition, and I’ve been told even by other women to expect to not get jobs because of my gender. My career is important to me, so I’m often on the look out for advice from more successful women on how to cope with the challenges of being female in the modern workplace. Sandberg is an exemplary example of a successful woman, so I sought out her book with much interest. Not long after I read this book, I had a conversation with the CFO I work for on his thoughts on the book, and it gave me a different interpretation to ponder. Personally, I thought Sandberg made some valid points that I’ve taken with me and think of when dealing with problems at work, and regarding my career. But I didn’t agree with all of them, and that’s okay too. My CFO thought Sandberg focused too much on telling women to behavior like men, and that both genders should bring their own unique talents to the workplace. I’m not sure I got that from the book, but it made me think a little more about some of Sandberg’s points, particularly the ones I disagreed with. Moreover, Sandberg’s advice is based on her own experiences, and she herself acknowledges how fortunate she has been in working with some of her mentors. The challenges of the workplace are quite different between Australia and the U.S. and I wont deny being jealous of Sandberg’s opportunities. This obviously doesn’t change the fact that Sandberg also worked hard and probably deserved the opportunities she was given – more that the same access simply doesn’t exist in Australia (having said that, I’ll take our annual leave benefits any day of the week!). Ultimately, this book is a fascinating insight into one woman’s experience, and while most certainly not a bible on how to be a woman in the workplace, it provides some good advice to take on board as appropriate. Definitely worth a read!


7 / 50 books. 14% done!


1661 / 15000 pages. 11% done!

Book 8: The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 pages

Description from Goodreads.com:
Published to accompany the book Presidents of the United States of America is, of course, a book on the First Ladies. It provides considered insight into the lives of the First Ladies, drawing on portraits from the White House Historical Association's collection.

Thoughts:
When I went to America in 2015, I visited Little Rock, Arkansas, and thus was able to make a trip to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library (which was very cool!). While there I picked up some tourist books about the presidents and first ladies of the United States. For whatever reason, I read this one first. It was a quite an interesting read, especially given I wasn’t aware that sisters, nieces and daughters had acted in the role of quasi First Lady, as seems to be happening at the moment with Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. Also interesting to see the evolving role of the First Lady from hostess to taking a more active role in policy. Not overly detailed, but a good starting point for anyone interested in American politics.


8 / 50 books. 16% done!


1754 / 15000 pages. 12% done!

Currently reading:
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages
-        Four to Score by Janet Evanovich – 311 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Reengineering the University: How to be Mission Centered, Market Smart, and Margin Conscious by William F. Massy – 280 pages

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: All I Want is You - Damien Leith

Jan. 29th, 2017

12:45 pm - Book 6 - 2016

Book 6: Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich – 300 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Stephanie Plum, the brassy babe in the powder blue Buick, is back, and she's having a bad hair day - for the whole month of January. She's been given the unpopular task of finding Mo Bedemier Trenton's most beloved citizen, arrested for carrying concealed, gone no-show for his court appearance. And to make matters worse, she's got Lula, a former hooker turned file clerk - now a wannabe bounty hunter - at her side, sticking like glue. Lula's big and blonde and black, and itching to get the chance to lock up a crook in the trunk of her car. Morelli, the New Jersey vice cop with the slow-burning smile that undermines a girl's stronger resolve is being polite. So what does this mean? Has he found a new love? Or is he manipulating Steph, using her in his police investigation, counting on her unmanageable curiosity and competitive Jersey attitude? Once again, the entire One for the Money crew is in action, including Ranger and Grandma Mazur, searching for Mo, tripping down a trail littered with dead drug dealers, leading Stephanie to suspect Mo has traded his ice-cream scoop for a vigilante gun. Cursed with a disastrous new hair color and an increasing sense that it's really time to get a new job, Stephanie spirals and tumbles through Three to Get Deadly with all the wisecracks and pace her fans have come to expect.

Thoughts:
Three books in and these stories are starting to establish a pattern. Stephanie fumbles her way through the mystery of the week, Ranger is sexy, Morelli is sexy, Grandma Mazur is crazy, and Lula actually seems to be remotely competent at the whole bounty hunter thing even if she is a bit trigger happy. This one features a relative (they seem to pop up every couple of books) and a link to a case Joe is working on (also seems to pop up regularly). Stephanie makes a fool of herself, seems to learn little from previous escapades, and somehow earns the admiration of all but her parents (who are probably the only people in Trenton with their heads screwed on right). I like these stories, and they are fairly quick reads, but I sometimes wonder if there is going to be anything resembling solid character progression. Will Stephanie end up with Joe, or will she pursue Ranger? Will she actually pick one or dance between them both? Will anyone ever realize Lula is a better bounty hunter? Will someone find Stephanie a real job? Given there are like 23 of these books thus far, I gather not, and I’ll keep reading in the same way I keep reading the Temperance Brennan books – they are quick reads with readable plots even if they are ultimately formulaic.


6 / 50 books. 12% done!


1441 / 15000 pages. 10% done!

Currently reading:
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages
-        The Presidents of the United States of America by Frank Freidel – 88 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Four to Score by Janet Evanovich – 311 pages

Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: House Hunters on TV

Jan. 1st, 2017

04:09 pm - Books 21 - 32.

21.Toole - A Confederacy Of Dunces (434 pages)
22.Barber - Yo!Sushi: The Japanese Cookbook (130 pages)
23.Umar - How To Pray: A Step-By-Step Guide To Prayer In Islam (45 pages)
24. Crouch - Dark Matter (342 pages)
25.Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow (750 pages)
26.Bridges - Exposition Of Psalms 119 (313 pages)
27.Tracy - Master Your Time Master You Life: The Breakthrough System To Get More Results, Faster, In Every Area Of Your Life (200 pages)
28.Black - A Princess In Calico (50 pages)
29.Reps (compil.) - Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen & Pre-Zen Writings (158 pages)
30.Prochaska, Norcross & Diclemente - Changing For Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program For Overcoming Bad Habits & Moving Your Life Positively Forward (273 pages)
31.Mbonu - Fashion School Survival Guide (98 pages)
32.The KJV Bible (Cambridge)(1388 pages)

Total of the year: 10 740 pages
*rewind whirr*

Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Joy Division - "Atmosphere"

Dec. 26th, 2016

07:51 pm - Books 4 & 5 - 2016

Book 4: Work’s Intimacy by Melissa Gregg – 198 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
This book provides a long-overdue account of online technology and its impact on the work and lifestyles of professional employees. It moves between the offices and homes of workers in the knew "knowledge" economy to provide intimate insight into the personal, family, and wider social tensions emerging in today s rapidly changing work environment. Drawing on her extensive research, Gregg shows that new media technologies encourage and exacerbate an older tendency among salaried professionals to put work at the heart of daily concerns, often at the expense of other sources of intimacy and fulfillment. New media technologies from mobile phones to laptops and tablet computers, have been marketed as devices that give us the freedom to work where we want, when we want, but little attention has been paid to the consequences of this shift, which has seen work move out of the office and into cafes, trains, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. This professional "presence bleed" leads to work concerns impinging on the personal lives of employees in new and unforseen ways. This groundbreaking book explores how aspiring and established professionals each try to cope with the unprecedented intimacy of technologically-mediated work, and how its seductions seem poised to triumph over the few remaining relationships that may stand in its way.

Thoughts:
This book reads like a PHD thesis, and while the topic is an interesting one, its presentation here is rather dry. Gregg looks out how work has infiltrated our private lives, and how we come to view this not as an infiltration per se but as necessary for us to feel competent at our jobs. Having worked in a Big 4 accounting firm for six years, I can relate (I think I worked 10 years in six with all the overtime!). Despite the dryness of Gregg’s style, I could relate to much of her findings. She comments on both the casualization of the workforce, and the insecurity this creates for employees, as well as the way employees are increasingly exploited by employers, particularly when they will do most anything to succeed in their chosen field. Both of these factors contribute to employees doing more and more work in their own time, but rather than be construed as work invading our lives, many employees, particularly those of the more conscientious variety, see this behavior as simply necessary to keep up, and achieve their career goals. This is combined with the access that new technologies gives us, allowing companies to ‘offer’ flexible work arrangements that often just convert to more net time working. Ultimately, despite the dryness of Gregg’s style, I think many professionals will relate to her findings.


4 / 50 books. 8% done!


1072 / 15000 pages. 7% done!

Book 5: The Meteor Crater Story by Dean Smith – 69 pages

Description from amazon.com:
50,000 years ago, a giant invader from out space hurtled through our Earth's atmosphere at incredible velocity and collided with northern Arizona's rocky high plateau. The meteorite's explosive impact destroyed all living things within a radius of several miles, created the chasm we call Meteor Crater, and strewed rock and meteorite fragments across a wide area.

Thoughts:
While travelling through the US in late 2015, my family and I stumbled across Meteor Crater in Arizona. This big hole in the ground apparently is a little bit more significant than that, having had a rather large role in our understanding of the type of outer space visitor that created it. The site itself is pretty cool (I have some pretty cool photos!) and the book provides a decent summary of the history of the site, and about the phenomenon of meteor craters. An interesting read.


5 / 50 books. 10% done!


1141 / 15000 pages. 8% done!

Currently reading:
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        The Presidents of the United States of America by Frank Freidel – 88 pages

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Divided and Conquered - from Star Trek Beyond

Nov. 20th, 2016

02:50 pm - Book 3 - 2016

Book 3: Guernica by Dave Boling – 368 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
An extraordinary epic of love, family, and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War. In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. Once there, he finds more than just a new life -- he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets and the two discover a love they believe nothing can destroy ...Rich in the history of the region, the Red Baron, the Luftwaffe and even Picasso make appearances in Guernica as the fate of the Navarro family is traced through the early decades of the twentieth century.

Thoughts:
Chatting to a friend of mine at work one day, she mentioned this book and how much she liked it. She purchased it off the internet and then leant it to me to read. Amusingly, after I’d read it, and returned it to her, she found her original copy and consequently gave me the new copy she’d purchased. Anyway, I really had no idea what to expect, and probably for the first 150 pages I was kind of bored. The book felt like it took a long time to get started and make its clear point, but once it got there, I did actually really enjoy it and it has an ending that is deeply moving. The diversity of the characters and their interactions is really good, though at times it was difficult to work out how they connected to the core story. In addition, I knew nothing about the conflict the book is centered about so it was a good learning experience. Ultimately, not a book I would have picked up myself, but a good read nonetheless.


3 / 50 books. 6% done!


874 / 15000 pages. 6% done!

Currently reading:
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages

Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: Once Upon A Holiday

12:31 pm - Book 2 - 2016

Book 2: Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt – 205 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Ryan Britt is . . . the Virgil you want to guide you through the inferno of geekery. Lev Grossman, author of the bestselling Magician's trilogy Pop Culture and sci-fi guru Ryan Britt has never met a monster, alien, wizard, or superhero that didn t need further analysis. Essayist Ryan Britt got a sex education from dirty pictures of dinosaurs, made out with Jar-Jar Binks at midnight, and figured out how to kick depression with a "Doctor Who" Netflix-binge. Alternating between personal anecdote, hilarious insight, and smart analysis, "Luke Skywalker Can t Read" contends that "Barbarella" is good for you, that monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are total hipsters, and, most shockingly, shows how virtually everyone in the "Star Wars "universe is functionally illiterate. Romp through time and space, from the circus sideshows of 100 years ago to the Comic Cons of today, from darkest corners of the Galaxy to the comfort of your couch. For anyone who pretended their flashlight was a lightsaber, stood in line for a movie at midnight, or dreamed they were abducted by aliens, "Luke Skywalker Can't Read" is full of answers to questions you haven't thought to ask, and perfect for readers of Chuck Klosterman, Rob Sheffield, and Ernest Cline."

Thoughts:
I was wandering around a Barnes & Noble in the Upper West Side of New York with my family over Christmas and stumbled across this book. I’m a sci-fi nerd, and I could instantly relate to some of anecdotes about watching Star Trek as a kid and the deep conversations about sci-fi plot lines and their potential reality held amongst my family to this day. So I need to buy it, and I read through this book’s collection of essays with avid enthrallment. Britt covers a variety of topics in a variety of ways, and so many of them echoed my own thoughts and/or life experiences, while at the same time giving me the opportunity to think about old topics in new ways. I’d never considered whether the people of Star Wars could actually read (must watch more closely next time) or the fake nostalgia that Back to the Future so eloquently taps into. On the other hand, Britt’s essays about Star Trek resonated strongly with me as did numerous others. Britt’s style is engaging and for anyone who grew up nerd this book will bring a smile to your face (I eventually led it to my brothers who concurred). In the way the Big Bang Theory guys debate comic book specifics, I will never tire of eloquent analysis of the sci-fi/fantasy world which shows us just how much these fantastical stories echo reality. A great read!


2 / 50 books. 4% done!


506 / 15000 pages. 3% done!

Currently reading:
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 pages

Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: Star Trek: Voyager: Season 7: Episode 10: Shattered

12:16 pm - Book 1 - 2016

Book 1: Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich – 301 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie's bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso a suspiciously wealthy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch only makes the hunt more thrilling. Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol-packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move and his next move might be Stephanie's last.

Thoughts:
I read this book on a flight home from San Francisco (via Hawaii – a good 14 hours in the air!) having read the first one the previous year. Stephanie is a hopeless bounty hunter from the gun-wiping side of things, but a reasonable detective, and her cast of friends are pretty entertaining. Joe Morelli is a fun love interest, though I already fear that their relationship is going to go the way of Tempe Brennan/Andrew Ryan in the Bones books. Ranger is enigmatic in a way that doesn’t feel too contrived, though why he puts up with someone as inept as Stephanie is beyond me. The mysteries so far don’t feel particularly too high brow, though I do wonder how Evanovich can maintain them in a town as small as Trenton (really, there’s that many bad/dodgy people?). All in all, the series has promise (probably exemplified by the 20-something books that have been published) but I’m not sure how its going to maintain itself that long; we shall see!


1 / 50 books. 2% done!


301 / 15000 pages. 2% done!

Currently reading:
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
-        Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich – 300 pages
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages

Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: Star Trek: Voyager: Season 7: Episode 10: Shattered

Sep. 16th, 2016

02:55 pm - Books 11 - 20.

11. The NABRE Bible (1424 pages)
12. Kendrick & Kendrick - The Battle Plan For Prayer: From Basic Training To Targeted Strategies (255 pages)
13. Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird (319 pages)
14. Tassone - Day By Day For The Holy Souls In Purgatory: 365 Reflections (390 pages)
15. Diogenes The Cynic With Other Popular Moralists - Sayings & Anecdotes (285 pages)
16. Buettner - The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who've Lived The Longest (294 pages)
17. St. Jerome - Selected Letters Of... (280 pages)
18. Reynolds - Slow Bullets (187 pages)
19. B. Collins - Sailing Alone Around The Room: New & Selected Poems (166 pages)
20. Storey, Storey & Todd - The Mount Athos Diet: The Mediterranean Plan To Lose Weight, Feel Younger & Live Longer (257 pages)

Total pages so far: 6 689 pages.

Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Adele - "Miss You"

Jul. 9th, 2016

12:07 am - 2015 Summary

Each year I get a little closer to posting my summary for the previous year near the end of said year (October last year, July this year!). Having said that, unfortunately 2015 was not a good year for reading. Starting my double Masters' degree and a new job took its toll, as did spending seven weeks in the United States at the end of the year. Nonetheless, the year passed, and all in all it was a good one. So, while the reading was slim, let us look at it nonetheless.

1. Westminister Abbey: Official Guide by Dean and Chapter of Westminister – 120 pages
2.  Sunshine on Sugar Hill by Angela Gilltrap – 310 pages
3.  The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss – 323 pages
4.  Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics by Paul Street – 272 pages
5.  A Series of Unfortunate Event: Book the Twelfth: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket – 353 pages
6.  The XX Factor: How Working Women are Creating a New Society by Alison Wolf – 401 pages
7. The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East by Kishore Mahbubani – 293 pages
8.  Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs – 331 pages
9.  Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton – 596 pages
10.        A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the Thirteenth: The End by Lemony Snicket – 324 pages
11.      Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter – 263 pages
12.        DB30Years: Special Dragon Ball 30th Anniversary Magazine by Michael LaBrie – 315 pages
13.        The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival by Hirsh Goodman – 253 pages
14.        The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter – 442 pages
15.        One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages
16.        The Other Side of Despair: Jews and Arabs in the Promised Land by Daniel Gavron – 240 pages
17.        Dragon Ball Z: “It’s Over 9000!”: When Worldviews Collide by Derek Padula – 76 pages
18.      Jaco the Galactic Patrolman by Akira Toriyama – 247 pages
19.       The Rise of the Creative Class: Revisited by Richard Florida – 465 pages


19 / 50 books. 38% done!


5914 / 15000 pages. 39% done!

Comparison to last year


19 / 43 books. 44% done!


5914 / 14885 pages. 40% done!

Top 5 books (including re-reads):
5. Living Dolls
4. Jaco the Galactic Patrolman
3. The Fictional Woman
2. The XX Factor
1. The Rise of the Creative Class

Interesting Facts:
Improvement on last year: -24 (-8,971)
Library books: 10
Non-fiction: 13
Most read author: Lemony Snicket (2 books/677 pages)
Books with a sci-fi/fantasy element: 4
Re-reads: 0
Sequels/not the first in a series: 4

As you can see it was a terrible reading year, and so far 2016 isn't shaping up to be much better, but alas, sometimes there are other things in life. So continue on I will.

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: State of Grace - Taylor Swift

Jul. 8th, 2016

11:09 pm - Book 19 - 2015

Book 19: The Rise of the Creative Class: Revisited by Richard Florida – 465 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Initially published in 2002, The Rise of the Creative Class quickly achieved classic status for its identification of forces then only beginning to reshape our economy, geography, and workplace. Weaving story-telling with original research, Richard Florida identified a fundamental shift linking a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing importance of creativity in people's work lives and the emergence of a class of people unified by their engagement in creative work. Millions of us were beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always had, Florida observed, and this Creative Class was determining how the workplace was organized, what companies would prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities would thrive. In The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited, Florida further refines his occupational, demographic, psychological, and economic profile of the Creative Class, incorporates a decade of research, and adds five new chapters covering the global effects of the Creative Class and exploring the factors that shape "quality of place" in our changing cities and suburbs.

Thoughts:
I’ve always been interested in sociology and the study of demographics (hence why I have a degree in sociology), but since moving out of professional accounting and into the higher education sector (still in Finance), I’ve found myself increasingly interested in studying innovation – what drives it, what effects it has, who and where, how and why. This book, an updated edition of a book originally published in 2002 looks to answer these questions, and it is one of those rare books that I walked away from, quoting a lot, particularly when the topic of innovation came up time and time again in the recent election in my country. This book is long, and deep, but it really explained a lot of things to me that I’d thought about but not ever seen articulated properly. It’s a book for those who want to work their way up the business world. It’s a book that explained to me why I seek out different things in my job than my friends, why I want to not only move up the chain but broaden my skill set, why I was never going to be satisfied being a regular accountant (but rather one focused as much on how I can do things better as on the monthly results), why I love to travel, why I seek out experiences that broaden me, rather than being satisfied with the type of lives my friends seek out. I’ve often talked to my brother about wanting to move overseas, and it’s a running joke among my friends about how I’m never home (I travel overseas at least once a year, so my friends like to play ‘Where in the world is Tara?’). I’m the kind of person who never could just get married, have babies, work the same job for thirty years and then die; the thought raises a cold sweat in me. This book is the explanation for how the world is slowly being framed, at least in the big metropolises of the world, for that type of person. How the ‘creative class’ is wealthier, more agile, more about quality and outcome than rules and tradition. How the creative class is focused on working for interest and challenge, not just money (and how strangely enough, this very attribute means they often do end up earning more money than their non-creative counterparts). I read the second half of this book on a train journey from Boston to New York, and it felt very appropriate – Boston is the city I want to eventually move to, New York the mecca of all things new and shiny. I was on holidays, away from the new job I’d taken on, working on implementing new budgeting and forecasting practices at the university I work for, framing the conversation on how we can cost our courses – a new idea in the world of higher education. I love my job because I feel like I’m contributing something important to the world, working in higher education, and because I get to innovate and challenge and learn – I purposely choose to work in a role and a sector that is dynamic and changing, one with opportunities for me to fix problems rather than one with established practices and processes where I’d never get a chance to learn, develop, improve and own. This book is about all those things. It’s about the cities that get the mix right to attract the creative class. It’s about the benefits that class of people bestows on those cities. Ultimately it’s an analysis of our future, if only we are brave enough to reach out and grab it. I watch my own city, my own country, the few trying to fight the many who just want a laid back casual life that is simple and easy, fighting our changing world, fighting the dynamic place we could be, and I despair. Oh well, its always hard being ahead of the curve.
All in all, a truly fabulous read that resonates powerfully. The future is going to be amazing if we only embrace it!


19 / 50 books. 38% done!


5914 / 15000 pages. 39% done!


Currently reading:
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
-        Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich – 300 pages
-        The Meteor Crater Story by Dean Smith – 69 pages


And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Way Back Into Love - Haley Bennett & Hugh Grant

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