Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#5: The Litigators (John Grisham)

On a recent trip with the family to Louisville, I picked up an audio recording of The Litigators. Since it was written by John Grisham, an author that I don’t gravitate to naturally, I expected a light read that would keep me awake on the drive but not demand too much of my attention. I like my audio books to be something that I can easily pull myself away from without thinking about when the chapter will end. The Litigators was not such a book, much to my (pleasant) surprise.

Centering on a law firm filled with humorous attorneys and beautifully written characters, the novel pulls you into issues of morality and justice while connecting you to the lives of the individuals inhabiting Grisham’s fictional world. A high-profile mass torte case against a pharmaceutical company, quickie divorces, legal services advertised on Bingo cards, and a fearful family of immigrants combine to create one of the most engrossing tales I have experienced in quite some time.

The question that now haunts my mind is whether I have been missing the pleasure and craftsmanship of Grisham’s writing or if the work was simply a perfect fit for my drive time. Either way, I plan to take a look at another of Grisham’s lesser known works in the future and have already begun listening to another audio book. I’ll let you know what I discover……

For now, I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the opening of the bookstore tomorrow morning in order to purchase my next exciting read: Jodi Picoult’s new novel! I can’t wait!

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#4: Getting Things Done (David Allen)

 I am horribly unorganized! My desk is a mess and I never feel as though I am accomplishing everything I need to get done.  Recently, I read a friend’s blog post referring to the GTD method and, after asking him to clarify, decided to read the book for myself.  Honestly, I didn’t expect to find much that I hadn’t been exposed to before.

Quite simply, Allen’s method essentially is a combination of various lists and a thorough filing system.  At first I was very skeptical of the practicality of using seperate lists for everything — especially since I am away from my homebase much of the time.  Now that I have decided to give the method a try, I am finding it very refreshing to pull out my action list when I’m sitting at the computer and another when making phone calls.  I think that my productivity will greatly increase if I follow through with the method; that’s been the case this week, anyway.

The filing system is an alphabetical arrangement of everything.  No color coding or sub-files within a larger context here.  Rather than separating personal from business, everything co-exists in a single system.  I’m just getting started with my personal filing, so we’ll have to see how this actually goes.

Lists are not always date specific.  Rather, they represent the “next action” that needs to be taken for each project currently on your plate. The lists are reviewed weekly and adjusted and amended as needed at that point.

All in all, I think most people can take something away from reading “Getting Things Done.”  Written primarily from a business perspective, it is not leisure reading.  Whether or not you decide to implement Allen’s method (or even if you don’t think you need to improve in your personal organization), the book is insightful and full of useful information and ideas for improving your productivity.

4 out of 5 stars!

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