This year’s list is a little different than previous years. It’s 2020 – what else would you expect?
My reading got off to a slow start this year when I started my MBA and was finding my new rhythm in getting through all the reading and research for that (which I haven’t included here – no-one is interested in adding ‘Contemporary Accounting: A Strategic Approach’ to their 2021 reading list!).
Then Covid happened and I basically stopped reading all together, apart from study and anything that would help me lead through the unfolding crisis. It was like my brain had no more free space for processing.
I finally found my way back into reading by digging up some childhood reads from primary school (thanks Timothy Zahn!), and then by taking a leaf out of Jon Acuff’s book and recalibrating what ‘counted’ as my reads. Audiobook of a one man play? Counts! Children’s book? Counts! I also found a whole bunch of shorter reads to get me back into a flow. ‘Short’ was my friend in 2020, making this year’s list a little different than other years.
What hasn’t changed, it’s important to note, is that when I share my own personal Top 10 from the year, it doesn’t mean they are the most ‘worthy’ picks from a literary perspective. They are simply the ones that I personally found most significant, impacting or enjoyable. I’m obviously not here to tell you that Paddington (which made my top 10) is an objectively better book than The Odyssey (which did not). Rather, only that the former was more of a highlight for me than the latter in 2020 – a year when simple joys became newly important for so many of us.
COVID-19 is reshaping the workplace. McCrindle research recently released a report showing that Australians are very positive about a shift to remote working. They found that not only do 78% of people believe it will become the new normal, but three-quarters are excited about it and consider it important to their future employer choice. This echoes similar findings by Gallup in the USA.
At the same time, we know there are very real challenges that come hand in hand with this ‘new normal’ of the workplace, and they’re challenges that neither employers nor employees can afford to ignore.
What does it look like when the entire world is in transition?
That’s rhetorical, of course – it looks like life in 2020.
A couple of years ago a mentor recommended this book to me when I was going through a life transition, and I found it very helpful. The other day I suddenly realised that it was newly relevant – to pretty much everyone in the world.
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
by William Bridges
Released 2004 (this edition)
The Crown, Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale – it’s the golden age of prestige television. Budgets, artistry and star power in television have apparently never been higher.
There’s just one thing.
It turns out that the most popular, most streamed shows aren’t epic or politically prescient or extravagant.
You’ve seen the decorations appearing and heard the music starting to play… Christmas is just around the corner!
How does it make you feel? Excited? Overwhelmed? Already behind on planning?
For most of us, this season is truly a mix of the wonderful and the stressful. And when we think back, we can recall Christmas memories that were incredibly precious, magical moments, as well as ones that… well… we’d rather not relive.
Maybe you’ve had years where you’ve come to the end of the Christmas season and felt a little too stretched – financially, emotionally or physically. Maybe sometimes your Christmas season has felt like it was mostly shaped by all the invitations and expectations of those around you, rather than by what is truly most important to you and your loved ones. Or maybe you just want to intentionally design moments this Christmas for those around you that reflect your values and priorities.