When did it become November?

November Book ListIt’s a funny thing about time – the way it expands and contracts. The way it can seem so straightforward and methodical in one moment (plodding, some might say), and then in the next moment leaves you breathless and bewildered by its inconsistencies and lack of consideration of your to-do list. I know you’re all very aware that it’s November, but I feel I’ve only just woken up to that fact now that I need a scarf and an extra layer and I’m wondering where I last left my gloves.

After an amazing honeymoon in Italy in September, classes kicked off in earnest for my final semester of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing. Whilst it’s been much harder than I initially expected, I highly recommend this course for anyone who fell into marketing by accident (like so many of us do!) in order to get a sound grounding in marketing as well as practical application of the theory that is discussed.

This year was supposed to be a monthly recap of the amazing bookings I’ve read, but that plan went off the rails somewhere before the summer. Whilst I haven’t been religious about it, I can recommend the following:

Brilliant Project Management by Stephen Barker and Rob Cole (2007, Pearson) – this is a great book with lots of practical tips and great insight into what makes a project manager successful. I have come away with so many ideas for moving my projects at work to the next level.

How to Manage People by Michael Armstrong (2008, Kogan Page) – this book has been really eye opening for me and I’ve found the chapters on motivating people to be the most interesting so far.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (2003, Black Swan) – the man isn’t joking, this book is about nearly everything. Ultimately it’s a book about scientific discoveries since the dawn of civilisation – for the better or worse of the planet and its inhabitants. It was fascinating and I highly recommend it.

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong (2013, Phaidon) – I’m unable to go long periods of time without a book from Alain de Botton making it into my reading stack. I was thrilled when this book came out and really enjoyed the lecture at the Tate Britain that accompanied its release. The premise of the book is that art has the power to make us better humans, but that museums don’t do all they could to support those ends. Using art to discuss such sweeping themes as hope, sorrow, self-understanding and growth among others, this book is a beautiful and inspiring addition to any coffee table.

Two weeks left to go before the CIM coursework is submitted and I can return to ‘normal’ life. I truly cannot wait.

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