I read a lot. Not as much as I used to, but still, a lot. I mention my favorites in The Hughsletter every Monday, but that ends up only being a fraction of what I actually read. And these days, I am consuming other forms of media, too – like podcasts and shows on Netflix or Amazon. I want to be intentional about remembering the things I read and watched that gave me pleasure or growth – all too often they slip away. (Anyone out there know how many movies they watched last year? And were they good?)
So, inspired by Jason Kottke, I intend to keep track and sharing quick reviews and ratings of things I watched, read or listened to every month.
Note: I have a short attention span, so I quit many more books and movies than this. I only include the ones I finished.
This month, they were all nonfiction.
How to shoot video that doesn’t suck – Steve Stockman: I want to be better at video. Not just my performance on video, but I want to understand how it works. This was a good overall guide to the theory behind why a thing works, as well as rules of thumb. I don’t think it would make you amazing, but would, as the title says, keep you from sucking. (B+)
Theft by Finding – David Sedaris: – It got well deserved rave reviews, and I liked it, but it would be most interesting to people who already follow his career. (A-)
Ex Libris – Anne Faideman: A collection of essays about books and reading. Good if you like books or reading. (B)
How to cook a wolf – MFK Fischer: I adore her. She was a badass proto-feminist who loved to cook and took no shit, especially from men. And what do you do when the wolf shows up at your door? You cook him, of course. (A+)
The First 20 Hours: How to learn anything fast. – Josh Kaufman: The premise is that learning a skill and mastering a skill are different things, and most of us just want to learn to play the guitar, say, and not be master shredders ala Jimi Hendrix. And the author believes it takes 20 hours to learn most skills. I liked it. (A-)
My role is shifting at work, as we bring in managers to run the day to day operations, and I am spending a lot of time thinking about what my role is going forward. I like Dorie Clark’s writing and style. I read a lot of business books, if for no other reason than the people I seek to most influence read them, and I want to know what their influences are. These, however, were very useful, and highly recommended. (A collective B+)
Reinventing You – Dorie Clark
Stand Out -Dorie Clark
Entrepreneurial You – Dorie Clark
Stand Out Networking – Dorie Clark
Hurry Slowly – a new-ish podcast about creativity. I listened to the first 10 episodes. I like her pacing and questions, and episode 4 (about swimming with the sharks – not a metaphor!) was my favorite. (A-)
The Tim Ferris Show – I have a love/hate relationship with this podcast (and the guy, honestly). He is abrasive and arrogant, although less than he used to be. He does long-form interviews with amazing people, however, and this episode on prisoners, forgiveness and second chances was brilliant, partly because he was the quietest I have ever seen him. The episode is a strong A+. The podcast overall is a B-.
The Post – Every bit as good as everyone says it is. First time I have been in a theater in years where the audience clapped multiple times during the showing. (A+)
Broadchurch – Season 1 (Netflix) A murder in a British beach town. Starring the guy who played Dr. Who and the woman who played John Watson’s wife. The pacing was good, the themes were dark and it drew you in. (A-)