Hi again. More books.
Most of the books I’ve read over the past few months have been fiction. As you can probably guess from my previous lists, I read a lot of non-fiction. I enjoy it but haven’t lost myself in a lot of good stories for a while.
Naturally, during the last few months, nearly all of my books have been fiction.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
A book about the problems our ego presents to us.
An easy way to explain this is like so: our ego makes us extremely interested and concerned about our personal image and how we’re viewed to others. As a result, we tend to focus less on the important tasks we have to focus on and more on how to protect the image we’ve built of ourselves.
It took me a while to get round to this book. I didn’t agree with a lot of it at first because I felt that he argued ego causes more problems than it actually does. However, after re-reading sections, I came to understand the book better and thought his argument was interesting.
It is when we care less for ego and more for the important things in life that we produce valuable work. Instead of always thinking about how I feel. How can I improve the lives of others?
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
I’m very late to get to this book but damn. I loved all of it.
Towards the end of Stalin’s regime, there is a killer who targets children and murders them in horrific ways. Leo, a secret police officer, changes his ways completely in search for this person and risks his career, his life and his wife in the process.
I suck at describing books but read it. Please? Thanks.
One by One by Chris Carter
Another thriller. Another great ride.
A man calls Detective Robert Hunter’s desk and asks him to go to a website. He sees a man in a glass box, restrained against a chair. The caller asks Hunter, “Fire or water? How do you want him to die?”
The whole book had me on edge and the ending was… interesting.
I also love Robert Hunter now. He’s one of those Jason Bourne type guys. Chris Carter can write a damn good crime thriller. I’ll definitely read more (thankfully, there are about 7 in the series).
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Duckworth’s work has been getting a lot of praise among the self-improvement sphere for a while now. And for very good reason.
She studies grit. The combination of passion and perseverance. Continuing with tasks even if they get difficult or boring. In the book, she wants to understand why certain people are more ‘successful’ than others in a variety of tasks ranging from completing the brutal Beast Barracks training in the United States Military Academy to university students getting top grades. It’s not intelligence, wealth, height or any physical attribute that is the best predictor of success. It’s grit.
Her work is entertaining to read and every point she makes is well supported. However, I also admire that she’s open to admitting the shortcomings of her research and questions that can be explored further.
There’s a lot of valuable information to gain from it. Including why perseverance with goals is very helpful but less common than you’d imagine and how to foster grit in other people. I want to explore it in more detail as I think the ideas are worthy of much more consideration.
And Emilia Lahti is her student and she’s the nicest person ever.
As always, thanks for reading!
Follow me on twitter @improvingslowly and like my Facebook page: Improving Slowly!