I’m always reading a book—usually more than one. Today is no different, but I’m torn because I’m enjoying each one so much. Usually a favorite emerges, and I put aside the others to finish it—that hasn’t happened yet, but I’m getting pretty close to the end of a couple of these:
Just borrowed Outlander from the library—a beautiful, 20th anniversary edition. (How did this book exist for 20 years without my having picked it up?) I’m totally engrossed in Claire’s adventures in 18th century
which is a good thing, because I only have three weeks to read this 650+ page
novel. So far I’m zipping along pretty quickly, so I think I can manage it. If
I can’t, my library offers a one-week grace period before they start charging
fines. Apparently I’m not the last person alive to read this, because there are
multiple holds on this book so I won’t be able to renew it.
Zen and Horses is an exploration of “lessons from a year of riding,” as the subtitle explains. Ingrid Soren, who also teaches yoga and Zen, writes thoughtfully about what she learned, and beautifully describes the countryside where she lives and rides: “It was a golden day in mid-September. The fields were dormant, the stubble plowed under. The land lay quiet before the sowing of the winter wheat. A light mist rose off the ground in the morning, obscuring rust-tinged leaves as a low sun struggled through. Plums and apples dropped off heavy trees into the damp grass, and blackberries shone on the bramble.”
I broke away from working with Getting Things Done, by David Allen, to write this blog post. I’m always trying to find better ways to organize my time (so that I can have more time to read…and do other fun things) and this book was recommended in something else I read. Allen’s system is by far the most comprehensive I’ve seen, and I think that applying at least some of the principles will help me. Some snippets of wisdom: “The vast majority of people have been trying to get organized by rearranging incomplete lists of unclear things; they haven’t yet realized how much and what they need to organize in order to get the real payoff. They need to gather everything that requires thinking about and then do that thinking if their organizational efforts are to be successful.” I’m still in the process of gathering everything together. The idea is to have one system to keep track of everything—that way nothing falls through the cracks. (So far I’m overwhelmed and intimidated by the amount of stuff I’m collecting—but apparently that’s not unusual.)
One of the key things I’m learning from this book: Projects are overwhelming, because you can’t “do” a project—you can only do actions related to the project, some of which take only minutes. Ask yourself: what is the next action I can take to move this project forward?
On a lighter note, I’m also reading Not So Funny When it Happened: The Best of Travel Humor and Misadventure. I picked this up when Outlander was “in transit” (on it’s way for me to pick up) and I didn’t want to start a novel I’d just have to put down again while I tried to finish Outlander. It’s easy to dip in and out of, as each piece stands alone, and most are fairly short and funny.
So that's what I'm reading. How about you?