Geetanjali Mukherjee

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Summer Reading

I tried to write a draft of this post a few days, writing about what I would be reading in the coming few weeks. However, my reading list has been changing so rapidly, I ended up abandoning that post. Suddenly I find myself jumping from book to book wildly, dipping in for a little and then moving on. So instead I thought I would write about the books I have already read recently, and the ones I’m currently working my way through.

I few weeks ago I completed the excellent book How To Fly A Horse by Kevin Ashton. I loved it, because it debunked the myth that some people are just more talented than others, or somehow more lucky. Innovation and creation is within the grasp of all of us, but in order to really be innovative and creative, one of the foremost prerequisites is simply good old-fashioned hard work. Unglamorous, but true.
I also recently re-read TheTalent Code­ by Daniel Coyle. I read this book a couple of years ago, and this time around I absorbed a lot more. In fact, for a while, almost all of my conversations have been peppered with – well, The Talent Code says…, ending with exhorting the person to read the book right away. My favorite bit – once you start looking at things from the point of view of acquiring skill, it’s a lens through which you can look at many more situations than the ones we would obviously think of, such as sports or artistic ability. For instance, I am looking at improving my time-management and productivity as a skill that I can practice deeply and get better at.
A fascinating book that I’m currently reading is Pulitzer Prize winner James B. Stewart’s Follow The Story, on writing non-fiction. It is slow going because I’m trying to absorb all his insights on writing (from a perspective of journalism, but invaluable nonetheless). It is excellent though, and I can’t wait to get my hands on his other books.

A completely enjoyable, just for pleasure book that I read a few days ago, bought months earlier at the airport bookshop and hoarded for just the right moment, was the newest Agatha Christie, written superbly by Sophie Hannah – The Monogram Murders. I highly recommend it to die-hard Christie fans – there were moments where I had to remind myself that it wasn’t actually written by the great Queen of Crime herself.

I’m actually reading a lot more than just the ones mentioned above – due to my restlessness, research for my current book, and just love of devouring books as fast as possible. My beloved Scribd app actually makes it so much easier to read dozens of books at once – keeping perfect track of what I was reading, till what page and on what device – allowing me to switch seamlessly and always have something to read. I have started to use the few minutes I have on my short bus ride to the gym and back to dip in and read a few pages of whatever suits my mood at that point.

What books are you reading this summer?

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