Tamara’s Reading List – NZ Winter Edition

This is the last reading list, guys… kind of sad! But I’ll see what I can do about keeping it going once I’m back in Canada. So winter has been going pretty quickly here, and spring is just around the corner– some things are already back in bloom. I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading (and re-reading) again, and here’s the last list:

1) Non-fiction – Finding Ultra, by Rick Roll

Have you ever had that urge to, you know, run an ultramarathon? Me neither. But one day, the (then-overweight and very out-of-shape) author of this book, decided he wanted to at least be able to do it, even if he never did. Of course, he did anyway, and hasn’t stopped since. Super inspirational, and also a good source of information on vegan eating for athletes.

2) Non-fiction – Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur, by Richard Branson

I did say I was going to read it, and I actually read it several times– Richard Branson has a really good writing style which is informative, even when it’s a bit dry. It’s a really interesting look at how the Virgin brand got to be so big and widely recognized, and how it made its starts in such industries as commercial aviation, mobile phones, and even the UK’s train systems (I had no idea). It’s also packed with lots of down-to-earth tips on how to grow a great company culture, do unconventional press releases, and more.

3) Non-fiction – Lost at Sea – the Jon Ronson Mysteries, by Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson is a weird kind of journalist. Who knows, maybe most journalists pick up strange and interesting stories as they do their work which don’t quite fit into what they’re doing, but these seem odder than most. From mysterious disappearances aboard Disney cruises (hence the title), to super-niche hip-hop/rap bands, to indigo children, to lifelike robots with AI, Jon Ronson covers a bunch of weird stories which baffle him.

4) Fiction – NOS4A2, by Joe Hill

Fiction! Yes, I do sometimes read things which aren’t non-fiction. Although I’m not sure I’d recommend this for the faint of heart, or those who have trouble sleeping after watching or reading horror stories… I suspect it will be made into a movie, one of these days, though. I couldn’t put the ending down, and the twist at the end was a piece of really great writing, so if you’ve got a good stomach, take a look at this one.

5) Non-fiction – Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, by Douglas Rushkoff

I’m actually not quite finished this one yet, because it’s a little on the intense side– it reads a little like someone shouting in your ear. You might agree with everything they’re saying, but after a while, it’s just noise (and painful, at that). That being said, it’s a really thorough look at what so-called “present shock” is doing to society, and how it affects every aspect of our lives.

6) Non-fiction – How to Be Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps), by Jessica Hagy

Don’t be put off by the title; it’s mostly poking fun. It’s actually a small collection of cool drawings put together by the author which are all about how to be an interesting person. If you’re the kind of person who is fascinated by venn diagrams, and even if you’re not, prepare to be very amused by this unconventional use of them.

7) Non-fiction – Mastery, by Robert Greene

How to master something. Why to master something. Examples of people who mastered their craft, and the techniques they used to do so– mostly from the distant past, although there are some recent ones in there as well. In a time where most people are no longer in one job for their entire working lives, this is less applicable to a career, and more applicable to your life’s work.

8) Sort of non-fiction – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Remarkable Story About Living Your Dreams, by Robin Sharma

The jury’s still out (me) on whether or not this book is fiction. It actually doesn’t matter. By itself, it’s inspiring, down-to-earth, and very actionable. It’s also just an interesting story, if you’re not into the other stuff.

9) Non-fiction – Air Canada: The History, by Peter Pigott

Aha, here comes the transportation obsession. This book is a bit dry at times, but it’s got really in-depth coverage of how Air Canada got its beginnings, and how it was shaped by various people, organizations, other airlines, and the government(s). I’d recommend putting this one down in the chapter breaks, so you don’t get bored.

10) Non-fiction – The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization, by John C. Maxwell

Fun fact – I read this in one sitting in a motel in the Abel Tasman region. It’s jam-packed with tips, tricks, and solutions on how to lead people without having the word “manager” or “lead” in your title. Actually, even if you do have those words in your title, you’d probably still get a lot out of this book. It’s actionable, uncomplicated, and may even inspire you to take notes while reading (as I ended up doing).

11) Non-fiction – Flow (P.S.), by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

One word: wow. Two words: read it! I’m sure you’ve heard of the theory behind this book– being in a state of “flow” is that state where time passes in the blink of an eye and you don’t notice, because you’re so deeply absorbed in and by what you’re doing. The book is a layperson’s view of what flow is, how to get into that state, and what it really means to have flow experiences in your life.

12) Non-fiction – From the Flight Deck: Plane Talk and Sky Science, by Doug Morris

Another hat-tip to my transportation obsession. Similar in vein to other flight books I’ve read, but in more of a bite-size, Q-and-A-type of format. Lots of cool facts and myth corrections in there (written by a pilot, so it’s pretty trustworthy).

Well, there you have it for the last couple of months! I’m also currently in the middle of a re-read of The Art of Learning, which is always a great book for inspiration. If you have any suggestions, please post in the comments! More posts to follow :).

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