Reuben’s Readings

Alright guys, next year (and whatever is left of this year) I’m going to start reading 1 book per week (inspired by Julien Smith) and I’ll be documenting my progress here! – 19th Dec 2012

Week I (16th to 23rd Dec ’12): Turning the Mind into an Ally

Wednesday 19th Dec: Sakyong Mipham’s “Turning the Mind into an Ally” 130 pages in!
Thursday 20th Dec: Sakyong Mipham’s “Turning the Mind into an Ally” 83 pages in! -Complete-

Sunday 23rd Dec: “Brainfluence” 200 pages in! ~ This book is full of bite-sized pages so no surprise at the speed… there are 800 pages in total!

Week II (24th to 30th Dec ’12): Brainfluence

Monday 24th Dec: Roger Dooley’s “Brainfluence” 30 pages in…
Tuesday 25th Dec: Roger Dooley’s “Brainfluence” 100 pages in CHRISTMAS MEGA SPEED BONUS! ~ Actually I was reading it on an e-book reader at different resolutions, so now I only need to read 50 pages per day and I’ll finish early. Go me!
Wednesday 26th Dec: “Brainfluence” 150 pages in! -Complete- ~ oops was that too fast? 😀

Thursday 27th Dec: Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” 41 pages in! ~ I’m starting to adore this book. Reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work”.
Friday 28th Dec: Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” 30 pages in!
Saturday 29th Dec:
Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” 20 pages in! ~ Oh this is fast… spare time makes books whittle down to nothing at all.
Sunday 30th Dec: Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” 1 chapter in! ~ Was using a different e-book reader, and it has different page counts.. hence I think it’s better to count by chapters.

Week 1(31st Dec ’12 to 6 Jan ’13): The Creative Habit

Wednesday 2nd Jan: Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit” -Complete-  ~After 2 days of break, its finally done. I can start on next week’s book early!

Thursday 3rd Jan: David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” Prologue in!
Friday 4th Jan:
David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!
Saturday 5th Jan:
David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!
Sunday 6th Jan:
David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!

Week 2 (7 Jan ’13 to 13 Jan ’13): The Compass of Pleasure

Monday 7th Jan: David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!
Tuesday 8th Jan: David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!
Wednesday 9th Jan: David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in!
Thursday 10th Jan: David J. Linden’s “The Compass of Pleasure” 1 chapter in! -Complete- ~ Phew, one chapter a day was tiring 🙂 This book was so chock full of scientific references, it wasn’t an easy read.

Friday 11th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” Intro in!
Saturday 12th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Sunday 13th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!

Week 3 (14 Jan ’13 to 20 Jan ’13):  59 Seconds

Monday 14th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Tuesday 15th Jan:
Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Wednesday 16th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Thursday 17th Jan: Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Friday 18th Jan:
Richard Wiseman’s “59 seconds” 1 chapter in!
Saturday 19th Jan:
Got lazy!
Sunday 20th Jan:
1.5 chapters and conclusion in! -Complete- ~ My impression was that this book’s a mash-up of self-help advice that doesn’t aim to go deep (59 seconds to implement?!) but to be charitable, there were some interesting and practical ideas that could be palatable to the modern man or woman. I still believe though, that digging deep is sometimes better than covering wide but sparsely…

Week 4 (21 Jan ’13 to 27 Jan ’13 The Meditations

Monday 21st Jan: Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in!
Tuesday 22nd Jan:
Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in!
Wednesday 23rd Jan:
Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in!
Thursday 24th Jan:
Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in!
Friday 25th Jan:
Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in!
Saturday 26th Jan:
Got lazy!
Sunday 27th Jan: Got lazy!

Week 5 (28 Jan ’13 to 3 Feb ’13): Delivering Happiness

Monday 28th Jan: lazy! ~ Argh laziness is getting the better of me. I’ll finish The Meditations tomorrow!
Tuesday 29th Jan: Marcus Aurelius’ “The Meditations” 2 chapters in! -Complete- ~ ok I’ve got to admit that this book was really a tough read, which could explain my long bout of laziness. First of all, it was a translation, so the language was difficult to follow. Secondly, Emperor Aurelius was fond of references that the modern reader might find hard to grasp. However, there were some classic passages that were very valuable, so all the trouble was pretty much worth it.

Wednesday 30th Jan: Tony Hsieh’s “Delivering Happiness” 2 chapters in!
Thursday 31st Jan: Tony Hsieh’s “Delivering Happiness” 2 chapters in!
Friday 1st Feb:
Tony Hsieh’s “Delivering Happiness” 1 chapter in!
Saturday 2nd Feb:
Got lazy!
Sunday 3rd Feb:
Holiday!

Week 6 (4 Feb ’13 to 11 Feb ’13): The War of Art

Monday 4 Feb:  Tony Hsieh’s “Delivering Happiness” 2 chapter in!Complete –

Tuesday 5 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!  ~ Yea there’s actually no chapter system to quantify it, and each page has varying length, so I’ll just be arbitrary. Ha!
Wednesday 6 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!
Thursday 7 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!
Friday 8 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!
Saturday 9 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!
Sunday 10 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” couple of pages in!

Week 7 (1 Feb ’13 to 17 Feb ’13): Mental Traps: The Over-Thinker’s Guide to a Happier Life

Monday 11 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art” last few pages in! -Complete-
Tuesday 12 Feb: Andre Kukla’s “Mental Traps” 3 chapters in!
Wednesday 13 Feb: Andre Kukla’s “Mental Traps” 6 chapters in!
Thursday 14 Feb: Andre Kukla’s “Mental Traps” 4 chapters in! -Complete- ~A pretty interesting concept, but written in a way that I felt was a little dry. You’ll learn a lot though if you manage to get through that.

Friday 15 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” 1 chapter in!
Saturday 16 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” half chapter in!
Sunday 17 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” half chapter in!

Week 7 (18 Feb ’13 to 24 Feb ’13): Do the Work

Monday 18 Feb: Fell sick 😦
Tuesday 19 Feb: Recovering 🙂
Wednesday 20 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” 1 chapter in!
Thursday 21 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” 1 chapter in!
Friday 22 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” 1 chapter in!
Saturday 23 Feb: Steven Pressfield’s “Do the Work” 1 chapter in! -Complete- ~ This is technically a re-reading because I’ve read this book last year, but it’s still refreshing and powerful nonetheless. Get off your butt and do the work! (or on your butt, if you’re a writer!)

Week 8 (25Feb ’13 to 3 Mar ’13): A Point in Time

Monday 25 Feb: David Horowitz’s “A Point in Time” 1 Chapter in!
Tuesday 26 Feb: David Horowitz’s “A Point in Time” 2 Chapters in! -Complete- ~ A very sober book that draws from Marcus Aurelius and Dostoevsky. The author reflects on the meaning of human freedom and belief as he comes to terms with his present circumstances, his family history, and his future passing. And yes I know I finished early! I took the time to read up on some psychology textbooks.

 Week 9 (4 Mar ’13 to 10 Mar ’13): Introvert Power

Monday 4 Mar: Laurie Helgoe’s “Introvert Power” 4 Chapters in!
Tuesday 5 Mar: Laurie Helgoe’s “Introvert Power” 4 Chapters in!
Wednesday 6 Mar: Laurie Helgoe’s “Introvert Power” 4 Chapters in!
Thursday 7 Mar: Laurie Helgoe’s “Introvert Power” 5 Chapters in!
Friday 8 Mar: Laurie Helgoe’s “Introvert Power” 3 Chapters in! -Complete- ~ While the terms introvert and extrovert were often simplified and polarized in this book, I felt that Laurie did a great job in explaining why introverts should not feel pressured to live up to the standards of a world defined by extroverts. I loved how she weaved yin and yang, and the concepts of balance within the book – it’s not a hate fest against the “louder” people, but it accurately examines how an introvert can remain relevant to the world without betraying his or her true nature.

 Week 10 (11 Mar ’13 to 17 Mar ’13): Gunn’s Golden Rules

Monday 11 Mar: Tim Gunn’s “Gunn’s Golden Rules” 4 chapters in!
Tuesday 12 Mar: Tim Gunn’s “Gunn’s Golden Rules” 4 chapters in!
Wednesday 13 Mar: Break
Thursday 14 Mar: Tim Gunn’s “Gunn’s Golden Rules” 2 chapters in!
Friday 15 Mar: Tim Gunn’s “Gunn’s Golden Rules” 4 chapters in!
Saturday 16 Mar: Break
Sunday 17 Mar: Tim Gunn’s “Gunn’s Golden Rules” 4 chapters in! -Complete- ~I like Gunn’s work, there is humour, class, and a lot of hard-to-get anecdotes coming from a person who is well-established in the fashion industry. I definitely appreciated his compiling of experiences because every one of his stories came with a great lesson to learn. His material was devoid of a didactic tone, which is good for an educational book like his.

Week 11 (18 Mar ’13 to 24 Mar ’13): “What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell

Monday 18 Mar: 3 Chapters in!
Tuesday 19 Mar: 3 Chapters in! ~Wow I’m loving what I’ve read so far. Many good insights on various fields, and very well-written.
Wednesday 20 Mar: 4 Chapters in!
Thursday 21 Mar: 3 Chapters in!
Friday 22 Mar: 4 Chapters in!
Saturday 23 Mar: Break!
Sunday 24 Mar: 2 Chapters in! –Complete- Another gem from Malcolm Gladwell. All the articles were well-researched and condensed into readable form. It was an entertaining and enlightening ride.

Week 12 (25 Mar ’13 to 31 Mar ’13): “The Pocket Muse – Endless Inspiration” by Monica Wood

Monday 25 Mar: A few pages in! ~A pretty book with no chapters. Just a lot of pictures, varied font, and short inspirationals
Tuesday 26 Mar: A few pages in!
Wednesday 27 Mar: A few pages in!
Thursday 28 Mar: A few pages in!
Friday 29 Mar: Break! (Good Friday)
Saturday 30 Mar: A few pages in!
Sunday 31 Mar: A few pages in! ~ Alright, if you’re wondering why I can’t finish this short book within a week, and think I’m a lazy procrastinator, you’re half right! But the other half of the truth is that I’ve been working through Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Antifragile”. It’s so freakin’ long that I bet I’ll take a few weeks to get done with it, so I planned to get this shorter book done on the side. I will finish “The Pocket Muse” by tomorrow though!

Week 13 (1 Apr ’13 to 7 Apr ’13): “Antifragile – Things That Gain From Disorder” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Books 1 to Books III)

Monday 1 Apr: A few pages in! -Complete- ~Alright I’m done with Monica’s excellent collection of inspirational and educational material! One story that she shared particularly sticks with me. It’s of her poet friend who literally had poems everywhere around her house – in the toilet, at the sink, on the teacup – her life is so saturated with poetry that her work flows so naturally out of it. I think that’s beautiful, because our writing after all tends towards the veracity of our own lives.
Tuesday 2 Apr: A few chapters in!
Wednesday 3 Apr: A few chapters in!
Thursday 4 Apr: A few chapters in!
Friday 5 Apr: A few chapters in!
Saturday 6 Apr: A few chapters in!
Sunday 7 Apr: A few chapters in! Currently at book IV ~ Well, Taleb’s latest book is really thick, but thankfully it’s split into seven books. I’ve read I to III over this week and last week, and maybe I’ll finish IV to VII over the next few weeks. I like how he puts across complex concepts in such a simple manner, with useful and engaging anecdotes to keep your attention and jog your imagination.

Week 14 (8 Apr ’13 to 14 Apr ’13): “Antifragile – Things That Gain From Disorder” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Book IV & V)

Monday 8 Apr: Chapter 13
Tuesday 9 Apr:
Chapter 14
Wednesday 10 Apr
: Chapter 15
Thursday 11 Apr:
Chapter 16
Friday 12 Apr:
Chapter 17
Saturday 13 Apr: Break!
Sunday 14 Apr: Finished book IV and V
~did a little speed reading. I’m now starting on Book VI for next week!

Week 15 (15 Apr ’13 to 21 Apr ’13): “Antifragile – Things That Gain From Disorder” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Book VI )

Monday 15 Apr: A couple of pages
Tuesday 16 Apr:
Finished Chapter 20
Wednesday 17 Apr
: A couple of pages
Thursday 18 Apr:
Finished Chapter 21
Friday 19 Apr: 
Finished chapter 22 Finished Book VI! ~ A lot of applications of his concepts in this book, particularly in the medical field.
Saturday 20 Apr:
A couple of pages
Sunday 21 Apr:
Started on Book VII

Week 16 (22 Apr ’13 to 28 Apr ’13): “Antifragile – Things That Gain From Disorder” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Book VII and conclusion)

Monday 22 Apr: A couple of pages
Tuesday 23 Apr:
Finished Book VII
Wednesday 24 Apr
: Finished Conclusion ~ Well that was a long ride. Gave me plenty to think about. I’ll break for the rest of the week!
Thursday 25 Apr: Break
Friday 26 Apr: 
Break
Saturday 27 Apr:
Break
Sunday 28 Apr:
Break

Week 17 (29 Apr ’13 to 5 May ’13): “The Four Hour Chef” by Tim Ferriss

Finished the first ‘book’ in his book, Meta-Learning

~as you can see, I’ve also decided to abandon the daily logs from here on because there’s just way too much information to process!

Week 18 (6 May ’13 to 12 May ’13): “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert

A strangely uplifting book about a depressing topic: how we, by virtue of human nature, usually foil our own ability to be happy. Lots of psychology involved, filled with experiments and examples. Daniel’s writing, laden with a lot of wordy illustrations (and few anecdotes) make it a very thick read. I chose to skimp through most of text to get to the meat, which wasn’t all bad. One redeeming quality is that the insights shared by the author are pretty significant, one of which being the fact that we are usually unable to predict our future happiness correctly, because we use our current emotions as an anchor point, or because we have never experienced certain situations before.

Week 19 (13 May ’13 to 19 May ’13): “The Four Hour Chef” by Tim Ferriss

Got started on the second part of his book, Domestic

Week 20 (20 May ’13 to 26 May ’13): “The Hundred Thing Challenge” by Dave Bruno

This book is about a man who decided to embark on a journey that changed his life and those around him. Sounds cliched doesn’t it! But essentially that is it, with the twist that his journey involved ditching modern consumerism by sticking to only a hundred things. During the process, he realized that he actually needed far less to be happy, and it became a norm for him to make the most out of little. The cool thing was that he did not ‘force’ his choice upon those around him. Although they were impacted by the decision he has made, they were not obliged or guilt-tripped into following him, which I felt was a great act of self-restraint on his part. Running the race alone is always difficult. Nonetheless, I believe that if he can survive on less than a hundred things a year, most of us can do it too. That should take the anxiety out of the rat race, because we don’t actually have to buy so many things after all!

Week 21 (27 May ’13 to 02 Jun ’13): “The Flinch” by Julien Smith

A great call to action book, makes you want to hit the cold showers, do a ton of push-ups, and face your fears right as you start the day.

Week 22 (03 Jun ’13 to 09 Jun ’13): “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

Everything you wanted to know about willpower, from how it works, to how to increase it, can be found in this book. Written in a way that is easily accessible to the lay man, using tons of up-to-date psychology research to back up their claims, I find it the go-to book for anyone who wants to improve their nerves of steel!

Week 23 (10 Jun’13 to 16 Jun ’13): Rest Week!
Went for church camp 🙂

Week 24 (10 Jun’13 to 16 Jun ’13): “Why Not Catch-21?” by Gary Dexter

I haven’t actually read most of the books that he mentioned in this funny collection, but the few that I know of do really have stories behind their titles, and those that I don’t have equally amusing tales. You’d never know what goes into the name!

Week 25 (17 Jun ’13 to 23 Jun ’13): “279 Days to Overnight Success” by Chris Guillebeau

Contrary to what it looks like, this manifesto by the artist of non-conformity himself does not teach any get-rich quick scheme. Instead, it emphasizes on finding a niche that you love, that people will actually pay for, and working very hard to own it. I’ve found the short manifesto very inspiring and educational; do check it out if you are interested in making a living from blogging!

Week 26 (24 Jun ’13 to 30 Jun ’13): “The Writer’s Manifesto” by Jeff Goins

Week 27 (1 Jul ’13 to 7 Jul ’13): “The Tower” by Chris Guillebeau

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