A Bit (or Possibly More) About Books

While the majority of my book discussions are going to go over to my other blog, titles relating to the single life and/or personal improvement will be discussed here.  I have a few comments about two I recently read. Both of them have long subtitles that I am omitting here for ease of discussion:

1. Have Him at Hello by Rachel Greenwald.  This book was mentioned in a combox over at Seraphic's place, and out of curiosity, I checked to see if the library had it.  I was able to request it and spent some time reading a little bit before bed over the course of a few nights.

The premise of the book is to discuss the author's findings from interviewing men about the dates they had and what made them decide whether to have a second date.  Mostly she focused on what made them decide not to have a second date, and while obviously some things just don't work out and/or it wasn't anything "you" did, she did find some common gaffes or off-putting things that a substantial number of women did while on first dates.

I liked the breakdown into various faux-pas categories (e.g. "Park Avenue Princess," "B*tch-in-Boots") along with a little checklist to see if you fall into any of those mistakes.  The good thing is that it never shames the reader and always offers suggestions for improvement (or in some cases, curbing bad habits.)

Of course, there are plenty of funny (or sad depending on how you look at it) anecdotes, and the book does talk positively and include stories about dates that went well.  It might be embarrassing to request at your library, but thank goodness for online requesting and self-checkout.  I definitely am taking away some positive moves. . . when that first date time comes around again.

2. Quiet by Susan Cain.  I was number one-hundred-and-something on the holds queue when I requested this title from the library months ago.  And boy, was it worth the wait.

There have been plenty of books written about being introverted, and being an introvert (INFJ) myself I'm interested by the topic.  Not of all of them are ones I'd recommend--in fact, I know have one buried on my desk with a bookmark stuck in it.  This book, however, is something that I wish everyone, introverted or not, would pick up and read--not only so extraverts would cut us introverts a break, but also so we introverts would cut ourselves a break!

What really grabbed me was that the author actually brought in the sensitivity (particularly as studied and discussed by Elaine Aron).  I definitely fall into the classification of being a highly sensitive person (seriously, I took the test from the book) so it was fascinating to see how it related to introversion.

There is so much covered in this book--from childhood, to school, to work, to parenting--that I wanted to read it and study it over and over.  Unfortunately, because it was a library book in high demand, I wasn't able to keep it beyond one borrowing period.

So I treated myself to my very own copy last week.  (I let myself look in the bookstore after having blood drawn at the endocrinologist's last week--everything's fine.)

It's not a small book, but I devoured it.  Part of the ease of reading was my own interest, I'm sure, but also Ms. Cain writes with such a vivacity and insight that it never feels dry.  I will have more to say after a re-read, but I will wrap up by saying that even if you never have been labeled "quiet," odds are pretty good that you work with, grew up with, live with, or even possibly raised/are raising someone who has.  (Yup, they even talk about introverted children and their extraverted parents.  And vice versa.)  Here is your chance to understand why "quiet" people are the way they are. . . and maybe help foster some of that "quiet power" to produce great relationships and work.



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