Reading roundup

Somehow, I manage to get through a lot of books! This is quite amazing when you consider that I only read when I go to bed or when I am travelling. To give you some idea of what I have read in the last couple of months (In addition to coursework books, magazines and blogs!), check out the list below!


Anathem By Neal Stephenson. A very big book with a very big story. Totally different to my expectations and I would probably read it again some day!

ABOUT:Here is another brilliantly original novel from the cult author of “Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon”.Since childhood, Raz has lived behind the walls of a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians. There, he and his cohorts are sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, unpredictable “saecular” world, an endless landscape of casinos and megastores that is plagued by recurring cycles of booms and busts, dark ages and renaissances, world wars and climate change. Until the day that a higher power, driven by fear, decides it is only these cloistered scholars who have the abilities to avert an impending catastrophe. And, one by one, Raz and his friends, mentors, and teachers are summoned forth without warning into the unknown.

Chris Ryan’s SAS Fitness book

Chris Ryan's SAS Fitness bookBy Chris Ryan. This is now the bible for my gym and fitness training… excellent!

ABOUT:Chris Ryan has reached peak physical condition. After years of intensive training by experts in the SAS he has learnt to attain a level of total fitness that improves his performance in all aspects of life. Now he has adapted techniques and honed his routines to devise a three-month programme that’s both extremely easy and effective for males of all ages and lifestyles. He combines endurance training and work-outs for strength and suppleness with a guide to nutrition and all-round health maintenance for men. All the exercises will be photographed in full colour in this easy-to-follow guide. He also provides training programmes for longer and shorter timescales, specifically aimed at weight loss or weight gain, in addition to giving nutritional advice from the experts to maximise the success of the exercise plans.

Mission: Survival – Way of the Wolf

Way of the wolfBy Bear Grylls. This turned out to be for a younger audience. Having read Harry Potter, I thought I would give this is a go! I read it in two days but honestly think it has more useful information than the wizard books!

ABOUT: Stranded in Alaska! Beck Granger and his anthropologist uncle are on their way to visit Anakat Village, home to one of the native peoples of Alaska, when their tiny plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. With his uncle badly injured and the plane way off its original flight path, Beck realises he can’t wait around for rescue. He needs to get help – and fast! Together with his new friend, Tikaani, Beck sets off through bear country and up towards the mountains that block his way to civilisation. Can Beck keep himself and Tikaani alive as they ford a dangerous river, find food to keep their strength up and dig a snow cave in which to weather an ice storm? A tense and exciting struggle for survival with real survival details and gruesome tips!

Mondo Enduro

Mondo Enduro By The lads. This book just about discribes the way I would do it!

ABOUT:“Mondo Enduro” is not your typical account of an around-the-world motorcycling adventure. In 1995, seven young British chaps set off from London on Suzuki DR350s for a journey that would take them across Europe and Asia to the far eastern edge of Siberia, then from Anchorage to Santiago, Chile, followed by South Africa back home to London. They called themselves Mondo Enduro and this book is the trip log they kept throughout their journey. With all members of the team contributing daily entries, each taking a different day, the writing is fresh and immediate, and full of wonderfully understated British humor. What sets this group apart from many long-distance travelers is their unpretentiousness, their refreshingly low-tech approach, their gusto and their marvelous upbeat attitude. Their little successes become triumphs, their setbacks are just aggravations, today’s scenery or tonight’s tasty meal is the best yet. They marvel at people calling their journey an epic undertaking when to them it’s just a year-long holiday. Their limited finances mandate a very frugal lifestyle on the road, one of ‘self-catering’ and ‘rough campsites’. By not taking the normal hotel and restaurant mode of travel, they meet a wide range of characters, and are continually impressed with the generosity that people around the world extended to them as perfect strangers. However, the flip and casual veneer of “Mondo Enduro” belies the inner strength of the team members as they meet and surmount several extraordinary challenges that come their way.

Career Renegade

Career RenegadeBy Jonathan Fields. For someone that is approaching the end of their current job, this book was perfectly timed! There are some great ideas and plenty of common sense in here.

ABOUT: For all the corporate drones who feel drained and devalued by their jobs and long to pursue their passions, Fields, a high-powered attorney turned successful entrepreneur, offers a motivational and practical guide to starting your own business. The author tells his own story of corporate disillusionment and physical deterioration (capped by a stress-exacerbated heart attack, which he interpreted as his body literally rejecting his career) to a new life as a fitness entrepreneur. Fields moves beyond self-help rhetoric to proffer helpful, no-nonsense steps for aspiring business owners, acknowledging that career renegades must not only identify their own secret passion but must also translate it into a profitable and sustainable enterprise. In addition to sharing inspirational career renegade cases studies, such as Liv’s Story, in which a frustrated artist discovers a profitable niche decorating custom cakes, Fields provides pragmatic strategies for creating a realistic business plan, exploiting technology and employing affordable guerilla marketing. While the author does not spend much time addressing the financial risks, chances of failure or enormous commitment of personal energy and resources involved in entrepreneurship, he does provide an engaging firsthand look at the rewards in doing what you love for a living.

4-Hour Work Week

4-Hour Work WeekBy Tim Ferris. In a similar vein to the above… I have been looking for inspiration and ideas on how to move on in my career. I really like some of Tim’s ideas though they require some adaptation to be relevant. Definitey worth reading if productivity and lifestyle are of interest.

ABOUT: Tim Ferriss has trouble defining what he does for a living. Depending on when you ask this controversial Princeton University guest lecturer, he might answer: ‘I race motorcycles in Europe’, ‘I ski in the Andes’, ‘I scuba dive in Panama’, ‘I dance tango in Buenos Aires’. He has spent more than five years learning the secrets of the ‘New Rich’, a fast-growing subculture that has abandoned the ‘deferred-life plan’ and instead mastered the new currencies – time and mobility – to create a new way of living. Why wait a lifetime for your retirement when you can enjoy luxury now? Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing first class world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with no management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.Join Tim Ferriss as he teaches you: how to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want; how blue chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs; how to eliminate 50 per cent of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist; how exchange your career for life for short work bursts and frequent ‘mini-retirements’; how to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job (or company) if it’s beyond repair; how to cultivate selective ignorance – and create time – with a low-information diet; how to get free housing worldwide and airfare at 50-80 per cent off; how to fill the void and create a meaningful life after removing work and the office; and learn about this and more to live the life you want – now.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the BardBy J.K. Rowling. For the record, I didn’t buy this book- I found it on the bookshelves and read it!

ABOUT: Offering the trademark wit and imagination familiar to Rowling’s legions of readers–as well as Aesop’s wisdom and the occasional darkness of the Brothers Grimm–each of these five tales reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike: the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling’s new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales, noting that the characters in Beedle’s collection “take their fates into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe,” and “that magic causes as much trouble as it cures.”