Thursday, November 8, 2007
Ferriss has a great web site, Experiments in Lifestyle Design, that is filled with ideas such as creating a paperless office - check it out at How to do the impossible: create a paperless life and never check voicemail again.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Have read some other light books, like LIPSTICK JUNGLE by Candace Bushnell of Sex and the City fame (the TV series based on Lipstick Jungle is slated for this fall).
Am officially over one year behind bible readings. I'm sure things will only get further behind, with Kindergarten started and Soccer practice starting this week.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I've only been able to do things in small spurts. This morning, I tried to do 10 minutes - yes, just 10 minutes - on the treadmill and was off and on it three times over kid issues. So reading will be slow and steady as long as I can keep myself awake at night.
I realize I can only have 1 or 2 things to focus on. If I am reading a classical book, I can't keep up with reading the bible. In my bible readings, I am now at Song of Songs and am waiting for a nice chunk of time to read all of it at once. I am nearly a year behind the schedule I set for myself but I remain optimistic. Have been trying to finish some fiction books that were partially read, like Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander). Next on the classical list is finishing the audio version of Beowulf: A New Verse Translation read by author/poet/translator Seamus Heaney. I listen to it on my ipod, sometimes while cooking dinner if the kids are properly entertained elsewhere.
I've also been watching the arrival of Posh & Becks. I'm a soccer fan and was glad to hear that the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham. Even before the Beckhams move was announced, I read Learning to Fly: The Autobiography: The Autobiography by Victoria Beckham, which gives an interesting view of the life of celebrities. I appreciate both of the Beckhams for their dedication to excellence in their professions and to their children. Look beyond the media frenzy and media slant: I can't believe how critical and judgmental the press can be. That's a topic for another day.
Monday, June 11, 2007
You're The Guns of August!
by Barbara Tuchman
Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what
causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they
really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing
with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in
the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
I said I took a break after finishing Don Quixote in 2005. I had stacks of other books I wanted to finish and, frankly, I needed something light. Often after reading something that takes some thought I need to unwind by reading easy stuff. So from the end of Don Quixote to the end of 2005, I read:
• Pathway to Purpose for Women: Connecting Your To-Do List, Your Passions, and God's Purposes for Your Life by Katie Brazelton. Read this during my daughter's swim lessons at the city pool.
• Mary Schaffer: An Adventurous Woman's Exploits in the Canadian Rockies (An Amazing Stories Book) (Amazing Stories) - we vacationed in Banff that summer. A facinating woman explorer.
• Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) (finished in one week)
• The Presence (Mira) by Heather Graham (romantic suspense)
• The Seven Daughters of Eve - a facinating book about genetics by Bryan Sykes
• Stephen King's Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, Book 5), Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, Book 6), and The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7). Besides On Writing, these are the only Stephen King books I have read because I was terrified by the Carrie movie when I was young.
• Sister Genevieve: A Courageous Woman's Triumph in Northern Ireland- an inspiring woman!
• Living the Life You Were Meant to Live by Tom Paterson (OK, in case you haven't figured it out, I was doing a little soul searching)
• Praying for Purpose for Women: A Prayer Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever (Pathway to Purpose) also by Katie Brazelton
• The Da Vinci Code
• Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
For the record, I read 28 books in 2005.
Out of all those, I was really intrigued by The Da Vinci Code. I know a lot of people questioned the historical validity of this book. It got me to start another reading plan: read the bible, starting Jan. 1, 2006.
I've read many parts of the bible but never read it straight through. First I had to find the right bible to read, and I decided on TNIV True Identity: The Bible for Women (Today's New International Version). Next I had to find a plan, and found one at the Purpose Driven Life website (under free tools). I have The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life) by Rick Warren - so many people we talked to for a while raved about it so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I have read about half of it and pick it up occassionally. Warren's wife, Kay, wrote the foreward to Pathway to Purpose for Women: Connecting Your To-Do List, Your Passions, and God's Purposes for Your Life, which I found some peace in.
I did really good following the plan in 2006 until April when we took a trip to Costa Rica. Then our son arrived in May and I got behind. I made it nearly half-way - to the book of Esther - by the end of 2006. Now I am working my way through Psalms.
And that little project was set aside when I found the reading group for The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had and started The Pilgrim's Progress (Oxford World's Classics) in early 2007. I thought I could keep up on the bible reading while reading PP, but have not been able to.
I finished reading The Pilgrim's Progress (Oxford World's Classics) last week. The TWEM's plan calls for reading once and taking notes (the grammar stage, or what the author says), then reviewing and evaluating (the logic stage to understand how and why) and finally, So What? (rhetoric stage). I have finished the logic stage and am starting on the rhetoric stage, to be finished this coming week.
Finally, have you seen how much press The Secret is getting?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
In Bauer's personable way, she describes how she returned back to graduate school at thirty-years-old and with four children. Yet the book she wrote is for any person who wants to learn and train their mind. As she read through her graduate course's required reading list, she says she "wrote better, thought more clearly, read more." These are the things that drew me to this book and its reading plan.
The Well-Educated Mind has reading lists divided into five sections: the novel, autobiography and memoir, history and politicians, drama, and poems. In 2004, I started the novel section with Don Quixote (Modern Library MM) by Miguel De Cervantes. I read the Modern Library edition - The Well-Educated Mind offers the best editions to use. It took me 16 months to read it, chapter by chapter with short notes after each reading, read mostly during my daughter's morning nap time. I really thought I'd never get through it but when I finished, I could hardly believe it. I read Don Quixote! It was a great accomplishment for me.
Currently, I am almost finished with the second book on the novel list - The Pilgrim's Progress (Oxford World's Classics) by John Bunyan.
I stopped reading classics from mid-2005 through 2006 for a reason I'll talk about later.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Now I have to admit that I never finished Great Books. I started it numerous times but always got caught up in something else I was reading. This book, for me, is one to be read slow and thoughtfully because Denby, a New York film critic who goes back to Columbia to retake the Lit course he took in the late 60s, talks of the relevance of the class-assigned books in a personable way, not in dry, critical evaluations. He interweaves his opinions, observations and personal stories throughout the book and gives a different perspective on the importance of Great Books.
How books affect us depends on where we are in life and our frame of mind. Rereading books give us deeper perspectives and understanding, and Denby documents this. I still have Great Books and I will still read it.
The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classical Guide to World Literature, Revised and Expanded, on the other hand, is like a wish list of books to read. How obsessive am I? I have an Excel file running a list of these books. Checkmarks for completion? Very few. It's a work in progress. Like the title says, a lifetime plan.
The lifetime list of 133 authors (many with multiple works) plus another 100 notable authors, was intimidating. About three years ago I found another plan to follow and started March 1, 2004. It's been slow going and I'll share why next time.
Friday, January 12, 2007
My new favorite nutrition book is The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. It is about sensible eating of good foods - fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. I would hesitate to call it a 'diet' book; it is more of a healthy eating plan, though the publisher (who happens to be Reno's husband and publisher of Oxygen magazine) seems to emphasize fat loss for marketing purposes.
Anyone who has seen Oxygen magazine probably thinks it is for hard-core women bodybuilders. I read it for the recipes, healthy eating tips and fitness plans. Like most things I read and write about, I take what I need and forget the rest.
One of my favorite fitness books is Core Performance Essentials: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Exercise Plan Adapted for Everyday Use by Mark Verstegen. This is the everyman's version of his pro athlete-focused The Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body & Your Life. The Essentials book centers around a 30-minute 3X/week homebased program for improved strength, flexibility and overall health. The exercises help strengthen your core so you stand up straighter and have better balance.
The 30 minutes a day is sometimes hard for me to find when the kids are around, but I'm focusing on it. I think everyone feels better when they get some exercise and sunlight. I really notice a good difference in the kids when they play outside a lot. I'd be happy to hear what others have to say about their favorite fitness or nutrition books or programs.
Time management and goal setting is another of my passions, and you'll be hearing about that soon. Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
This is no fault of my educators. It rests on me, the person who was more interested in social activities than scholarly pursuits. I remembered just enough to get through a test in college.
But like most of the people on this planet, I wanted to write a novel. This turned out to be harder than I ever imagined. It also brought to life my insecurities about writing. Following advice of those who are published, I decided I needed to read the classics, the Great Books, hoping that I would glean some smarts along the way.
I started this educational process on the zigzag road that life often presents us, around the adoption of two wonderful children, and the care of a few acres, a few animals, and a very understanding and supportive husband. I’ve been on this path of self-discovery for a while now and have been led to a wide variety of books. I want to document my journey in case there are other seekers, like me, who want to increase their knowledge of themselves and the world we live in. Maybe we can share ideas on any number of topics or about self-education. I’m also writing to nurture that spirit of self-expression by doing something I enjoy: talking about books.
So this blog joins the other 174,999 blogs that are started each day. I hope you will find something useful in it. Stay tuned.