Prompted by Doug Shaw, I've realised I need to update you all on my earlier blog, where I pledged to read three books that I felt would develop me in some way professionally and personally.
Like Doug bravely admits, I failed to read all three books.
I began with When I Die, the story of electioneer Philip Gould's final battle with cancer that eventually led to his death in 2011. I cannot recommend this book highly enough; profoundly moving and not what you'd consider a barrel of laughs, yet there is humour to be found in Gould's matter-of-fact tone, and his positive approach to his terminal illness is inspiring.
I got about a third of the way through Mediating Dangerously before I realised that it wasn't challenging how I'd do things, merely positing ideas that could potentially prove fatal for a mediation session and has been written by authors desperate to challenge the norms because they could. Quite honestly, I wanted my £20 and three days' effort back.
So, it's more time in the gym for me then.
However, in my quest to cover all three books I discovered something else- as I read When I Die, a distantly-located Facebook friend was also reading it and kindly paused so I could catch up. This enabled me to discuss the book at length with her both online and via telephone, which gave me two things: a broader perspective than my own on the huge themes Gould addresses, and friendship with someone who'd until now really only been an online contact who I'd met once or twice at events neither of us planned or really made the most of. Now, we have what I consider a 'proper' rather than an e-friendship, and it's one I am enjoying greatly.
So in short, of the three books, it was the one about dying that gave me the most joy.
With thanks to Tori Rosenbaum for use of her photo.