Monday, December 25, 2017

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport
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One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way.

In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.

(Excerpt from

每天最重要的2小時 : 神經科學傢教你5種有效策略, 使心智有高效率表現, 聰明完成當日關鍵工作 (Two Awesome Hours)

喬許.戴維斯 (Josh Davis)
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• 辨識每個決定點:妥善利用做完一件事或被打斷後的5分鐘,想一下後續該處理哪件事;別擔心「浪費時間」的問題,想趕快做事的急迫感,有時會讓我們先把時間誤用在不重要的事上,消耗我們的心力。

• 管理心智能量,善用好情緒與壞情緒:所有事都會消耗心智能量、引發情緒,學會在心智疲勞之前,先集中精神做最重要的事。全球流行天后碧昂絲(Beyoncé)說:「緊張,讓我表現得更好」;正面情緒是養分,但負面情緒不必然是毒素,正、負面情緒都可以用來提升工作表現與成果。

• 停止對抗分心,學會放自己一馬:專注是成功的要素,但人類的注意力系統天生善於留意分心事物,這是演化的生存必要策略之一。學會讓心思漫遊,東想西想、作作白日夢,對提升創意和思考未來都有幫助。

• 妥善利用身心關連性:掌握運動和飲食的訣竅,能讓你表現得更出色。適量、溫和的運動可以提升專注力和心智能量,吃什麼、怎麼吃、一次吃多少,也會影響你的表現。咖啡因有助於提升效率,但不是喝多就有用,少即是多,無效時小睡10分鐘更好。

• 打造對自己有益的工作環境:辦公環境中的噪音、光線和桌邊雜物,都會影響你的工作效能。斷斷續續的談話聲,是專心工作的頭號勁敵,但戴耳機聽音樂並非最佳解方。較昏暗的光線可催生創意,辦公空間大一點,則有助於多冒點險、展現領導自信。


Monday, December 18, 2017

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro (石黑一雄)
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From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, here is the universally acclaimed novel—winner of the Booker Prize and the basis for an award-winning film.

The novel's narrator, Stevens, is a perfect English butler who tries to give his narrow existence form and meaning through the self-effacing, almost mystical practice of his profession. In a career that spans the second World War, Stevens is oblivious of the real life that goes on around him -- oblivious, for instance, of the fact that his aristocrat employer is a Nazi sympathizer. Still, there are even larger matters at stake in this heartbreaking, pitch-perfect novel -- namely, Stevens' own ability to allow some bit of life-affirming love into his tightly repressed existence.

(Excerpt from

未來簡史:從智人到神人 (Homo Deus)

尤瓦爾·赫拉利 (Yuval Noah Harari)
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Monday, December 11, 2017

Lab Girl

Hope Jahren 
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Lab GirlWinner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
Winner of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books
Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.

(Excerpt from


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Swing Time

Zadie Smith
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A New York Times bestseller * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize  

“This is a story at once intimate and global, as much about childhood friendship as international aid, as fascinated by the fate of an unemployed single mother as it is by the omnipotence of a world-class singer…Smith’s attention to the grace notes of friendship is as precise as ever…’Swing Time’ uses its extraordinary breadth and its syncopated structure to turn the issues of race and class in every direction…We finally have a big social novel nimble enough to keep all its diverse parts moving gracefully toward a vision of what really matters in this life when the music stops.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A dance itself, syncopated, unexpected, and vital…Swing Time may not parse easily and fits no mold, but it is uncommonly full of life.” —Claire Messud, The New York Review of Books

(Excerpt from

微權力: 從會議室、軍事衝突、宗教到國家,權力為何衰退與轉移,世界將屬於誰? (The End of Power)

摩伊希斯.奈姆 (Moisés Naím)
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1. 壟斷社會的「大巨頭」與新興的「微權力」之間將出現角力,「微權力」將逐漸取代傳統的社會結構。
2. 權力不單被分散,甚至被蠶食。當權者行使權力要更加克制,否則失勢的機會將會大大提高。
3. 權力不再只掌控在菁英手上;發明家、社運分子甚至恐怖分子的影響力將大大提升。
4. 「微權力」可以推翻政權、打倒壟斷事業、開發新市場。但也可能帶來混亂,令社會癱瘓。