April 13, 2015

Bus Reads // 001

Easter Holidays are over. Not only am I back from my little blogging-break, I am also back it the saddle of my morning bus ride to work. Although I try to keep my work commute as short as possible, I do enjoy some travel time with public transport each morning. It's a great excuse to sit back, relax and read a book. Really something, I do nowhere near as enough as I would like to (same goes for exercise I guess).

Recently I started volunteering in our local library and my favourite part turns out is talk books and give recommendations to others. So I thought I extend that to the blog and share with you my latest bus reads every once in a while.

Currently I am totally into non-fiction books that challenge my thinking. I enjoy learning about psychology, economy and all that stuff, especially when it’s well researched and presented through real life stories. If you are into these kinds of books too, have a look at my latest reads below.

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Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
I must have hid behind a really big rock to miss the appearance of Malcolm Gladwell, but it happened. Outlier is already his third book, published in 2008, and I only discovered it last month. I read through the 304 pages within a few days and it became basically my only conversation point for a while. I loved it so much. I felt every page was a revelation for me. I have always had a huge interest in what makes people learn and succeed, mainly to improve my approach as a teacher, but Outlier was at times eye opening on a whole different level. It showed me how much impact I can and actually can’t have as a teacher. I found that immensely interesting.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann
I have a soft spot for psychology, so much that if I would to study again I would probably major in it. This is, I think, why this book was gifted to me as a birthday present three years ago. I only finished it now, but this is no indication of my dislike. Quite the contrary, I think the book is fantastic! It is educational, well written and, despite the deep scientific roots, easy to understand. It just took me that long, because it is printed really small so despite it being 499 pages it feels more like a thousand and also because it is so chock-full with information that I sometimes needed to digest them over a few days before I could continue reading. Kahnemann, a Nobel Prize winner, summarizes his life-long research on the human thinking process in this book and his findings are sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but mainly deliberating: We are prone to make mistakes; it’s in our systems and its ok!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I re-read this book again after I picked up her sequel Happier At Home and I still liked it the second time round. It is classified as a self-help book, but it is far from the classic accumulation of motivational phrases that sound good but probably lead nowhere. Rubin is probably as type-A as one can be and developed a charming chart of very actionable resolutions in hopes to prosper her own happiness. The book is her account on how it went with the resolutions, backed with all her research wisdom she gained along the way.

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
What’s even more interesting than a life changing project? The follow-up! Happier at home is Rubin’s second attempt at a happiness project and this time centres on her home: apartment, marriage, relationship with children and herself all get attention for a month to explore how Rubin could infuse more happiness into them. It’s fun to recap with her on old truths about happiness from the first book and see what actionable ideas could help implement them more into everyday life. It is not as full on as the first book, but I think that’s a good thing and at the least it inspired me to start my own Happy Spring Clean Project – which for sure made me a little happier this month.

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If you haven’t read any of them, I highly recommend giving them a go and if you have, well, tell me what you think or share your thoughts on what to read next.

Happy reading!
Nx

PS: Links are affiliate. That means if you purchase through them I'll get a small comission. Thank you for your support!

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