Monday, January 7, 2013

Reading Lately, in the sick house

At any one time I am usually in the midst of a couple of books, which either works out brilliantly or makes it terribly hard to keep the stories straight, but these two were particularly interesting to read at the same time.  Also, a bout of illness over the holidays allowed me to finally finish them both, in addition to a few others I had lying around.  It's always nice to start out the new year tidying up loose ends.  Finally, I've really been enjoying Rachel's posts over on Heart of Light on her current reading, and so thought I would try out a couple of reading posts here.

"Quiet" was recommended to me by my mother, and as a self-described introvert planning on attending business school in the fall, it was particularly interesting and helpful.  The author does a good job of keeping the book engaging, which I often find not the case with nonfiction.  Also, while decidedly written from the viewpoint of another introvert, I think the book would be interesting for people of either personality type, if only to help unpack how people can react so very differently to similar situations.  My friend Arden introduced me to the idea of personality types and how better understanding your own and others' can really improve your professional and personal relationships, more about one such test here.  I found this book to be a good introduction to one particular aspect of personality types, and a well-researched and thoughtful fleshing out of something that is usually presented as a dichotomy, as in, you're either an introvert or an extrovert but there's nothing in between.

I can't remember now how I found "The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth," but I think I mostly enjoyed reading it in conjunction with "Quiet."  It is also nonfiction, which is probably something of a record for me as I tend to read a lot more fiction, but quite a bit drier than "Quiet."  The author follows multiple high school student outcasts or geeks for about a year, and details how the attributes that make them unpopular in high school are exactly the same attributes that will make them successful as adults or even in college.  There is so much cruelty that goes on in high school and even middle school, which makes certain sections painful to read, especially for someone who struggled through high school.  Overall, I thought it was an interesting read, but she gets quite prescriptive in the end, giving advice to teenagers, parents of high school students, and teachers, none of which was relevant for me.  Also, she pretty well hits you over the head with her thesis and wraps up each student's story line a little too neatly in my opinion.

Photo from my instagram.

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