My Favorite Reads of 2019

Last year I set a goal to read 36 books. It is a modest number compared to what some undertake, but I wanted to re-engage my love of reading without creating pressure to hit a big number. I wanted to enjoy the process and knew that getting through three books a month could be a challenge at times. In the end, I read forty-five books.

How I Learned to Read

Reading and I have long had an interesting relationship. I struggled with it in school until I fell in love with story telling the summer before sixth grade. My mother shooed me out of the house one day in frustration, telling me to “go to the library or something!” in exasperation.

My Go-To Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to shape your informational intake. I like podcasts mainly because I get to choose what I listen to as opposed to accepting what is force fed, and I can listen when I choose. I try to gather different perspectives but steer away from those that are blatantly agenda based. Here’s my current listening list:

That Old Shovel Still Works

After an especially wet winter and anticipating a strong summer monsoon season, I decided a new “creek bed” around our house would add a layer of protection against water intrusion. It is almost complete and looks great. Even better, it works.

The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

Averell Harriman, Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett, George Kennan, John McCloy, and Charles Bohlen played pivotal roles at a pivotal time in modern history. Most were born to Ivy League privilege; some came from more humble backgrounds. Dean Acheson’s memoir is titled “Present at the Creation,” an appropriate tag for each of these giants who helped guide America through WWII and who, in various ways and not always in agreement, were the architects of the post-war period.

Book Review: The Bullet Journal Method – Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

A journaler and master list maker for years, I started using a modified version of Bullet Journaling a few months ago. Then I decided to actually read the book. As a result, I’ve modified my approach to be much closer aligned with the structure Ryder Carroll presents, one that is remarkably similar to my ’80’s Day Timer system. Basically, BuJo (as it is affectionately known) is a well-engineered system for capturing every thought you need to capture in a systematic and short form fashion.

Navigating the Digital/Analog Divide in Life and Work

An interesting contrast has developed in how I choose to live my life, and the world in which I live it. This contrast is not absolute mind you, the edges sometimes blur in interesting and not necessarily intuitive ways. I have learned that I sometimes prefer the simpler, slower, more thoughtful ways of doing things; and I have learned that they have distinct advantages. They may not be as fast (frenetic) or as modern (cool), but they can be more beneficial (effective).

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