Friday, 21 May 2010

2010 Reading List - Quarter 2 Update

This is just a quick summary of my progress towards one of my Arbitrary Dividing Point In Time Resolutions. Some of you may have noticed the 2010 Reading List in the sidebar of the blog, i'm using this to keep track of what i have been reading each week.

You might be thinking: "But Steven, Quarter 2 isn't finished until the start of July, why are you updating now?". Well unlike the first quarter, i have been reading more than 1 book a week consistently since the start of April and consequently have finished my 14 books for the quarter in 7 weeks. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) More Fiction - This quarter i read 4 fiction books and i finished them more quickly as they require less concentration (so i can read later into the night) and are generally more compelling than non-fiction books.
2) More Re-Reading - I re-read 3 of Malcolm Gladwell's books; other than the fact his writing is almost as compelling as well-written fiction, it is always faster to re-read a book than read it fresh.

The theme of 'influencing, marketing and sales' that i predicted in the Quarter 1 Update didn't quite materialise. The closest i came to those topics was Speak Human, which is almost an anti-marketing book - in a good way. In fiction i have made a start on reading some Sci-fi classics (more to come in Quarter 3) and two Neil Gaiman books (Neverwhere recommended by @TFerriss and American Gods as part of #1b1t) both of which were excellent. In non-fiction, the only lose theme i could claim is epistemology - how to we know what we think we know. While i had not previously made the connection - and it is not explicit - most of Malcolm Gladwell's work relates to epistemological failures; why what we think we know is wrong. The Knowing Doing Gap, The End of Faith and The Design of Business could also fall under this category.

I'm much happier with my reading rate now and am really enjoying it, so no predictions for a theme next quarter.

Other Arbitrary Dividing Point updates:
1. Business - No progress other than starting company.
2. Business - No progress other than starting company.
3. Travel - No progress, but expected it to be back-weighted in the year.
4. Reading - See Post Above.
5. Writing - Managed to write in my Moleskine every day since the last post.
6. Watching - Still watching 2 or 3 shows every day. Quite a few of the shows i watch just now are finishing and i will not be picking any up next year, so that should help.
7. Blog At Least Once A Week - Recently most of my posts have been pretty weak, but there have been a couple that i am reasonably happy with.

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