Sam Radford

April 6, 2021

How I stopped forgetting what I read

I tend to read two types of books. Either it’s a novel, or it’s a book on a subject I want to learn more about. It’s fair to say, I read a lot of both types. Typically around forty, evenly split, on any given year. But when it comes to the books I’m learning from, I’ve always had a problem: I don’t retain as much as I’d like to. I fini...
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April 5, 2021

Book Notes: “Slow Horses” by Mick Herron

Until two weeks ago I’d never heard of Mick Herron. Nor his series of spy novels. It was Om Malik who drew my attention to him, writing about the newest book in the series. My curiosity was piqued and I ordered a copy of the first book. I’m glad I did. I’ve never been a big reader of spy fiction. No real reason. Just haven’t. I read – ...
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April 4, 2021

While it was still dark

Reading the resurrection story in John’s gospel this morning, I found myself drawn to a few of the words in the opening sentence: “While it was still dark.” Isn’t that how it feels a lot of the time? Dark. Uncertain. Hopeless. It’s the moment we’re most tempted to cave in. The sun has set. Darkness is overwhelming. Fear surrounds us. I...
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April 2, 2021

Friendship is almost always underestimated

I stumbled across a beautiful short essay on friendship earlier today. It was an evocative reminder of the power of friendship and our need for it. It’s by the poet and Christian mystic David Whyte, and I’ve included the middle segment here: “Through the eyes of a real friendship an individual is larger than their everyday actions, and...
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April 1, 2021

Book Notes: “A World Without Email” by Cal Newport

As soon as I heard Cal Newport had a new book coming out tackling digital messaging, I was sold. I’ve read two of Newport’s previous books – Deep Work and Digital Minimalism – and found them both stimulating and challenging. Do I agree with everything he says or suggests? No. But I appreciate his prodding me to think hard about life an...
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March 31, 2021

Alcohol and men’s behaviour

Why is alcohol a taboo subject when talking about controversial issues in society? I wrote last week about what men can and should be doing to look out for the women around us. How we men can help women feel – and be – safer. But isn’t it interesting how the worst behaviour towards women happens late at night, after people have been dr...
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March 30, 2021

The future of work

For over a year now we’ve been talking about the things we’ll do, ‘when things get back to normal’. Whether at home, or at work, it’s been a recurring theme. But will that ever happen? Will, specifically, our work environments ever be the same again? Time only ever moves forwards, and I can’t envisage any scenario where our world goes ...
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March 29, 2021

A vaccine dilemma

I had a bit of a dilemma yesterday. A notice went around various WhatsApp groups saying a doctor’s surgery near me was looking to use up Covid vaccine stock. They would have to throw it away if it wasn’t used by the end of the day. The surgery was hoping people in the vulnerable groups and the over fifties would snap them up. But they ...
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March 26, 2021

Book Notes: “Learning to Pray” by James Martin

I shared on Instagram several weeks ago that I was reading Learning to Pray. And, in that post, I wrote about my struggles with prayer in recent years: “I spent the first three quarters of my life with an understanding of prayer that was mostly about asking God for stuff. But... that fell apart for me as a method of prayer. And I've ne...
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March 25, 2021

Cultivating a workplace that brings out the best in all personality types

There was a good article in The Economist last week exploring the link between personality and success. It focussed on introverts and extroverts. And this advice for managers on the running of meetings resonated with me: “...managers need to think about the different personality types when conducting meetings. It is easy for meetings t...
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