The Ilonka Reader

Notes on the Books I Have Read

Month: October, 2016

Managing Oneself

By Peter Drucker

This is actually just an essay, but it comes in small-book form. It’s a simple but clear essay on… well, it’s partly on how to be, with a focus on how to be in the work-place. Here are my notes:

feedback analysis:

  • what do you expect to happen?
  • revisit in 9-12 months
  • what are your strengths? (we are bad at knowing this about ourselves)

reader or listener?

how do you learn?

work well with people or loner?

decision maker or advisor?

stress or highly structured?

big org or small?

In addition he talks about why we want second careers and how not everyone is going to be amazingly successful in life, which is why family and hobbies are important.


The Argonauts

By Maggie Nelson.

I have read Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, I picked it up in the poetry section of the Harvard Bookstore, though I have elsewhere seen it described as prose. The Argonauts followed a similar style of brief paragraphs though there was more of a narrative than Bluets, or at least more of a narrative I understood. Which is not to say there was much narrative. The Argonauts also read as poetic.

Maggie talks about her relationship to Harry Dodge, the child they have together, and generally muses on feminism, pregnancy, child-rearing, queerness. It’s a beautiful books with these side notes that attribute her quotes. I picked up The Argonauts after reading an article admonishing many female tell-all memoirs (often sexually explicit) as sensational; the writer noted The Argonauts among a set of memoirs that were sexually explicit yet not sensational (along with Le Batarde by Violette Leduc.)

I loved it.