I have read a few other books on personal organization habits and best practices and have found this to be the most useful and practical so far. As a busy product manager is a small startup company, I found myself feeling frequently feeling out of control and unable to focus my concentration with so many different projects, needs, requests, e-mails, voice mails going on at once. I have begun applying the system suggested by the author and have immediately noticed a tremendous reduction in "things slipping through the cracks," an improved ability to relax and concentrate on one thing at a time (since I'm no longer worrying about 100 things at a time), and feel I am making much better use of my time.
The system the author suggests is so simple, it might be easy for some to dismiss it out of hand. But try it - you'll be amazed at the difference it makes for harried knowledge worker types. You might not actually get that much more done than you used to, but you'll feel much more confident, relaxed, focused, and likely to be working on what's most important.
I also strongly suggest that people that are serious about changing their organizational habits invest in a personal digital assistant such as a Palm or PocketPC that can synchronize with Microsoft Outlook. This lets you enter things in either your organizer or your desktop PC (including dragging/dropping or cutting/pasting sections of e-mails into your reference files, project lists, task items, or calendar) and take them with you wherever you go. I've found this to be an important cornerstone of my new organization habits.
I enjoyed these short stories of Holmes's deductive sleuthing very much. This unabridged collection presents about 12-15 stories in all, read by two narrators with classic British accents.
The memoirs are told through the voice of Watson, Holmes's accomplice and closest friend. We hear stories from each part of their acquaintance -- how they met, their adventures over the years, and the sad story of how their friendship came to an end, all recounted through narrations of the cases they worked together.
At times, I found I needed to rewind the story to pick up a turns of phras that has fallen out of use in this century or is not commonly used here in the US.
I found I really enjoyed this listen for two reasons:
- I found the late 19th century english writing style to be quite an interesting and welcome departure from modern North American english
- I found myself at times trying to out-Sherlock Holmes and failing repeatedly, and just like Watson, finding it amazing how easily the facts fall together when viewed from Watson's perspective. Some of this is accomplished through the narrative device of only telling the story from Watson's perspective, but nevertheless, the majority of the facts of the case are there in plain view. You find yourself amazed again and again at how cunning Holmes's character is.
A few caveats for those that are unfamiliar with Doyle's style and only have the movies or television to refer to when considering Sherlock Holmes:
- A few of the stories are slow paced and dialog makes up a substantial fraction of most stories.
- Not for people with little patience for foreign accents -- the entire read is in proper British english
- This is NOT an action or adventure story and lacks the suspense of modern detective novels. It will not have you gripped with fear, anxiety, or quickened pulse like a Sue Grafton or Steven King novel. It is an intellectual and literary adventure. Know that going in.
The Lion's Game was an excellent listen for these reasons:
- Credible, modern storyline tainted only by the faster-than-the-speed-of-light romantic subplot
- First person narrative style, along with typical sarcastic, biting NYC cop humor and observations about the world makes this an extremely conversational listen
- Outstanding narration by Mr. Brick; truly, he brings this story and each character to life. His timing, change of pace, accents and inflection are remarkable and he deserves tremendous credit for never losing steam, even near the end of the novel.
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