Things to read on your holidays…

If you have a holiday break over Christmas and your body is resting but your brain just won’t stop struggling with big issues… this list of things to read will only make it worse… it is a collection of ‘odd socks’… in one sense… but each tells a tale… if you let it. Curious…? (Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom… in case the best is left to the last!

A mixed bag of compelling reads that will cause you to delve deep into thinking (or… frustrated emotion) about the the values of diversity, inclusion, fairness, and the decency and dignity of being human… and back again!  One thread is that our environments and our decision making about how we interact fairly with others is intertwined with complexity from the minute structural neurological architecture and environment in our own brains…

You will be challenged to consider the way we organise our understanding of complex human circumstances and make meaning of phenomena… through to the ways we (learn) to behave and interact with each other… how can we train ourselves and others to make better, fairer, respectful, inclusion decisions about the ways we see, think and act about others and their circumstance/s… or not…

How can we contribute to a world that is less racist, less stigmatised, less cruel, less colonised, more decent, more fair, more respectful…. or not…

And then a slightly cynical take on wading through the leadership language that lingers around oiling the inertia and languishing of any real-world change…   or not…

I will be interested to hear the thoughts of others after working thought this reading list…

Reading 1. Some neuroscience… it is a journal article. 
This paper is heavy going… but very interesting… it explains (neurologically) how we weigh up and make decisions – based on past experiences and our ability to predict the most suitable decision – learning from our experiences… but the bit that is especially interesting is that when we are faced with making a decision (informed by our past successes)… if the environment is volatile and changed (not your usual set of circumstances) – then you make poorer decisions… The extent that you are comfortable, familiar with the situation… plays a part in the way you make decisions… unstable, uncomfortable, less familiar circumstances impact on your capacity to make successful decisions… Why did I enjoy this paper so much… From my mental health perspective… because it is a good reminder that the brain and our thinking requires a safe, familiar setting, and positive past experiences as determinants for mental health and well being… If we don’t get the environment right for the brain to thrive… then dysfunction, disability and perhaps even disease occurs… In terms of resilience building … this is important news as well. And, in terms of acute care nursing… it is important news as well (say for rural patients treated in metropolitan hospitals… right out of their zone of comfort and trying to cope with health changes and recovery… ) Nice paper! See what you think…put it on your Christmas reading list! Open access:

Reading 2. Racism and privilege

If you read one book… this is it! The Hate Race: by Maxine Beneba Clarke will make you think… ‘or else whats a story for…’ And when you think about the lived experiences of others – the way they tell their own stories… there are always mental health implications… I loved her book. She is an amazing storyteller – she has reflected on her own lived experiences and conveyed them in her memoir… an Australian woman who can teach us much… if we are prepared to listen to her story tell about what it is like to walk in her shoes… a knowledge that is so relevant… just read it 🙂

You can follow her on twitter too – she curates an interesting discussion. Her handle is: @slamup

Reading 3. Case Study Research Design.

Yin has a new 6th edition out: the ‘gold standard’ for Case Study methods… if you are looking for a nice method to investigate a ‘How’ or ‘What’ type of a question… this might be worth a read. Or if, like me… you are a dyed-in-the-wool Case Study old-hand… here is the next edition. I can’t wait to see what has been updated! My copy is ordered!

Reading 4. Behrouz Boochani twitter feed: @BehrouzBoochani

Behrouz Boochani is a refugee on Manus Island – he is also a novelist & journalist. His twitter feed is confronting reading. His reporting from the front line as an insider and with his embedded experiences of detention, asylum seeking – and his experiences of Australian authorities is graphic and chilling, and provides a real life account that is a stark contrast to the the tweeter feed of his chief gaoler:

Your social conscience will be propelled to advocacy and action… and if you are still not convinced then read @nickbootnick – a whistleblower doctor, refugee decency advocate with previous  background serving as a medical doctor in war zones…and my friend…  who was recently the head medical officer at Nauru and ‘saw worse in his Nauru clinic than in any war zone hospital’ … it is not rocketry…

Reading 5 Management Language Syndrome – another journal commentary article… not so heavy!

For the leaders… and the managers… and those on the receiving end… a little on the cynical end of the spectrum… a great explanation of a everything you thought you knew about leadership, but were afraid to ask… (you will still be afraid!).

Read this – and then cast your mind back to reading one… the environments we create… the implications… the neurological reinforcement… aarrrggghhhh!

Happy reading…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.