📚 The Reading Journal #002

Deep Work, The Body Keeps The Score and Jacqueline Woodson

This week's newsletter was made possible by Morning Brew.

MorningBrew is a daily newsletter that covers business, finance, and tech news. It will get you up to date with everything going on in the business world in just 5 minutes. Over 4 million people are subscribed to their newsletter.

👋 Hey Everyone

Hope everyone enjoyed last week's edition of the Reading Journal!

We want to know what our audience reads so here is a live updating poll so you can see as well.

What are you reading?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

📚 Staff Pick of the Week

💡 Deep Work by Cal Newport

Few books have been as transformative for me as Cal Newport’s Deep Work. In an attention-deficit economy, we have lost our ability to focus and solve complex problems. As more companies embrace open offices, Slack, work-from-home policies and move towards building a remote team, our attention spans are only getting shorter.

When was the last time you were able to focus on one task, uninterrupted, for just 60 minutes? Or when was the last time you managed to “get some real work done”? In the first half of the book, Cal’s explains why deep work is so valuable and increasingly rare in today’s attention-deficit economy. Shallow work, on the other hand, is made up of non-cognitively demanding tasks that can be performed while semi-distracted. These jobs (and workers) are easily replicated and it’s a race-to-the-bottom for your career.

The ability to work deeply is perhaps the most valuable skill you can learn. It’s a skill that can be sharpened, practised, and leveraged in every aspect of your life. To master deep work, you can focus not just on “getting things done” but on “getting valuable things done” in less time.

Jason Fried’s company, 37signals (now Basecamp), was an early proponent of the value of deep work, cutting their employees’ workday to 4-days in 2012 and increasing productivity in parallel by promoting a distraction-free environment. More recently, Microsoft tested a 4-day workweek in Japan that led to a 40% increase in productivity by reducing distracting meetings, emails and “shallow” work.

In the 1980s, Bill Gates famously adopted his own "think weeks" where he spends two weeks alone in the forest twice a year. It is reported that he never missed these periods of deep work, no matter what was going on at Microsoft. Gates understands the value of Deep Work.

A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, Deep Work will teach you practical steps to fight for more deep work in your life and to focus on what’s important. Read this book and then listen to the audiobook—make it still and it will instil positive changes in your career, habits and life.‍

What book should the Good Books team read next?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

🎥 Reading Talk's

📚 Best Seller - Week of July 3, 2022

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors.

📝 New Book List

👀 In Case You Missed It

📖 Reading Journal Book Club

July's Book is Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell.

In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.

Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?

✍️ Quote of the Week

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Ray Bradbury