Due Dates and Deadlines

With tax day looming, a set of books that shed insight on the power of a schedule.



Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

By David Allen


A veteran management consultant, Allen has helped the folks at L.L. Bean, the World Bank, and Microsoft, among others, use their time more effectively. Now it's your turn. But the advice he has to offer may surprise you. A key component of increased productivity at work is, according to Allen, the ability to relax. So kick back, take it easy, and get it done.



The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

By Atul Gawande


Checklists save lives. Gawande, a surgeon and the bestselling author of Complications, digs up a slew of scientific and anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that when a hospital creates and consults checklists for certain procedures, death and infection rates drop dramatically. His call to action is written with fiery passion and cool logic.



My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times

By Harold Evans


Few people know more about the tyranny of deadlines than newspapermen. The former editor of The Times (of London) and The Sunday Times as well as the president and publisher of the Random House trade group, Evans tells tales of the world of daily periodicals that he helped shape. This New York Times Notable Book of 2009 follows Evans from his wartime upbringing in England to his tenure as one of the world's most influential journalists.



The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination

Edited by Chrisoula Andreou and Mark White


If you're looking to put something off, why not read this book instead, a philosophical consideration of procrastination. Is it a vice or are we genetically predisposed to waste time? What makes us do it? And perhaps most importantly, how can we can stop ourselves? These questions and more are tackled by the assembled authors, but be forewarned, there aren't any easy answers. Still, it's an stimulating diversion from whatever you should be doing.



Uncommon Carriers

By John McPhee


Over eight years, McPhee traveled with freight deliverers around the world. He sought not only to get the lowdown on how the industry works but also to understand what their lives are like as they drive hazardous materials across continents, push barges up the Illinois River, or haul strange cargo by hand --all with an eye on clock and calendar.



July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.