Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Reports

One of my "hobbies" that I do not get to do enough of anymore is reading.  Picture me using my fingers to make quote marks when I say hobbies because I sometimes think reading is more of a personality trait than a hobby.  I think there are readers and non-readers out there.  I'm definitely a reader, and have been my whole life.

Last year I had hoped to get through at least 24 books, but only ended up reading 16.  Besides not having enough time, my choice of book sometimes slows me down too.  There's usually a non-fiction book here or there that I like to read, but although they're interesting, I don't usually devour them like I do fiction.  Then, on the fiction side, I like to occasionally read a classic here or there, and they also tend to take me awhile to get through.  So, I kind of felt bad that I did not even come close to reaching my goal, but I'm trying not to worry about it too much.  This is definitely one of those things that should be quality over quantity. 

It's funny too, the differences between readers and non-readers.  When I mention to each that I read 16 books last year the reader response is "only 16?" and the non-reader response is "wow, 16 books!!"

So, here we are in 2013, and although I didn't make a formal resolution to read 24 books again, it is my unofficial goal.  I'm three deep so far.  This is what I've been reading:

Bossypants: by Tina Fey
I thought I would kick off the new year with something light and fun.  I have been meaning to read this book forever, and as I had to do that 3-hour glucose test at the hospital one Saturday morning I downloaded it to keep me busy.  I finished about 90% of the book during that 3-hour span, and then finished it up a few days later.  So, it is definitely a quick read.  I was expecting it to focus more around her childhood/struggling young adult stages, but a lot of it was actually her more current SNL/30 Rock stories.  There were also a few parenting and relationship stories as well.  It jumped around a bit more than I thought it would.  That's not a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting.  It was all very funny and well-written though which is the important thing.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars, which for me equals "I liked it"
(1 star - didn't like it, 2 stars - it was okay, 3 stars - liked it, 4 stars - really liked it, 5 stars - loved it)
Next up was another non-fiction...
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking: by Susan Cain
As a self-described Introvert, I was drawn to this book when I started seeing it pop here and there.  It took me a month to get through it (like I said, non-fiction sometimes slows me down), but it was super interesting.  I think everyone should read this book.  It discusses Introverts in all sorts of various settings, and looked at them from all different scenarios.  For example, in the Introverts in business section it touched on the "extrovert boss - introvert employee", the "introvert boss - extravert employee", and the "introvert boss - introvert employee" scenarios.  It talked about the best environments for Introverts to work in and how each of these types of bosses could get the most out of their introvert/extravert employees.  There's a section like that for teachers, parents, and relationships.  The parents and relationships sections were the most interesting to me.  Bill is definitely an extravert, and I'm thinking Madeleine is following suit, but it's hard to decide that quite yet.
It also describes how none of us are really 100% one way or the other, and how Introverts can literally flip a switch and be extraverted if the situation really calls for it, but how it drains them and eventually they'll need to retreat to their natural Introvert state. 
I just found the subject matter fascinating, and helpful.  If you're not an Introvert, you know someone in your life who is; so I think the information pertains to everyone.  I definitely recommend this book.  4 out of 5 stars.
Finally, I just finished up my first fiction book of the year...
Gone Girl: by Gillian Flynn
This book, essentially a missing person/murder type mystery novel, had me hooked from the beginning.  It's broken up into three parts.  I devoured the first third super quick...then the major plot question gets answered.  After that, it slowed a bit for me, but I kept reading part two with more of an "okay, where is this going?" frame of mind.  Then, that question got answered.  Part three kept me intrigued as I really wanted the satisfaction of a certain ending, but then that didn't happen!!  It actually ended so abruptly that I was literally flipping the pages going, "wait, where's the next chapter, this can't be it."  But it was, to which I said "boo."  I definitely liked this booked; I just wished it had ended differently.  So, only 3 out of 5 stars for this too.
That's what I've read so far this year.  I have no idea what to read next, so send me recommendations!!     

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