Among all the self-improvement books out there, one that appears every now and again is Cal Newport’s 2016 book, Deep Work. At the beginning, the book is more scholarly but then it starts to settle in to rules to follow. Much of today’s work life involves reading emails, answering instant messages, and being tugged in 20 different directions. What Newport gets into is the importance of going deep on a project without distractions for a few hours a day. He also preaches such ideas as getting off social media, think about problems when doing other activities, focus on important tasks, and not working so late that you burn yourself out. All of these items while simple in theory can be hard to do in the office so one must find ways to incorporate deep work into their routine. A fine book about an important topic.
Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2005. The novel tells of Irishman Willie Dunne who signs up with the allies to fight in WWI. The war conflict also causes much conflict for those left behind in Ireland who are under British rule. Willie has a hard time connecting with his policeman father and the love of his life who he meets just before joining. The novel is wonderfully written as it speaks of the horrors of war on both the front and home lines.