Round 3 brings The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho from 2001 and The Naked Presenter by Garr Reynolds. Generally I don’t go in for the spiritual category that Coelho tends to fall into. This was the first of his books I read and although I have read a few more in the last 10 years I can’t say they are a ‘must read’.
Coelho wrote (in The Zahir) about the idea of a ‘favour’ bank, which seemed to me at the time, reducing good Khama to a clinical give and take transaction. Then or now this is not a view I subscribe to. In a belligerent nod to my accounting background I’ve always felt that favours should be a one sided transaction. This is one of those rare transactions with only a debit. This of course creates an imbalance, or in accounting terms an unbalanced transaction which I find ironic. Isn’t Khama all about balance?
Nonetheless The Alchemist is a good story and recommended. It is a good story, or storytelling to be more precise which took me to Garr Reynolds. He has been one of my go-to guys in terms of how to give presentations and deliver pitches ever since I borrowed a friend’s copy of Presentation Zen. In The Naked Presenter he suggests the idea that you should throw away the slides completely and, to paraphrase, tell the story. I do this in class sometimes. Too many students focus on copying down exactly what I put on my slides. If I have no slides then they are forced to pay attention to me. At least that’s the theory!
Click on any of the book covers above to be taken to the book onLibraryThing.
In 2001 I started the year by reading The Horizontal Instrument by Christopher Wilkins. This is a wonderful novel about a man who looses his wife to a slow disease which takes her mind before it takes her body. The man decides to honour her memory by building a perfectly accurate timepiece. In 2011 the first book of the year was The Big Burn by Timothy Egan. This is the story of the biggest forest fire in American history and how with the help of Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot it laid the foundation for much of 20th Century American conservation and environmentalism.
In 2001 I was interested in, still am actually, time pieces, specifically wristwatches. I can’t remember how I found this wonderful little novel by Wilkins but it was a great start to the year. The Big Burn came on to my reading list after scanning through book reviews in the New York Times. This, I hasten to add, is not something I do overly often, but on reflection think I should! I do receive a weekly email newsletter from the newspaper, however as with many emails, finding time to read them doesn’t always happen.
Next up then in my reflection on 2001/2011 personal reading habits is “The Clock of the Long Now” by Stewart Brand from 2001 and “Bird Cloud: A Memoir” by Annie Proulx. The former about a special clock which will last 10,000 years and the latter about the trials and tribulations of building your own home. I don’t remember much of the Brand book, other than it scratched an itch I had at the time on reading books about clocks, watches etc. I did notice the subject of this book come up on DarrenBarefoot.com earlier this year which was fun to see.
Bird Cloud seem to connect someone who I knew was an accomplished writer, the author Annie Proulx, with a more current past time of mine, bird watching. There was too little actual bird stuff in the Proulx book, although when it did come up it was written beautifully! I should mention now before I get too far into the year a little about my approach to selecting books to read. In simple terms I refuse to have a plan and go from one thing to another for any reason. Sometimes there is a theme to a series of books I am reading, but half the time I couldn’t tell you what that theme was! As a result, writing these posts is as much a journey of discovery for me as it is for my dear reader. More in the next post!
p.s. click on any of the book covers above to be taken to the book on LibraryThing.
It’s the end of another year and with this post, hopefully the end of a gap in my writing. It is perhaps fitting then that I talk not about writing but reading. It turns out that in terms of my own reading habits, 2011 was not a vintage year. In fact it was the worst [...]
I will finish and publish this blog post using on WordPress. Wordtwit will publish this to my twitter stream which thanks to Twitter Widget Pro will appear back in the sidebar of my blog. Thanks to Networked Blogs the post will also appear on my Facebook page where people can comment and/or like the post. Thanks [...]
It’s funny how the name ‘Dawn’ seems normal, but her etymological siblings are not. For example, the only people I can think of called ‘Sunset’ are found in the colourful literature of sixties hippy culture. ‘Twilight’ is probably there too and clearly a free-spirit. Mind you, if she were my daughter I would have to [...]
The other day I read about a friend who decided to build himself a mandolin this summer. A fascinating project; which reminded me of my own little project that has been permeating around my head for a while. Over the last few years I have found myself shifting from the traditional corporate career path of [...]
The Streets of San Francisco …An Indulgency Pattern Production … Starring…RightAntler Special Guest Star …LeftAntler Also StarringMembers of the Public Tonight’s EpisodeArrival Every since I was a kid the Streets of San Francisco have been in my mind. The title sequence above is all I remember and the star with the big nose: Karl Malden. [...]
I bought a pack of rather splendid looking bacon. I cut open the packet and realized the individual pieces were too long for oven dish I wanted to use. Still nothing as trivial gets in the way of a bacon sandwich and I loaded up the dish. Safely under way, I turned my attention to [...]
Is five years long enough to get nostalgic? We arrived in Canada in the summer of 2005. As soon as we arrived I started taking snaps of everyday things which, as a new immigrant, struck me as different or odd. I attempted to capture my new city, even country before, as I anticipated, my eyes [...]
So I’ve moved (‘we’ actually!) to Bowen Island. The last place simply didn’t work out and that’s enough said. Now it’s Island life for us, be it for me, tethered to the mainland. Tethered is a bit strong as I’m not sure thinking of BC Ferries as a leash is neither fair or accurate. After [...]