It's mostly self-help and productivity again, but I really love books like that because I'm interested in people and how people think, how I think, and in also giving me ways to de-stress and reset my mind. Two I'm particularly looking forward to reading on the subject are 'A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled' by Ruby Wax* and 'Wake Up!' by Chris Baréz-Brown*; Frazzled feels the most relatable to me now, the concept behind the book being how no one 500 years ago died from stress and that we have created this concept where it now rules us to near dire circumstances. Obviously, it's a bit more cheerful than that as it's written by the very witty Ruby Wax (whom I had no idea had turned her work towards mental health but is doing a stellar job), but it appears to be on par with The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, one of my favourite books and is more than enough to get me reading asap. Wake Up is focused more on how we live life on autopilot more often than not, and how we can turn these stray lost moments into meaningful small experiences. I flicked through before writing this post up, and it's more of an interactive book than guide - there are empty pages where you can note experiences or what you did in response to a task e.g. with a friend, grab 2 pieces of paper each and drawing on one how life has been over the last year and then how you see it in a year. It gives you a chance to connect and share, to break down an emotional barrier with knowing generosity on either side and understanding, effectively cutting through the wishy washy and seeing what a person really values and is driven by. I think I'll be skipping to this one first ;)
Another thing I struggle with sometimes is decisions, and The Decision Book has every solution for strategic thinking in work, relationships and daily life - heck, even if you pick a burger up for dinner or not. In terms of work, there's a great graph that details a method called The Eisenhower Matrix (I'll admit, it's the only thing I've noted since flicking through the book once, hence an urge to read) that helps you delegate tasks in terms of importance and urgency - it makes sense, it flicks a little switch in my brain that says 'ohhHHHhhHHh yeeEaaHHhhHhh that sounds logical!' So if making decisions is your weakness, then maybe a book detailing many variations of decision making could help.
The last two books lead on from the other, hopefully reinspiring my fine art roots in photography and getting new inspiration for shoots. Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs and Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs of People cover the basics of photography and portraiture, and for me personally it's a lovely condensed version of my photography course and artists we studied - Daido Moriyama, Martin Parr, and Cindy Sherman - and focuses further out the basics, really emphasising the art and style of trusting photography instincts. There's so many great starters to focus on, from a project on colour experimentation and looking at shape, it's a must for any real photography enthusiast by the looks!
After all that flicking through, I honestly can't decide what book to pick up first - maybe that decision book will be coming in handy first....
Books marked with * have been featured for review via Penguin Books.
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.
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