Books I’m Reading

August 12, 2013

I’ve been a manic at downloading iTunes audiobooks and listening to them while driving in the car lately.  Some have certainly been duds but many have been really inspiring so I thought I’d share.

168 Hours – You Have More Time than you Think by Laura Vanderkam – This book is read by the author from the perspective of a working mom of young kids (she was pregnant with her second while writing it) who also enjoys hobbies like running and singing so it feels like it’s coming from a personal friend.  It teaches time blocking, discovering your core competencies and in general taking captive your precious time and using it wisely.  Statistics are used to back up arguments and since she focuses on the amount of time working versus stay-at-home moms spend playing or reading to their pre school-age children.  It speaks to me very well.

What the Most Successful People do before Breakfast also by Laura Vanderkam – This book has changed my life lately.  I’ve been setting my alarm and getting up early before my husband and 2 year old wake up (she’s usually laying horizontally with her elbow wedged in my ribs and her feet in Craig’s face by then).  In that cool summer morning hour, I walk to the community pond, have a quiet time and blog.  It sets the tone for my entire day and gives me “me time”.

What the Most Successful People do on Weekends – obviously I’m in love with Laura Vanderkam right now.  Although as a realtor who works every Saturday and Sunday, I always get slightly annoyed when the general public talks about having a relxing time on weekends, this book acknowledges that and teaches the importance of purposefully setting boundaries on relaxation time, whether it’s a Tuesday morning or Friday afternoon.  A time to spend unplugged and away from work.  The book encourages planning out your free time (on average 6-7 awake hours while not at work per day)– to set goals for it (of course I love setting goals) just as you would set strategic goals for a job.  That way you’re not wasting this precious time in front of the TV or just vegging out (unless that’s what you really want to do).

Manage Your Day-to-Day – Building your routine, find your focus & sharpen your creative mind – by Jocelyn Glei.  Although this book is a little harder for me to follow, there have been some good pearls to pull from it nevertheless.  It also focuses on time management and blocking out the world for a time of concentrated work.  It’s written from the perspective of a “creative” (I didn’t know they called themselves that) like an artist or a writer.  Some of them go as far as to surgically remove the WIFI from their computers (hello, there seems to be easier ways to turn off, but whatever) so that they can concentrate on their work of art. 

WEIRD by Craig Groschel – Craig is the lead pastor of our church,  He runs a world-wide megachurch, has 6 homeschooled kids and authors a few books per year.  He also admits to suffering to workaholism.  Many of the ways he and his wife, Amy have decided to run their lives (like turning off anything electronic 4 days a week!) see super weird but help align their lives with how God is directing them.  Their goal is no longer to fit in with everyone else but rather to be WEIRD so that God can use them to minister more widely, give to others more freely and be closer to their family.  The book is pretty cool.

The Honest Toddler by Bunmi Laditan.  If you have a toddler at home or are the grandparent of a toddler, you’ll pee your pants in laughter at this book.  A friend of mine first introduced me to “Honest Toddler” on facebook and twitter feeds.  Posts come from the perspective of HT about his “best day”, importance of unbroken crackers and love of red drink.  He explains why sharing is evil and naptime is just a way for mommys to punish their loving children.  I wondered how a book could keep the humor rolling, but so far it hasn’t let down.  I listened to the first two chapters and decided to put a hold on it so my husband and I can listen to it together on an upcoming road trip.  He usually hates the kind of books I read (snoring sounds sarcastically begin 10 seconds after I press play in the car when he’s around) but I think he’ll get a kick out of this one.  The Honest Toddler releases an Official Response to the Claim that it is Indeed Naptime:

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