I have to get new glasses and I’m trying to give my eyes a rest from screen time by reading more on the train. Actually, my optician said that it’s not the screen itself that’s the issue, it’s the distance – having your eyes focused on one distance all the time is hard work for them.
I don’t know if I hold a book at a different distance; it feels like I do and therefore it feels like I’m getting a rest from the screen. It’s also far more absorbing to read than it is to flick through Facebook (which I am also doing a lot more because of our excellent community group over at Project Management Café).
Books to Make the Commute Go Faster
I was totally taken in by the Amazon listing for The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel and because I like thrillers I bought it on a whim.
It was dark, shocking and 100% believable, unfortunately. I can’t tell you any more about it, but if you enjoy mysteries and thrillers then this will keep you turning the pages. Highly recommended, but quite disturbing and I still find myself thinking about it a while after putting it down.
For something lighter I turned to A Street Cat Named Bob, a short novel by James Bowen. It has taken me ages to get round to this book, which I was lent just after Christmas. It’s funny, heart-warming and it ultimately ends well enough. It’s the story of how a stray cat turned around the life of a Big Issue seller, and it will make you look at homelessness in a different light. One to read when you feel like work is getting you down – it will make you grateful for what you have but not in a patronising way.
I also indulged in something from the YA shelves at the library: Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter. This is a story for your screen-addicted young teens. A girl starts a blog to highlight the bullying going on at her school but cyberbullies get everywhere and it all starts to spiral far out of her control.
What’s so special about this book is that the protagonist has selective mutism and can’t speak in public. She can say online what she can’t say in person.
It sounds light, but her family situation is incredibly sad. There was a point when I couldn’t hold in the tears – I hate crying on the train, especially over a book, but I don’t think people notice. They’re all too busy doing their own thing. I gasped out loud when Nurse Crane’s car hit a boy (watching Call The Midwife on iPlayer download) and I think more people were shocked by that. So it’s OK to be sobbing as long as you don’t make any noise.
Books for Personal Development
The Inspiration Code by Kristy Hedges was one of the books I downloaded from NetGalley, a site for publishers and reviewers.
The premise of the book is how to inspire people through great leadership, even if you aren’t in a leadership role. Hedges talks about being present and giving people the gift of attention, keeping things personal and showing some of yourself, being passionate at work and having the courage to act purposefully. It’s all good stuff, and a solid reminder of how to lead effectively but I thought I would get a lot more out of it than I did.
I liked the idea of a leadership shadow: “The leader’s values, style, and actions cast a large shadow of influence on those around him…Leaders can eloquently say what they care about, but the shadow is determined more by the choices they make.”
I also read The Winning You by Sanket Pai. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It’s a book about mastering your focus and sticking to your goals. I was inspired by reading it, but unfortunately I don’t think my efforts to keep my focus have stuck. I suffer too much with distractions and I need to keep reminding myself – this will be a good book to return to as I hold myself accountable for achieving my goals.
That’s it for now. Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!