Home > Uncategorized > What I’m Reading (Feb 2013)

What I’m Reading (Feb 2013)

Every month, I find a book or two or three among the many I read that I particularly enjoy.  If I find something I think a particular person might like, I’ll send them a text or an email.  Rarely do I come across a book that I will recomend to a lot of people.  This month I read such a book:  Daring Greatly:  How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.

The third time someone suggested I read Daring Greatly I figured I should at least read the amazon preview.  After doing so, I downloaded a copy to my Kindle.  I can’t remember the last book where I highlighted so many passages, where I re-read portions of the book (sometimes even days later), or where I even had to put the book down and think about what I’d just read.  In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown, a researcher, went out to discover what it meant to live a wholehearted life (or a life of authenticity).  What does it look like?  What does it involve?  What are the challenges?  In her research, she narrowed the traits to ten and discovered, much to her surprise, that she lacked many of them.  She (like I) was a people-pleasing perfectionist, which are not traits that lead to authenticy and wholeheartedness.  This book is her search to understand why she and others lack these traits life, how we often derail our own lives, and how we can begin to live wholeheartedly.  Daring Greatly is an insightful, amazing book.  (If you want to learn more about her before getting the book, she did an hour long interview with the OnBeing podcast and she has also given a TED talk.)

Quiet:  The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain (another popular TED talk speaker) is a book about introverts (like me) that seeks to help us understand who we are, why we act as we do, and to see the strength of an introvert in a highly extroverted world.  I found this book very insightful as well.

Going Clear:  Scientology, Hollywood, and The Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright.  Going Clear details the life of L. Ron Hubbard as he founded and initially led Scientology, Paul Haggis (a screenwriter) who joined and then later left the movement, and some of the rather shocking practices of this organization.  The book doesn’t delve too much into the beliefs, but their practices are quite eye-opening.

I love mysteries and crime novels.  Grantland.com posted an essay on Donald Westlake, the prolific author, who wrote under various names, such as Richard Stark.  Stark/Westlake wrote a series of popular novels about one character, Parker, in the sixties, and they were recently re-released for the Kindle at a steal of a price- $3.99.  So I’ve been indulging in sixties crime novels- The Score, The Jugger, The Seventh, and The Handle by Richard Stark.  I’ve still got many more to go.

Some other stuff I read this month: Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor (essays on writing), Seven Seconds or Less by Jack McCallum (about the NBA Phoenix Suns), Francona:  The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona (about the Boston Red Sox), and The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey (I read this as part of a reading/discussion group).

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