A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D. reaches far beyond math and science and even beyond learning. Oakley explores techniques for learning more efficiently and deeply based on her own experience overcoming her difficulty learning math. A Mind for Numbers explores the importance of focused mode and diffused mode in the learning process and how the two support one another in the learning process. Oakley delves into how our brains chunks material for deeper learning. She addresses procrastination, reasons for procrastination, why procrastination is unavoidable, and tips to effectively address procrastination using techniques that allow us to give focused attention to priority tasks and use diffuse mode by switching tasks. I recognized several techniques that I employed during my college years and even some that had worked their way into my writing routine though I'd never thought of them as techniques in quite the way she described them. As I read through the book, I saw ways I could use the techniques in the book to improve my research as well as my writing. A Mind for Numbers is a very interesting exploration of the way the brain works and how to more effectively be productive whether studying or working. A Mind for Numbers is a well written, easy to understand, inspiring book of insights into not only the process of learning but the process of being more effective in any endeavor that requires focused attention, time to think, and expansion of one's knowledge base.
I ordered 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity Balance and Joy by Moorea Seal because I enjoyed her The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. I wanted to keep exploring this idea of a weekly guided journal. 52 Lists for Happiness took on a different tenor for me though. I opted to do the lists every Sunday because I felt it would be a good way to start off the week. I had some struggles this year that sometimes made the lists hard to write and other times the lists cheered me up. Focusing on simple moments of happiness gave me an opportunity to remember the good in my life no matter what happened in the world around me.
I read Four O'Clock Sizzle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence while travelling. It's an easy, light, fun read. Pence likes to blur the lines between procedural and cozy mystery in this series in a way that makes Rebecca Mayfield sometimes do things it's hard to imagine a police officer doing yet Pence gives her believable if flawed reasons for making the decisions she makes. The chemistry between Rebecca and Richie Amalfi has the reader both cheering for them and wondering what each of them is thinking at different times throughout the book. And, then there's the police investigation where Rebecca is torn between her feelings for Richie and her concerns that the rumors about Richie might hold more truth than she wants to believe. She struggles to reconcile the Richie she spends time with and the Richie of his reputation. As her investigation continues, Rebecca finds she needs Richie to solve the crime and she needs to protect him from danger for her own person…
Remarkable Oregon Women: Revolutionaries & Visionaries by Jennifer Chambers offers a snapshot into the history of the role of women in Oregon's history. Chambers provides enough information about each woman mentioned to spark an interest in learning more even providing sources for further reading. Remarkable Oregon Women is an interesting book that reminds the reader that women have always played an important role in the progress of society even when they've been stymied or their efforts have been hidden by history.