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Who's Been Keeping Me Amused During The Last 6 Weeks?

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Well, its been 6 weeks since lockdown in the UK and there's only so much Netflix/Sky/Amazon you can binge watch!

I admit I like to read - I'm not a fast reader and I don't get through loads of books in a year, around 20-25 a year. But I do like reading. I find it really relaxing, especially before bedtime. I read all sorts of books but I have a strong interest in self development and wellness as well as fiction. I thought I'd share with you 3 of my favourite non fiction books I've read in the last 12 months.

The first one is called "Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth. Not many people know this but the Raworths are a very clever and talented family. If you watch BBC news, you'll have seen her sister Sophie Raworth present the 6 pm or 10pm news. Doughnut Economics is excellently written so don't let the word "economics" put you off! It's a thought provoking book which looks at the traditional ways countries across the world look at economic growth and what the impact of this has on world climate as well as the wellfare of people across the globe. Kate then presents an alternative way of thinking about economic growth which takes account of human and ecological well being through 12 indicators - you'll have to read the book to find out what these indicators are!

I found the book extremely interesting and very well written. Kate is highly regarded and her ideas have definitely made an impact at a global level - the Dutch government recently invited her over to discuss her concepts as a way for re starting the Dutch economy after covid 19.

The second book I would like to recommend is "Stress proof" by Dr Mitthu Storoni. Is this another book about stress? Nope, its much more! Its unique in several ways; for example all the recommendations in the book are based on research. Dr Storoni read and researched 500 papers and distilled the essence of their findings in the production of her book.

I learned a lot from this book - for example, stress starts in the brain and not the body. For me that is a wow moment! This book is also easily readable and full of practical suggestions, all based on reseach, rather than heresay or opinions! For example, Mitthu talks about the the importance of managing cortisol in stressful situations; basically too much cortisol is bad for the brain and stops it from working well. One of her many recommendations of trying to get the mind of a stressed person to return to a relaxed state is to listen to binaural beats or shamonic drum beats for a certain amount of time. As with all her recommendations, these are based on research that has been carried out in the past and have proven effective. She also explains why she has put forward each recommendation and the effect it has on the brain.

My final book choice is "The art of thinking clearly" by Rolph Dobelli. It is a very clever and insightful book looking at how we make decisions, the fallacy of our logic with the aim of helping us make better decisions. As with my two other book choices, this is an easy book to read and is also written with humour. For example, one of his chapters is entitled "why you shouldn't visit cemetries" !! Another of his chapters is entitled " Never pay your lawyer by the hour". In this chapter Rolph bluntly describes the fallacies of incentive schemes employed at company level to achieve targets- " managers invest more energy in trying to lower the targets than in growing the business....people respond to incentives by doing what is in their best interests." He bluntly concludes that "if a person's or an organisations's behaviour confounds you, ask yourself what incentive might lie behind it .."

Each of the short chapters has a pithy message about possible flaws in our assumptions and thinking and what we should really focus on in those situations. I found the book really helpful and I liked his style; many of his anecdotes are highly amusing.

So, I hope you liked my choices ; each one of them was really informative, easy to read and I learned a lot from reading them - I would love to hear what you thought of them and what you thought of any of those books if you have read any of them. I'm keen to know if you enjoyed reading this blog, I might write another blog on something similar, if you did!

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