March was a bit of a slow reading month for me. I managed to get three books read during the 31 days but it could have been four. (The Resident and Line of Duty took some of my brain space and free time) Here is a snapshot of what I read in March.
Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra
Unfinished in the memoir written by South Asian actress Priyanka Chopra. It charts her life as a child to winning Miss World, making it in Bollywood right up to the present day. The style in which it is written is exactly the way I hear Priyanka speak in interviews. It is eloquent, sophisticated with a twinge of her Indian culture showing through. She shares a good mix of personal anecdotes and inspiration. You get an insight into how she was as a teenager. (Slightly rebellious but with her heart in the right place) As I read her words I highlighted quotes and mantras I wanted to include in my own life. She also opened up about parts of her career which I wasn’t aware of and the misogyny she faced. She talks particularly about a time when a lead actor requested she was removed from a film so the part could be given to his girlfriend which infuriated me. As a person who watches Bollywood films and enjoys the industry, it didn’t surprise me yet it was still heartbreaking to read. I liked the fact she didn’t shy away from talking about her professional failures. She talks about her music career and how that didn’t transpire in the way she and her team had hoped it would and the hurdles she faced when she made the move to Hollywood. Looking back you can forget the significance of her being cast in the lead role in a CW show but it was a glass ceiling shattering moment. She talks about her relationship with Nick dispelling any naysayers who criticised her. As someone from a SA background I am aware of the importance extended family plays in your life and she talks about this beautifully. Her book touches on topics such as sexism and nepotism and how both of these impacted her career. She spoke beautifully and passionately about the fusion of both her and Nick’s family and while I imagine it wasn’t always smooth sailing, the love for all parties is genuine. In the book, she also talks about the future and what it looks like using an analogy of a house which I found immensely interesting and something I want to do myself. She basically said this room is filled with family and friends and this one is filled with my career and states what each room looks like in detail. As a social scientist, I was intrigued to see what motivated her and it was astonishing to see. You see her drive and determination but you also see her vulnerability and humanity come through too. Many people have different opinions on her and how she presents herself, this book will give you a deeper insight into her psyche, and while she lets you in more than she ever has but there is a sliver of privacy she is keeping for herself (which she is well within her right to do) showing us a healthy way to create boundaries.
8/10 – It was an interesting motivational read by a South Asian woman.
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day
This was THE productivity book I had been told about for the longest and finally got around to reading. It was written by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky both of whom have worked for Google on projects such as Gmail, Google Ventures, and YouTube. As the name suggests, the book aims to show you a way to use your time effectively, giving you the tools to control your life, time and essentially lead the professional and personal life YOU want. It centres around a model they created and used during their professional careers demonstrating how you can work it into your life. For example, I started making sure I write down my main highlights or intentions for the day on the whiteboard to ensure I get them done and make them a priority. It is not a airy-fairy productivity book, rather it is a practical logical almost scientific guide on how to live authentically. Both Jake and John understand the constraints of modern life and the impact this can have on you. The model they propose caters to this and throughout the book, you see the ways in with both of them use the model to suit their individual needs. Jake for example is a morning person whereas John finds it best to work in the evenings, allowing you to see how the model they have created works for them. They both have different personal commitments too which impacts how they use the model so if you’re single living on your own or you are married with two children, there is something you can take away from this book. Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day is particularly useful if you are someone who likes to have their pies in lots of different pots or simply enjoys hobbies outside of their paid work and wants to make time for them this is a practical easy to read guide on how to achieve this. As someone whose mind works 100 miles per minute and has a continuous stream of ideas, this has been a useful read.
7/10 – It was a good starting point for time management.
Claudia Winkleman has to be one of the coolest women on TV but I didn’t know too much about her so decided to listen to the audiobook of the memoir Quiet. Overall, it was a joyful listen and made me laugh in places. It is essentially a book of anecdotes of lessons she has learned during her life. She discusses her experience of having children, growing up, love, marriage, and having a busy career. She has a captivating voice, which you would expect as a Radio and TV presenter but it really shines through in the audiobook. Rather than give you some key listens about life it felt more like a comforting hug. Imagine your big sister sharing their wisdom with you about what you can expect from life and that is how you can If you are looking for something that will make you laugh, think and feel like you’re getting a hug while you’re on your walk or cooking a meal, this is a good option.