Sunday, June 28, 2009

50BC09 #10: Farewell Waltz

GENRE: Fiction
EDITION: Originally published in English as The Farewell Party. This edition published 1998 by Harper Perennial. Trans. by Aaron Asher
PAGES: 278
Farewell Waltz Farewell Waltz by Milan Kundera

rating: 4 of 5 stars
In typical Kundera fashion, you aren't sure whether to laugh or cry while reading this novel. Kundera likes to teeter on the edge of blasphemy, always pulling the reader back with the sheer humanness of his characters. While this Aaron Asher translation was released here in the states in 1998, it was originally written in 1969-70, and in that context, becomes a far more controversial and provocative novel. It is a good read, and full of poetic and prosaic gems. Kundera hands the reader the truths of life on a platter, accompanied by the Dom Pérignon of his prose.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

50BC09 #9: The Renaissance Soul

The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One by Margaret Lobenstine

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a book that is definitely geared toward those in the market for answers. While the author provides good information and some of the exercises were helpful, I felt the anecdotes became tedious as did her spectrum markers of Mozart and Ben Franklin. A lot of her work is an adaptation of Getting Things Done (GTD) principles (which are themselves consolidations of other work). For example, what Lobenstine calls "intention markers," GTDers will know as "next actions." The "Focal Points Worksheet" serves the same purpose as GTD's "Weekly Review"

I do think it will be a helpful book for anyone feeling guilty about having multiple career paths or life goals...or for those who just don't know what it is they want to do. Lobenstine's "PRISM Test" is a good basic set of questions to ask oneself when embarking upon a professional or personal goal: Price, Reality, Integrity, Specificity, and Measurability. The basic point of the book is to free "Renaissance Souls" from the fetters of career rigidity.