Books of the Month – October 2006


Michele Simon: Appetite for Profit


Jodi Picoult: The Tenth Circle

Donald E. Wetmore: The Productivity Handbook

Janet Hudson: The New Vegan

Anne Karpf: The Human Voice


Judi Picoult: The Tenth Circle

Donald E. Wetmore: The Productivity Handbook

Janet Hudson: The New Vegan



I find Jodi Picoult’s writing intriguing but disturbing. This is her second book I have read. The first I read was My Sister’s Keeper which I read a few months ago. In The Tenth Circle we see the effects on both a family and a small town community when the local high school hockey star “rapes” his ex-girlfriend. I put “rapes” in quotes as part of what the book is about is what counts as rape. Interspersed in the story is a comic book story about a father trying to rescue his daughter from hell. Which turns out to be his own personal hell. As I said intriguing but disturbing.

With My New Vegan I hoped to find some new recipes as I have started cooking again. I’m not vegan but sometimes vegan recipes are a good place to start and then I can add cheese and yoghurt as I wish. I did not find what I was looking for in My New Vegan. If some one is looking for vegetarian cookery books I would recommend Moosewood Cooks at Home, Rose Elliot’s The Complete Vegetarian, Leah Leneman’s Vegan Cooking for One and David Scott and Claire Golding’s The Vegan Diet.

I was very taken with The Productivity Handbook. Wetmore suggests to balance your life, it should be divided into seven areas:

  1. Health
  2. Family
  3. Financial
  4. Intellectual
  5. Social
  6. Professional
  7. Spiritual

I have problems separating professional and intellectual as my professional life heavily overlaps with my intellectual life. I also have problems deciding where different activities go – is yoga spiritual or health? What about music? Can politics count as spiritual as I don’t have a traditional religious background?

Having said that I found The Productivity Handbook very useful and easy to read. I found it particularly useful to divide my to do list into different categories:

Crucial, Important, Little Value, Little Urgency, * quickie items.

I enjoyed the ideas in this book so much so that I went a bit nuts and tried to regulate everything I was doing. I don’t work well under such extreme regulation so I had to scale back and be less rigid. At first I still felt overwhelmed – I always seem to have thirty items on my to-do list for the next week. Over the last few weeks I have managed to get it down to twenty. I must actually use it though. I often spend my first working hour sorting out my email and then realize I have something very important to do NOW.

I am not sure about his suggestion about getting up an hour earlier than usual to take advantage of my alpha state. If I want to get adequate sleep; Wetmore’s first priority, I need to go to bed around 10.30 – 11 pm. I might be misunderstanding this part though. I might actually just have to try what he suggests, which is to do positive visualizations, read and go for a walk. I did work out that I would actually only have to wake up about fifteen minutes before I currently do and just not lie around in bed waking up, but get up straight away. Yeah right, next week 😉


I would put The Productivity Handbook as my book of the month for October.


One thought on “Books of the Month – October 2006

  1. I think I need a productivity handbook. Thanks for the recommendation! Also, I have to agree on Moosewood Cooks at Home. Lovely recipes, very yummy.

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