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Dec 8 2008

Books to Read at Christmas – Well, books that a productivity blogger would read

I have just ordered myself two books to read over the holiday season. Now, these are not your traditional festive tales of snowmen and Santa Claus, but what would you expect from a productivity blogger?

The Creative HabitMaking it all work
The first book I ordered is The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. I first heard about this book via 43Folders and as I normally like the book recommendations from Merlin Mann I thought I would order it on Amazon and read it for myself.

What makes someone creative? How does someone face the empty page, the empty stage and making something where nothing existed before? Not just a dilemma for the artist, it is something everyone faces everyday.

What will I cook that isn’t boring? How can I make that memo persuasive? What sales pitch will increase the order, get me the job, lock in that bonus? These too, are creative acts, and they all share a common need: proper preparation.

For Twyla Tharp, creativity is no mystery; it’s the product of hard work and preparation, of knowing one’s aims and one’s subject, of learning from approaches taken in the past. It’s a process undertaken every day. It’s a habit.

The Creative Habit is not merely a look inside the mind of a remarkable woman with remarkable skills, but a programmatic, inspiring, encouraging guide to help each of us achieve our fullest creative potential.

The second book is Making it all Work by David Allen. This is a book I am really looking forward to reading and it is supposed to start where Getting Things Done left. This is a productivity book that we are all looking forward to it and I must admit that this will be my first read as I want to get the book digested and provide the review as fast as I can.

David Allen’s Getting Things Done hit a nerve and ignited a movement with businesses, students, soccer moms, and techies all the way from Silicon Valley to Europe and Asia.

Now, David Allen leads the world on a new path to achieve focus, control, and perspective. Throw out everything you know about productivity- Making It All Work will make life and work a game you can win.

For those who have already experienced the clarity of mind from reading Getting Things Done, Making It All Work will take the process to the next level. David Allen shows us how to excel in dealing with our daily commitments, the unexpected, and the information overload that threatens to drown us.

Making It All Work provides an instantly usable, success-building tool kit for staying ahead of the game. Making It All Work addresses: how to figure out where you are in life and what you need; how to be your own consultant and a CEO of your life; moving from hope to trust in decision-making; when not to set goals; harnessing intuition, spontaneity, and serendipity; and why life is like business and business is like life.

I am looking forward to my Christmas reading. Do you have anything planned to read over the festive period? If so, I would love to hear about it.

  • 9 Comments... What do you think?
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  1. Yardbird said on December 9th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I’m currently working through David Allen’s other book, Ready For Anything. So far I like it, although I’ve found it more high-level and theoretical than Getting Things Done (something that I liked about that book, mind you). I also have the ProBlogger book on my wishlist; hopefully I’ll get it and be ready to pick it up after the David Allen book is done.

  2. rjleaman said on December 10th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Twyla Tharp’s book sounds rather intriguing. As someone who has been known to go off on rants about would-be writers who sit about and wait for their muse to strike, the idea of creativity being a habit to develop and practice is an appealling one. Will you review the book when you’ve read it? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on it – before I go shell out for a copy of my own! ;)

  3. Stephan Miller said on December 10th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Just added Creative Habit to my Amazon wishlist, hopefully in time for my wife to see it.

  4. Andrew Mason said on December 10th, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Yes, as soon as I read it I will review it. The other book on creativity that I likes was the War of Art, check out my review of it..

  5. Andrew Mason said on December 10th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    @Stephan Miller:
    I wish my wife was so techie that I could do that :)

  6. rjleaman said on December 10th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    War of Art :D That’s one of those “damn, I wish I’d thought of that first” titles!
    Good review, and this sounds like a good book for the holidays — you know, where it’s the kind you can pick up & put down and think about while Uncle Edward’s droning on about everything that’s wrong with the younger generation and waving the gravy ladle in a dangerous manner…
    But perhaps your holiday gatherings have fewer opportunities for the quiet contemplation of creativity?

  7. Andrew Mason said on December 10th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    I have four young children so Christmas day is a blur consisting of building presents and putting batteries into everything that moves!

    But, there is always Boxing Day :)

  8. [...] have just this minute received an email from Amazon stating that the David Allen Book, Making it all Work, has been delayed by the publishers and not due into the UK until the 15th of January 2009. Looks [...]

  9. [...] Christmas Eve, the post lady delivered me a nice surprise, my copy of the new David Allen Book, Making it all Work. I have already started reading it and will be reviewing it as I read it rather than at the end. I [...]

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