Sunday, May 15, 2016

Quick Lit • May 2016

I have lately fallen a little bit in love with zero-based scheduling (but not for the reasons you might expect).  Much like zero-based budgeting, in which every dollar is accounted for and told how to behave, with zero-based scheduling, you take a look at your calendar and the list of tasks/appointments/etc and then you schedule the entire day down to the minute (okay, the hour).

It sounds constraining and painful, and I balked at first, but since I - like everyone else -  constantly sing the tired refrain of there-aren't-enough-hours-in-the-day, obviously something needed to give and this seemed worth a shot.

Because if what you're doing isn't working, then maybe it's time to try something new, right?

So far, I have learned a few valuable things.  (1) The train will get derailed and I absolutely will have to re-juggle the schedule as the day goes on.  (2) Holding too tightly to the original schedule will result in nothing more than frustration and tears.  (3) Using a pencil is advisable.

Interestingly though, what I am finding is that there are in fact more hours in the day, and I do have time for everything I want and need to do.  Namely, I wanted more time for nonfiction reading (I do my fiction reading at night when my brain has no interest in being filled with more facts), so I scheduled 30 minutes at the beginning of the day to drink coffee and to read.  

Eureka, right?  More time to read.  I am in love.

Today, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share short, snippet-like reviews of the books I have read over the past month.

One Good Turn, the second in the Jackson Brodie series, takes the standard detective novel in a comically absurd direction, but oddly, it works. A bizarre and ridiculous series of events connects a disparate cast of characters in ways so laughably outlandish that the reader doesn't even have to suspend disbelief - the unbelievable coincidences are meant to be unbelievable, and they are, ultimately, the driving narrative force. It is a silly novel, but it is cleverly written, and I love the author (though this is one of her earlier - and definitely not one of her best - works).

Aim True is a glorious celebration of authenticity, yoga, nourishing food, inspiration, and natural beauty. Kathryn Budig, a beloved yoga teacher who fills her classes with laughter and physical challenges, effortlessly distills onto the page everything she has stood for in the yoga community: body acceptance, pushing physical limits, and finding one's own inner strength. Filled with beautiful photos, recipes for both food and for beauty products, multiple yoga practices, and joyful writing, this book will be a mainstay of my yoga library for years to come.

As far as loveably dysfunctional families go, the members of The Nest's Plumb family will go down as some of my all-time favorites. Four siblings have waited for years to inherit a family trust that was never meant to be more than a small gift, but has grown over the years into a Significant Amount. In the process of waiting for the youngest member to turn 40 (the date in which "the nest" will be disbursed), many of the Plumbs have leveraged the money ahead of time and find themselves in slightly desperate positions. There is the handsome Manhattan screw-up, the prim New England mom, the gay antique shop owner, and the once-promising novelist who hasn't published a book in 20 years, and the money that will either divide the family or give them each a chance to redeem themselves. Never heavy-handed, Sweeney manages to convey each of the characters' foibles in a way that keeps the tone light-hearted and more than a little hilarious. The novel rides the fine, beautiful line of beach read and literary fiction, and was riotously fun to read.

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Elena Alice said...

I have heard so many great things about The Nest!! Great review! I may have to bump it up on my TBR list! Here are my April reads!

FashionJazz said...

I have to read this, it sounds really good :)