- Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis.
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis.
- The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis.
- The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis. I love his writing style - he was a really brilliant man. I need to read some of his other works.
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. After I read The Hobbit last month and mentioned that I wanted to read The Lord of the Rings, Mr Science went out and got me the whole set! Such a lovely gift. And I'm impressed by how readable this book was! The last time I read it - the only time I read it - I was about 13 years old, and I seem to remember that there were some boring bits and parts of it were tough going. Such a delight to find that wasn't the case after all! I've no doubt I'll finish the next two books in March.
- One Year to an Organized Work Life by Regina Leeds. I borrowed this from the office and I love it. It's super awesome! Great tips and ideas in here. Now I really want to find and read her original book, One Year to an Organized Life. Since I'm all about organizing, I think her books are kinda perfect for me. I'm nowhere close to having finished it, but I'll be continuing to read it over the next couple months.
What books did you read this month?
I loved university while I was there, but I also felt like there were a few things lacking. Now that I've been in the working world a couple years, I know there were a few things missing. These could also be applied to high school, actually, but since an undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma, I'm going to say that these are the things that ought to be taught at university:
1) Everyday budgeting. Paying off bills and a mortgage, while trying to put money away into RRSPs and TFSAs (what the heck are those, anyway?), and trying to manage all other expenses, can be really tough if it doesn't come naturally to you. Numbers aren't my strong suit, but I have a keen interest in budgeting, so I make lists of all of my expenses and income, and I put money away into savings and all of that. Even so, I have a really tough time understanding how various savings systems work and how I can put money against the principal of my mortgage and that sort of thing. If you have parents who understand this stuff and a nice person at the bank to help you out, listen to their advice and ask questions because it's one of the best things you can do. But you know what would be even better? If there was at least one mandatory course in university which teaches you how to budget and save money. This would be great for the economy and it would be so useful for people in general. Getting into debt and never paying off credit cards has become the norm these days, and it's primarily because people don't know how to manage their money.
2) How to write. I'm so sick and tired of the number of news releases and professional documents I receive with tons of typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It's unacceptable when the document is a professional one. I wish they'd spend more time at university teaching people how to learn the difference between "to, too, and two" and how to use proper sentence structure. It's a shame how many people write poorly. Inconsistency is a big part of that, too - when the font suddenly changes midway through a sentence, or the type of bullet changes from an arrow to a circle halfway down the line, or the spelling changes from the British version to the American version and back again within the same paragraph, it really drives me crazy because it shows that the writer didn't re-read their piece before sending it out as a professional document.
3) Organization 101. We can be much more productive people if we just learn how to prioritize a little better and how to organize our lives. This is a basic life skill that many people lack! It might seem like a tedious subject, but there are a lot of little techniques and tricks that one can employ to make themselves more efficient, and it would be worth learning in the classroom. One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds could be the course textbook!
What do you feel is missing from university? What classes do you think should be mandatory?
I receive at least a few news releases every single day in my inbox for new! and! exciting! health-type products, services, promotions and books. And to be honest, most of these news releases annoy the hell out of me because there's just so many things wrong with them.
Here is what bothers me the most about many of the news releases I read:
1) Misspelling of my name - or the wrong name altogether. Dear Whitney, we have a new health product we think you might be very interested in! Yeah, my name isn't Whitney. This is poor proofreading on their part, that the person sending the news release has simply copied and pasted their email and forgot to change the name at the top. I have nothing against copying and pasting, but you should at least change the name at the top, even if you aren't going to personalize the entire email. And if you are going to use my name, please do your research on me ahead of time so that you know my name is spelled "Sagan," not "Segan."
2) Misspellings, grammar errors and typos throughout. It's one thing to make a typo or grammatical error when writing blog posts and the like: it's completely different to make those errors when you're writing in a professional capacity. Edit, edit, and edit some more!
3) Geographical errors. If you take the time to do you background work, you can generally find out fairly easily where a person is located in the world. So I really don't get why I keep receiving news releases for events and promotions taking place in California or New York. I currently live in the Canadian prairies. Anyone can find that out on my health blog or on Facebook, both of which show up on the first page when you type my name into a search engine. Google me before sending me a generic news release that doesn't apply to me at all.
4) Products and services that don't fit my philosophies. Most bloggers state their philosophies pretty clearly on their blogs. When I receive news releases promoting books that talk about the best frozen meals, I can't help but laugh. You only need to skim one of my Living Healthy blog posts to see right away that frozen meals are not something I condone.
5) Ridiculously lengthy pieces of text that don't get to the point. Sometimes I receive news releases that don't seem to say anything in particular or have any sort of relevance. There's no news in there at all! You can bet that most bloggers and journalists and the like are receiving piles of news releases daily, so please, only send something if you actually have something to say. Otherwise your email address is going to be added to the spam list, and when you do have something interesting to say, we'll ignore it. And that's not good for either of us!
What annoys you the most about news releases?