Sunday, December 28, 2008

What I'm Reading

I just finished Michael Pollans latest book In Defense of Food. It's sort of his follow up to The Omnivores Dillema. Like his first book, this book is very interesting. It deals more with the government involvement and the large scale ramifications of what we eat and why we eat it. A few things stand out, how the price of food has been driven down, but at the same time so has the quality. There has been a reversal in spending trends where 15% of ones income was once spent on groceries and 5% on healthcare. Now its reversed, 5% on groceries and 15% on health care. Now there are a number of things that goes into a statistic like that, but one can't help but see a bit of a correlation, eat crap and your body and health pays the price. His advice if one were to summarize the book, eat real foot mostly plants and a little meat. Followed by, don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Pretty sound advice.

The second book I just finished over Christmas break was Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell. Gladwell previous books, The Tipping Point and Blink are great reads as well. Outliers might be the most intersting and thought provoking book I've read in recent years. It should be required reading for teachers, coaches and parents. The whole book talks about success and why some people achieve it and others don't. It delves into the classic American myth of the self made millionare and rags to riches success story. One of the more mind opening chapters deals with the concept of the 10,000 hour rule. How when people hit it, they usually obtain significant success in their chosen field. Imagine 10,000 hours playing the violin or hitting a golf ball. Now the book doesn't deny that smarts and talent and ability are not neccessary, they are. But along with that, 10,000 hours are needed for that talent and ability to rise above the rest and truly shine.

So the quesiton is how are you spending your time. What are you putting your 10,000 hours towards? It's a genuinly fun book to read that gets you thinking about possibilities instead of limitations.

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