- Barbican: Penthouse Over the City by David Heathcote
Most of the book is a detailed look at the various stages of planning the Barbican went through -- a lot of local politics, which can get tedious if you're more interested in the buildings themselves. But this is all good background info, and while I'd have liked more details about the finished estate, buildings, flats, fittings and culture it's recommended if you happen to be fascinated by the peculiar place that is the Barbican.
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
Toward the end of last year I felt the need to take stock of everything I was doing (or, more likely, supposed to be doing) and get on top of things. Given that half the people I read online these days were raving about Getting Things Done (not least 43 Folders of course) I thought I'd give it a go. On the downside, it would be hard to write any kind of American, self-help, business-oriented book without coming across as a bit of a jargon-crazed maniac. But Allen doesn't do too badly; despite the occasional lapses I was surprised how practical and pragmatic about his ideas he was. Along the lines of "some of this will work for you, but some of it won't."
You could sum the book up in two words as "be organised", which isn't much help: Anyone would feel more organised if they set some time aside every week to get on top of things (the Weekly Review) or were as punctilious about recording their actions as GTD (as it's known) requires one to be. I'm not convinced this or any other system will help the perpetually scatterbrained and illogical.
Some of the specifics get a bit blurred for me among the complex arrangements of lists, folders, calendars, etc: I still don't understand what one should do with all the Actions that make up a Project, or when/if they should be transferred to the "Next Actions" list. Seeing examples of how others manage their lives using GTD would help greatly.
But it's definitely inspiring, and it does contain enough tricks and tips to make me think it'll make a difference. Hopefully I can keep some of this going and I'll definitely be returning to the book in a few months to see what I've forgotten, looking for more tips.
- Direct diet marketing
On Saturday the Guardian had a supplement about nutrition, including this article on how much fruit and veg you should eat. That attempts to link to a site called "Daily Diet Tracker" but gives a URL that doesn't work. I'm guessing this is what it meant, and it looks handy: keep track of what you eat when, how much exercise you do, and what it's all doing to you. But...
- 1970s UK TV Fictional Celebrity Big Brother
Tom and chums came up with their dream Big Brother cast. In the same spirit I came up with my own version, ideal for Guardian Guide reading, TV retro-highlights marathon watching 20-30 something fools whose conversations inevitably descend to how many episodes of Mr Benn there were, or how odd those dubbed kids programmes the BBC used to show were: