Thursday, 30 July 2015

Book review: Thrive by Arianna Huffington

I don't get enough sleep, I check my work emails at weird times, I don't exercise as much as I should, and it's difficult for me to shut my brain off.

So I'm exactly the target market for Arianna Huffington's Thrive. In the book, the founder of the Huffington Post lays out what she calls the third metric - wellbeing, wisdom, wonder and giving - to redefining success and creating a happier life.

Thrive is full of statistics and extracts from scholarly works, as well as quotes from various thinkers and leaders on the subjects of mindfulness, connection and more. It's obviously a well researched book, but it does feel a little cold at times, and a little like you're being marketed to, as Huffington frequently mentions her Third Metric business. There are practical suggestions for things you can do to help yourself, one of which - a tip from one of Huffington's uber successful friends to help her sleep better - I tried to put into practice. I failed, but I probably need to try harder, and others may succeed, with Thrive containing a good selection of further reading and resources that could help.

There are also personal anecdotes throughout the book, but a lot of times I didn't really feel they connected me to Huffington. There are mentions of her divorce, but no mention of the emotional effects of it. Rather, the concentration is on how she and her ex-husband have an excellent relationship. Without knowing how Huffington personally dealt with a tough time, it's hard to see its relevance or understand how Huffington used the things she talked about in her book to help her. Similarly, she briefly mentions how one of her daughters had a serious problem with drugs - it's just dropped in suddenly and then barely mentioned again. Given that Huffington set up a news website, she's big on committing one of the worst crimes you can, of burying the lead. The whole point of Third Metric is that it's something Huffington really concentrated on after she collapsed of exhaustion, but again, I don't feel like this is really explored enough.

Monday, 27 July 2015

TV recap: Agent Carter season one, episode three - Time and Tide

Previously on Agent Carter, Peggy tracked down Leet Brannis, who stole Howard Stark's bombs. Just before he died, he drew a symbol in the sand for her to interpret. And the SSR, investigating the Roxxon Oil refinery explosion, have now got a second huge explosion, also caused by Howard's bombs, to link it to.

Monday, 20 July 2015

TV recap: Agent Carter season one, episode two - Bridge and Tunnel

Previously on Agent Carter, Peggy Carter has turned "double agent" to help clear Howard Stark's name. Battling sexism in the office and foes outside the office, she now has to work out who the mysterious Leviathan is, and what he or she wants with a truckload of bombs.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Agent Carter recap masterpost

Season one, episode one - Now is Not the End
"Did you miss me?"

Season one, episode two - Bridge and Tunnel
"Who writes this rubbish?"

Season one, episode three - Time and Tide
"Do you have any idea how stupid that was?"

Season one, episode four - The Blitzkrieg Button
"I know how much Steve meant to you because I know how much he meant to me."

Season one, episode five - The Iron Ceiling
"Does anyone else feel a chill going up their knickers?"

Season one, episode six - A Sin to Err
"I can explain everything, all of it."

Season one, episode seven - Snafu
Dottie is pram shopping. Er, why?
Dottie is pram shopping. Er, why?
"I've never been more than what each of you has created."

Monday, 13 July 2015

TV recap: Agent Carter season one, episode one - Now is Not the End

Agent Peggy Carter - charismatic, tough, loyal, brave, clever, and beautiful. Although we only saw her briefly in Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy made an impression (and not just on Steve Rogers). It's enough of an impression that she managed to get her own television show - Marvel's Agent Carter, which has finally made its way to the UK. Here's what went down in episode one.

'This thing's moving too fast and it's heading for New York.'

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Book review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Classic is a word bandied about a lot when it comes to books. There are many, many lists of classics out there, and some writers are lucky enough to have just about all their books called classics (and not just because they were written many years ago).

Harper Lee is a writer whose entire output is classed as classic, but that's because she's only released one book. Well, that will remain true for just a couple more days and then, more than 50 years after To Kill a Mockingbird was first published, we'll get to read a second book by the famously reclusive author.

In preparation for the release of Go Set a Watchman, I decided to reread To Kill a Mockingbird, a book I remember enjoying, but one I haven't read in more than a decade. Would To Kill a Mockingbird stand up to memory and be as good as I thought it was? And would it still be relevant?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My power list - female influencers

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour has revealed its list of 10 female influencers, featuring names such as Nicola Sturgeon, Angelina Jolie and Anna Wintour. It's a great list, but it got me thinking about the women that influence me. Obviously, my mum tops the list, but as she's not on social media here are 11 other women, in no particular order, that influence me and that I think you should be paying attention to.


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