Monday, May 28, 2007

The man who was Thursday

It really is incredible how much time there is to read while I wait for the train or for an appointment. Or is it because trains and appointments sometimes arrive/start late? Or maybe I intentionally arrive early in order to read?

Either way, I read this G.K. Chesterton book during those waiting times over the last several weeks. The big question of this book is: who is this Thursday guy? And who are these other guys hanging out with him? There are lots of surprises and everyone turns out to be someone other than who they appear to be. The last 30 pages are particularly crazy. However, this was a dense book, full of lots of long sentences and paragraphs that made me kind of tired. I guess that's what made it a good book to read while I waited because it was okay, but only in little spurts of 5-10 minutes.

Should I give Chesterton another chance? Any recommendations for what I should try?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

In this book, Albom chronicles his weekly visits with Morrie Schwartz, his college mentor, who is dying. This is one book that I read every year. Last week was my reading for 2007.

Why do I read this book every year? It never fails to bring about a renewed sense of appreciation for the beauty of an ordinary day. It reminds me to step back and re-evaluate my priorities. It asks me to reflect on the person I am and who I would like to become. It makes me consider if I have any unfinished business with anyone (to say: Thank you, I forgive you, Will you forgive me?, I love you). And that is why I read this book every year.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A walk in the woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

All I can say about this Bill Bryson book is that I really enjoyed it! Full of history, geography, and travel adventures. Plus, lots of humor! This was one of those books that made me scheme to try and figure out when I could sneak in another chapter or two.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Blink: The power of thinking without thinking

I've wanted to read this book for a long time now because I really enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's other book, The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference. This book, Blink, has been so popular at my local library that it's always been checked out when I've looked for it. I finally resorted to ordering it through my university library which had it delivered from another library in California.

Was it worth all of the effort? This book was a very quick and fun read. Gladwell explores how we make split-second decisions that are sometimes very accurate and sometimes very inaccurate. He tells fascinating stories about how our quick decisions all play out (his discussion about speed-dating was particularly interesting...can we really tell within five minutes if we are interested in someone or willing to dismiss them as a potential date?).

This book made me think about listening to my own intuition. First impressions may not always be right, but is there some truth to them? As one of my professors says, how we feel in the presence of another human being is data that gets registered in our bodies. It tells us something about the other person and their energy. It's worth paying some attention to even if it doesn't make sense at the time.

Overall, this book was fun and made me think about my own experiences in listening to my intuition and decisions I've made or haven't made based on my initial thoughts and feelings. If you're looking for a quick, interesting read, pick up this book.