July Quick Lit: What I'm Reading Now

Perhaps it's the impending back-to-school activities that have triggered this "never stop learning" kick I've been on lately.

Having been out of school for quite some time, it seems I may have forgotten how to learn, or at least how to learn efficiently.

I came to this realization a few months back after reading Cal Newport's Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.

The following titles expand on this idea of staying focused on what really matters. It's not easy, but it is a critical skill in today's world of unlimited distractions.

John Maxwell believes that any setback, whether professional or personal, can be turned into a step forward when you possess the right tools to turn a loss into a gain. Drawing on nearly fifty years of leadership experience, Dr. Maxwell provides a road map for winning by examining the eleven elements that constitute the DNA of learners who succeed in the face of problems, failure, and losses. Learning is not easy during down times, it takes discipline to do the right thing when something goes wrong. As John Maxwell often points out, experience isn't the best teacher--evaluated experience is.

I happen to have two children in college, which is what prompted me to pick up How to Become a Straight-A Student, but I think I got as much out of it as any college student. So much of this book applies to how we approach overwhelming tasks in all areas of life. If you know someone in high school or college, this book is a must.

Most college students believe that straight A’s can be achieved only through cramming and painful all-nighters at the library. But Cal Newport knows that real straight-A students don’t study harder—they study smarter. A breakthrough approach to acing academic assignments, from quizzes and exams to essays and papers, How to Become a Straight-A Student reveals for the first time the proven study secrets of real straight-A students across the country and weaves them into a simple, practical system that anyone can master.

This next one is taking forever to get through because there is so much to think about and reflect upon. Few books have challenged me like Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard.

"God spoke to me." "The Spirit spoke to my heart." "God revealed the idea to me." Being close to God means communicating with him--telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but that can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if what God says to us is not clear? The key, says best-selling author Dallas Willard, is to focus not so much on individual actions and decisions as on building our personal relationship with our Creator.

I'm still working on this a recent Kindle deal that I've been wanting to read for years. I grabbed You Learn by Living  for just $1.99. I was so inspired by the book that I created a printable of one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes.

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each new thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the world’s best loved and most admired public figures, offers a wise and intimate guide on how to overcome fears, embrace challenges as opportunities, and cultivate civic pride: You Learn by Living.

I'm linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Modern Mrs. Darcy, today. Head on over to see what others are reading now.

(I love the convenience of shopping online and I think you will too. The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)