February review

It was a great month of reading, i had two solid 5s out of 8 books.

Good Economics for Hard Times (5/5): mind opening, ideas shaking book for me. This is probably not a book for general audience but more for economists working in development. I like the quote “strong opinions loosely held”. As I read this book, many of my strong opinions/thoughts about various topics were changed by the authors. And I was happy to be transformed. That is the sign of a great book. It changes you without forcing you and you are grateful to be transformed.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss (5/5): I mentioned before that I am obsessed with Tim Ferriss show and his book did not disappoint. It’s over 600 pages and I read just few chapters per day during work breaks to avoid finishing it too much. It is that good. It’s a succinct summary of life work of the greatest artists, writers, thinkers, entrepreneurs of our generation. How they got where they are, what makes them who they are, their wisdom, vices, routines or lack of it. Few things that I learned is that success is relative, personalised, and we should ask ourselves how we define it before pursuing other people’s success. Also, I liked the quote about happiness “happiness is wanting what you have”, brilliant. And finally, it made me realise that pursuing productivity and efficiency is good for 20s and 30s, probably not when I am older. Focusing on the right things, being with the right people, are more important. Rushing into something to save 1 or 2 min could ruin the whole process which is the point of it to start with. Slowdown, determine what I want to get out of this, and focus and enjoy the ride.

this is how I read the book: taking notes, marking the pages, and writing passages on my journal.


I miss you when i blink (1/5): I didn’t feel identified with the writer. the book is a memoire so I didn’t like it when it goes into details of her life. Without knowing her much nor getting enough background, it was like reading a strangers daily life. Lack of connection I guess.

Awareness (3/5): this is one of the book recommended by Tim Ferriss. I enjoyed the read, liked some concepts but find it a bit distant to my current life state. Maybe I’ll re-read it in few years.

Conversation with friends (4/5): let me just say, I’ll read anything that Sally writes going forward. Her writing is just so easy flow, the plot entertaining, and makes me reflect somewhat. Mostly it’s an entertaining read. it would be interesting to see it in a movie/series like Normal People.

The year of magic thinking (2/5): this is a highly praised book by a famous author. It made me sad half way through the book and wonder if I could choose, who I am the most afraid to lose. Yet, the book didn’t really make up for the title. It’s more like a year of grief than anything magic.

2030 (3/5): another kind of work related book, about mega trends that will shape our world in 2030, which is pretty close. I found some interesting ideas such as we will have more 60+ people in our society than ever before, what does it mean for the economy. This book might be more interesting for companies and entrepreneurs for ideas for the future market, not so much for policymakers or advisors for policymakers.

Monogamy (3/5): this was a quick read about marriage, death of a loved one, and the secret you find. I enjoyed it and confirmed how fragile it is marriage. As I get older and went through two marriages, I realised the idea of marriage I had in my 20s was so wrong. Marriage is work, is not the happy ending fairy tale. I hope I can avoid my girls to commit the same mistake by reading romance and watching movies to learn about marriage, so not true.

Habits tracked

Steps (daily avg): 17068 (18350 Jan)
Work hours (daily avg): 7.2  hrs (6.6 Jan)
Miles run: 97.3 miles (130.2 Dec)
Yoga/pilates: 14 sessions (23 Jan)
Sleep (daily avg): 7.3 hrs (7.5 Jan)

Mood rating: 4/5 (3.9 Dec)

This month I worked more, slept a bit less, walked more, run less (intentionally) as I felt I was over training to deal with stress/anxiety, which is not healthy. Everything in moderation is what I seek for.

Theme for February is FOCUS: I would say I did have the intention to do that more and probably did it half of the time. Bringing awareness was the objective of the theme. Now I walk with the girls without phone/watch. I shower and do self care without podcast. No phone during meal time most of the time. Will continue with this as it helps me to be more mindful.

Theme for March is DISTANCE: take distance from things/thoughts/ideas/people. When I am close to them, I stop being objective. This month I want to intentionally take few steps back and be an observer. Maybe I’ll learn one or two insights from the experience.

March plans:

  • visit zoom this weekend
  • plan for a golf fairway for the family
  • A beach trip to palawan is scheduled! Super excited!

5 thoughts on “February review

  1. Whoa that Tim Feriss book is huge!! I am so impressed you read all those books PLUS that huge one. It would have taken me more than a month probably to read just that big book! I still keep meaning to consume more of his podcasts/work but just haven’t really gotten around to it. Interesting variety of books you read, too. Wide range of topics. That’s good.


  2. I had the same thought as Grateful Kae, that Tim Ferris book is huge and how do you read all this? I guess you watch limited TV? Thanks for sharing, I love seeing your book reviews. I like reading digestible economics books so will put Good Economics for Hard Times on my list. I’ll look into 2030 as well.


  3. that TF book is really really good. I read it mostly in the office, taking breaks from work, read 20 min here and there and it went through very fast because it’s that good.
    I don’t watch TV, like ever. in our house, TV is only on weekend evenings for the girls. If they want something that I’m interested, then I’ll join them. Otherwise I’d rather be reading.


    1. You have me intrigued about the TF book now. 🙂 What I also realized is that you have house help also there. That saves a lot of time, one of the things I miss most from the Philippines! Here in the Netherlands, my husband and I have to do the laundry and everyday cleaning because it’s just way too expensive to have someone come clean for more than once a week.


      1. yes, helper really helps! hahaha… I do minimal house work so I have more free time. really one of the major perks living in the Philippines.


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