Adam Smith Blog

Busy, Rest, Confessions… what I’ve been reading

Marginalia

Two interesting books about our overly-busy lifestyles: Busy (UK) (US) by Tony Crabbe and Rest (UK) (US) by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. Crabbe’s book is pushy, airport business-booky, by no means a masterpiece of writing. But it did make me stop and think about overloading myself with nonsense – and to question bad habits such as boasting about how busy I am. I found it a very useful book to read. Rest is a better structured read, setting out the science about why we need to take more breaks, have more sleep, take longer holidays, etc. etc. – well-argued, although I think Crabbe’s bullet points made more of an impact on me.

I also re-read Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker (UK) (US), which is flawed but will be very useful to some. Berkun is a witty, energetic writer and the book jumps from a description of life as a professional motivational speaker to the lessons he learned from taking part in a TV series, to a set of tips on how to be a better public speaker. The confessions will interest some – not me – but the tips are good and the book is lots of fun to read. (I have a list of books that I recommend about giving a great speech.)

And I’m now 100 pages into Walter Isaacson’s Da Vinci biography (UK) (US). Long and careful, but well-written and full of interesting ideas – and gorgeous reproductions of his art.

 

My latest book is “Fifty Inventions That Shaped The Modern Economy”. Grab yourself a copy in the US or in the UK (slightly different title) or through your local bookshop.

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