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BOOKS I’M READING–October 2017
The weather has turned cooler, giving promise that Autumn is truly coming. I’ve purchased some tunics and leggings and am shopping for some proper shoes; my previous cool weather clothes are all too big and were given away. I’m planning a family gathering around the firepit and anticipating turning on the gas fireplace inside soon. Summer is on the wane; Fall is here!
In addition to cooler weather, I’ve also been under the weather. I’ve spent more time than usual curled up on the couch, hot tea by my side and book in hand: my comfort zone. I’ve been reading a lot of books! A fair number of these books were just “meh”, so I’ll only share the ones I think are worth sharing. Here’s my litmus test: if I’ll keep it to read again or if I think it’s good enough to pass on to my mom or one of my adult kids, that’s my idea of a good book. Hopefully some of you out there will share my eclectic taste in books.
I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin. I greatly enjoyed her previous books The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before, her book about habit formation. (As an aside: did I loan out that book to anyone out there? Because I have scoured my shelves and can’t find it…)
Gretchen Rubin is one of my favorite non-fiction writers. Her handling of data and theories is masterful; she makes non-fiction as easy and enjoyable to read as fiction. I love that she’s never heavy-handed; she always allows for differences in opinion and situation. Her research for Better Than Before, the self-help book on forming useful habits and routines, led her to a theory concerning how different people respond to expectations. After more research and field study, she wrote The Four Tendencies.
I love this book on so many levels. For one thing, as someone who is fascinated by personality frameworks in general, it’s just plain fun to get to know myself and my loved ones a little better. I become more aware of how I can either sabotage or further my own personal goals and also others’ goals. I appreciate Gretchen’s care to phrase her work in such a way that we’re invited to understand others and appreciate their outlook. She clearly spells out practical applications, especially regarding effective communication with those who approach life from a different perspective. She has specific applications for spouses, parents, teachers, and medical professionals.
If any of you read this book, please let me know. I’d love to discuss it! Book club, anyone? (If you’re curious, I’m an obliger with upholder tendencies: OBLIGER/upholder.)
As an appropriate companion book to Gretchen Ruben’s Four Tendencies, here is another newly released personality framework book. October 2017 was a great month for all Personality Framework geeks! This book, written by the creator of the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, was not what I expected, but I still enjoyed it. I was expecting actual book recommendations, or perhaps genre and sub-genre suggestions based on different personalities. Instead, it’s a mini-course in the various popular personality frameworks. There are chapters explaining Introvert vs. Extrovert, Highly Sensitive People, the Five Love Languages, Keirsey’s Temperments, Myers-Briggs, Clifton StrengthsFinder, and the Enneagram. Not only does it understandably explain each of these temperment frameworks, but it also addresses how they interact, how your type may or may not change over time, what each “diagnosis” means for you practically, and then ends with a wonderfully encouraging discussion on change.
If you read it, let’s talk!
This book is based on actual characters and events from WWII. I had a difficult time getting into it at first, probably due to the fact that it’s told from three distinct points of view and has a large cast of characters and settings (not on par with Dickens, but still…). I’m glad I persevered, although it is a haunting story. I do recommend this story of three women from very different places in society and perspectives, but be prepared to feel some emotions.
This light and breezy read had me in its thrall from page one. How could it not? The Bookshop feels like more than just a setting; it’s practically a character in the story. I mean really…own a bookshop? Grow up living above a bookshop? Yes, please! No, it’s not great literature. But sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for Tolstoy, am I right?
This story feels improbable and odd, but it still drew me in. The ending went a bit off the rails, in my opinion, but I still got lost in the story and especially enjoyed the small hints of intrigue. I found them…intriguing. At its heart, this is a story about mothers and daughters and how they can love each other deeply and yet still find their relationship to be fraught with challenges. There’s one particular story line that appeals to me, as it touches on a pet observation of mine: oftentimes we are our own worst enemy when it comes to getting the thing we deeply desire.
While this book was published quite some time ago, I’d never read it. It was a fascinating look at a clash between cultures, as well as the intricate mother-daughter dance of life. This book is told from eight unique perspectives: four Chinese immigrant mothers and their four American-born daughters. I generally dislike books told from more than two points of view, but this kept my interest, horrified me, made me think, made me laugh, and made me cry. Sometimes it feels as though people who love one another must surely purposely misunderstand each other.
Another older book I’d never read, this one took my breath away. It’s not at all the type of book I would have predicted I’d like: the main character is not overly likeable: pretentious, no sense of humor, apparently emotion-less. With few exceptions the book is all internal dialogue, slow moving with almost no actual action. And yet…and yet. It was haunting and thought provoking on so many levels. How do you value your worth when you begin to suspect you’ve got it all wrong? Turn a blind eye? Make a late-life U-turn? How do you define honorable work? An honorable life?
I think you should read this!
If you read any of these books, I’d love to talk about it! Comment below in the comments or start a thread on my Facebook Writer’s Page. I’d love for you to sign up for my email list so you’ll never miss a post! If you enjoy my book recommendations, please share using the social media sharing buttons. For more book recommendations, read 10 Books I Loved This Week or 3 Picture Books I Enjoyed This Week.