Friday, February 3, 2012

What I'm reading

I like to read. I've been an avid reader for a long time. I used to pick up a book and consume every word in it as fast as I could. There were times that I would do nothing between the time I opened to page 1 and the time I finished the book other than read.

I've started and finished more than one book in a day (no, they were not Dr Seuss books...)

I tell you all that so you get a feel for how much I like to read. The time I have each day to read has diminished a good bit over the past several years. But I do find (that is, make) time to read the things that I deem "read-worthy." For example, after being turned on to George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series by watching "Game of Thrones" on HBO (awesome series but don't watch it with kids in the room...), I got the 5 books currently out in the series and read them all in about 8 weeks (The books average over 800 pages each).

So, my love for reading is still there even if I don't indulge it in the same way as much any more. What I tend to do more of now are more like quick hits of reading. I probably read more short articles on-line than I do long pieces now. Also, when I do open a book, it's usually to read 10 - 25 pages.

So, back to the title, "What I'm reading"

Besides waiting very impatiently on the next "Song of Ice and Fire" book to come out (c'mon George....), I've got a few reading activities under way:

"Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor E Frankl
I picked this book up at the suggestion of Brett McKay on The Art of Manliness site (and author of one of the books below). I'm just starting it but it looks like a pretty heady psych book about some of the things that drive (primarily) the male of our species to do much of what we do. Look forward to getting deeper into this one.

"Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred" by David Erik Nelson
This is a fun book about DIY that you can both involve your kids in and learn a lot of neat skills that can come in handy in other areas. Subtitled "Seriously geeky stuff to make with your kids", it gives you the how-to for a lot of different projects at the same time pointing out the skills you will be learning as you do them. Each project includes a set of suggested materials and tools an, often, things you can use if you don't have things in the list.

"Building a Discipling Culture" by Mike Breen
I got this book because it is being used in a men's group I joined last year. The group is built around this concept of "discipling" as laid out, and commanded, by Jesus in the New Testament. Breen's book describes what discipling is, how to work it into the culture of our daily lives, and a language and structure for it. It can be pretty dry at times as a stand alone book but using it to help lay the foundation of our small huddle is helping.

"The Art of Manliness - Manvotationals" by Brett and Kate McKay
As mentioned above, I am a visitor to the Art of Manliness web site that Brett and Kate McKay have. Their site is aimed at rediscovering and promoting what true "manliness" is all about. The primary focus being on character and substance, as opposed to mostly machismo and style. The Manvotationals book is  a collection of writings and advise from the ages on 7 virtues of manhood: Manliness, Courage, Industry, Resolution, Self Reliance, Discipline, and Honor.

"Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson
From one of the long-time experts in raising children, this title focuses on some of the specific, and sometimes unique, things associated with raising sons today. I've started this one on the recommendation of my wife who just finished it herself. I'm not much past the introduction so I don't have much to say about it yet but I've got high expectations.

So, how about you?
What are you currently reading (or recently finished reading)? How was it?

On to this week's weigh-in. It's been a tough week for making progress on the Quest for 200. Sleep has been hard to come by and that affects my resolve/will power during the day - mainly the evening time around and after dinner. I also think my caffeine to water ratio is out of whack. I need more of the latter and less of the former...

So, today's number from the scale is:


A whole pound. Well, it's better than last week but still below my target of 1.5 pounds each week. I need to get my daily activity level up again. That means not just hitting the stationary bike or running (if I ever start back) a couple of times a week. It means doing more than sitting all day at work, sitting in the car for my commute, and then sitting at home. Gotta put time in there to get 5 - 10 minute stretches for just walking around a few times a day.

We'll see how it goes....

UPDATE: Forgot to add the link for this week's LiveStrong data. Here it is...

Photo credit to Flickr user hddod