One Bag Nation

What Are You Reading Right Now? Here’s My List.

Posted on: July 23, 2008

I always have a few books going at the same time. I love to read good fiction, but it seems that I’m reading more and more self-improvement and self help books the last few years – and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

In any case, here’s what’s on my bedside shelf at the moment:

Delivered from Distraction, by Edward M. Hallowell, MD and John J. Ratey, MD: this is a book about Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. I started to think I might be suffering from ADD, until I found the next book. One piece of advice that is appropriate for everyone: find work you love.

Refuse to Choose, by Barbara Sher: another good book from Barbara Sher, who writes about career and life satisfaction. This one is about a group of folks she calls “scanners”; people who don’t discover one true path in life or work because they have so many interests and passions that call to them – that’s me for sure!

Leaven of Malice, by Robertson Davies: a wonderful, funny satire about the clash of big egos in a small Canadian town.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid: I’m reading this one for my book group. It’s about a Pakistani man who is on the fast track to achieving the American Dream when 9-11 changes everything.

Coach Yourself to Success, by Talane Miedaner: I don’t love everything about this book, but there are one or two chapters that were thought-provoking and interesting.

It’s All Too Much, by Peter Walsh: I have to confess I’m not reading this word-for-word, but as far as I can tell, Peter Walsh is helping to popularize the idea that decluttering is about more than getting rid of stuff and getting organized; he acknowledges the emotional issues that go along with clutter and urges readers to envision the life they’d like to have – good stuff.

Elminate Chaos, by Laura Leist: Laura is more about getting organized than delving into emotional stuff, but her book has helped me tackle some of my messiest problems.

The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift: I’m always reading a cookbook, and this is my latest favorite. It’s friendly and easy to read and the recipe for brined shrimp is incredible!

I would love to hear what you all are reading these days. Beach fiction? Self-help? Sci-Fi? War and Peace?? Let me know!


21 Responses to "What Are You Reading Right Now? Here’s My List."

Hi Ann,

Unfortunately I haven’t been reading much lately – it’s that time thing I have a problem with.

It does sound like you have a great assortment to choose from.

I saw Peter Walsh on Oprah. His book sounds fascinating. He’s good at what he does.

I’m a one-book-at-a-time person. I’m currently reading Once Upon a Distant War: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Pater Arnett – Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles. It’s very good so far; I’m on page 195. History (all sorts, as long as the book is well written) is one of the things I like reading.

Regarding some of your books:

I read Refuse to Choose just recently, and really enjoyed it. it gave me a bunch of new ideas and insights.

It’s All Too Much is one of my top recommended organizing books over at

Delivered from Distraction is another one that sits as a reference on my bookshelf; I read it a while ago now.

I was attempting to read 200 books this year but I burnt out in April. Here’s what I managed to read: . I’m still trying to get through Getting Things Done by David Allen but I just don’t care for his dry writing style.

Instead of books though, I’ve been catching up on my pile of magazines. I got a lot of gift subscriptions last year and so now I’m trying to dwindle the pile down to get rid of magazine clutter!

@Barbara: reading is something that I’ve missed when being a working mom has kept me busy – and tired. But this month I’ve enjoyed reading TWO books, start to finish!

@Meags: that is quite a goal! I can see how you’d burn out. I know there is a lot of good info in GTD, but I think he could have used a good editor! It’s all a bit much for me . . .

@Jeri: I don’t read much history, but my husband does, so I’ll keep that one in mind for him. I visited your squidoo page – lots of good info there! I’ll be investigating some of the books you list.

I actually am reading War and Peace. I read it in my 20’s for the first time and loved it. Now it’s almost like reading a new book, as I’ve forgotten it all.
I’m also reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. A historical fiction, where a young married woman in Scotland just after WWII is catapulted back into the 18th century…Good light reading.


I haven’t done that since I started blogging.

I am such a one-dimensional person.


Oh thank goodness! I thought I was the only one with partly read books all over the house. Here’s my list:

*Steve Santagati – The Manual: a true bad boy explains how men think, date and mate–and what women can do to come out on top. As a book review for the Urban Panther’s Den
*Adrienne Clarkson – Heart Matters. I love autobiographies.
* Dan Brown – Angels&Demons. Because I need the balance of pure fiction in my readings.
* Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett. ProBlogger: Secrets for blogging your way to a six-figure income. Wouldn’t that be nice!!!
* Scott Fox – Internet Riches: The simple money-making secrets of online millionaires. Millions!!! Even better!!!

My new fiction author discovery, whom I LOVE, is Ivan Doig. Check him out when you get a chance.

Ooh, i’m definitely going to look into Refuse To Choose. I am permanently frustrated at my interest in so many things, and desire to do all of them all the time.
Very interesting to see what you’re reading! Hopefully i can share a few useful books from my current reads…

AWARENESS by Anthony De Mello is definitely one i’d recommend. Like a splash of cold water in the face, it’s about how we live in the world and how completely blind we are to the way things really are. He is blunt, but likeable, and you get this feeling that he knows something special as you read. Don’t be put off by the religious connections he has, i’m not religious and the book doesn’t press on that issue hardly at all.
I plan to reread this alot, so i think it will always be one of my current books.

The BILL, THE GALACTIC HERO series by Harry Harrison is my books for when my brains are melted and i can’t cope with anything more than B-movie book trash! It’s awful, fantastic, scifi madness in the same kind of tone as Escape From New York but with a sense of humour.

CONVERSATIONS ON CONSCIOUSNESS by Susan Blackmore is a book gathering together a series of conversations she had with many of the great minds is Psychology who have touched on or specialised in the study of consciousness. It’s very easy to read, because it’s a transcript of her relaxed and casual interviews with the psychologists and biologists, and she asks all the questions we might to get the guys to clarify their points. Very interesting.

THE SPELL OF THE SENSUOUS by David Abram is quite a warming book (i find) about how much we have lost touch with nature and how entranced we are by a civilisation that merely reflects us back at ourselves. I think i found it warming simply because it made me realise how much i was missing, and helped me realise i could get that back, i guess.

And hey, if any of those take your fancy buy you’re not sure and can’t find a ‘Look Inside’ thing at Amazon, let me know and i could find some quotes from the books to help you decide whether you want to give them a go! 🙂

Man, sorry for all the typos! Eugh.

@Eileen: good for you! I don’t think I’ve ever made it all the way through!

@Vered: I hear you! My commitment to my book group keeps me in line, and also my husband telling me I’m addicted to the internet!

@Panther: what do you think of Problogger?? I’ve been tempted to buy it, but the blog has so much info already, I wonder what’s left for the book.

@Camilla: thanks for sharing your list! and do look into Refuse; it was like a breath of fresh air for me.

There is a whole service that basically does this type of discussion. Try

Oooh! Good question. I haven’t read a ton lately–reading blogs takes up a significant chunk of time. I recently read Water for Elephants and The Time Traveler’s Wife–both good.

Right now I’m into YA fiction. I just read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and really enjoyed it. It’s fascinating to read well-written stories of high school dynamics with more adult perspective. Trying to get through The Thief Lord and Artemis Fowl.

I was heavy into non-fiction for the last year, but completely fell out of that habit. It’s always cyclical for me.

Hi Ann,

My nightstand pile of “To Be Read” books grew until it got moved to an entire bookshelf. Blush! Since I’ve been blogging, my reading has tailed off, but my two most recent fav books are:

“Not Me!” by Michael Lavigne — ficiton, couldn’t put it down!

“My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor — personal memoir, which I just finished a blog post about as a matter of fact

Now I want to read a fun mystery or chick-lit book as a change of pace. But I do so love reading blogs on line instead of real books these days. Oh well 🙂

I can never make it through too much “serious stuff” at one time — inevitably I break free and head for the murder mysteries.

But my current serious choice is something you might enjoy: “A Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture,” by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter. The authors are philosophy professors, so they raise rather meta-level questions about consumerism. My husband and I have had several bedtime conversations about the theories — I find them more “hit” and he more “miss”, but either way it makes for some interesting discussions!

@Andy: that sounds like a wonderful site to lose yourself in – thanks!

@Sara: Yeah, blogging is almost as much about reading as it is about writing . . . folks I know loved both Elephants and Time.

@Linda: true confessions, the books listed are just a few of those I have by my bed!! I love mysteries too and I usually save them for vacation, and as for chick lit, Bridget Jones’ Dairy made me laugh out loud!

@Tara: as mentioned above, I too love a good mystery, especially a “cozy” mystery. Consumer culture is something that is always in the front of my mind, especially now that I’m a Mom It’s amazing how quickly kids learn to want stuff.

I could see myself reading “Coach Yourself to Success”…

Like you, I find myself reading more and more marketing, social media, and self-improvement books. I’m currently on “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” and “The Four Agreements.” I love ’em!

I’d read more but I have a problem…see, I like to buy the books. I know, I know…I”m a sucker :-/ I’ve tried checking them out at the library but I can’t do it if the book is all old and crusty; LOL.

If I could only focus enough to read… life’s been pretty chaotic with the move and things. But I’ve a stack of books that need to be read, or at least finished.

First to be finished is, History of Hungry yeah… I read history books for fun. I’m a closet history nerd. If I had a history degree and wasn’t doing this computer thing I’d be a history teacher and show folks that history class should NOT be the most boring class in school. Hmmm. If I had a history degree it would also at least give me an excuse to read books like this. My friends think I’m nuts. ( I make them all read Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong )

Second on the “too be finished” pile is The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Which explores the logic and arguments for religion, you might guess from the title religion doesn’t fare well in this book. I’ve also been meaning to read his older books as well, but I’ve got to finish what I start first.

Bit of trivia, the term “meme” coined by Richard Dawkins, and he talks about it in The Selfish Gene.

And I have to read Catcher in the Rye again for the Blurbing Book Club.

I also need to read The Art of Peace By Morihei Ueshiba.

The list goes on… But I’m focusing on these for the moment.

Actually, I have just started ProBlogger, but the Urbane Lion has almost finished. Yes, it is all on the website, but what we both like is that it is consolidated in one spot, saving all that search time. As well, if we want to go back to something, we simply pick up the book and flip some pages. In conclusion, to us it was well worth the money, because we are new to blogging.

@Ricardo: I used to love buying and owning books, but now I try to get them from the library or buy them from It’s hard for me to justify the expense these days!

@hyrcan: that is some serious reading you’re doing! I think I would enjoy Catcher again; our book group read Franny & Zoey and enjoyed it a lot.

@Panther: I can see that having the book at your fingertips would be nice. You must be learning something, since your blog is doing well!

I love Peter Walsh. I used to Tivo Clean Sweep just so I could fast forward and watch him. He was so insightful about peoples’ relationships, all from just observing their attachment to their stuff. He’d actually move me to tears!

And I’m also a big fan of that rascally Robertson Davies.

msmeta: I’ve never seen Walsh on TV, but he seems like he’s cut from a different mold and I like that. Robertson Davies is a relatively new discovery for me, but I’ve loved both novels I’ve read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: