It’s Friday, and although my normal Friday hashtag is #FriYAY, #FridayReads is a close second. I have read a TON this week, books, audiobooks, and articles to broaden my knowledge (one of my resolutions this year). So, I’m going to recap some of the things that I have learned this week, both for myself and for you.
The Books The Slight Edge (Jeff Olson), Female Chauvinist Pigs (Ariel Levy), Missoula (Jon Krakauer), and Wake up Happy (Michael Strahan)
The commonalities Each of these books is a work of non-fiction. Although I typically read three books at once (1 audiobook, 1 ebook, and 1 physical book), they are very infrequently even remotely related. So this has been weird for me, it was an interesting start to 2017, and I don’t think I want to continue it, but I also wouldn’t change it.
The Slight Edge: Turning simple disciplines into massive success and happiness. The tagline says it all. If you are ready for a change, or trying to make a change stick, in your life this is a great book to read. I strongly recommend it to anybody undergoing or considering a major change in their life because it focuses on attitude and mindset. It was not an easy read by any means, and I definitely had to take one from this book and set a goal of 10 pages a day. I actually put this into practice by setting a timer for 10 minutes, and reading for that long. It broke down to reading about 3 times a day in order to get up to 10 pages, which is because the content made me think, not because I am a slow reader. This is also a book I know I will re-read in my future, and I have re-read at most three books to date (in my adult life- Dr. Seuss totally does not count). But I know that under different circumstances, I will see this book differently and get something more out of it.
Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming your Life. I have just started this book, and it is much lighter than The Slight Edge, but the concepts and the format are very similar. The best part about reading books about happiness and success is that they can be applied immediately. Having one of these books, or a similar book, on me at all times is going to be something I strongly consider moving forward. I feel like you can only learn so much from self-help books because they all basically tell you the same thing. However, every author has a different background, a different voice, and therefore a different story. So really, when you think about it, there is always something to gain from another book.
Missoula: Rape and the justice system in a college town. Alright, so this book is pretty serious and pretty dark. I first encountered Krakauer with Under the Banner of Heaven, which was so well crafted that I knew I would find him again. Although the topic is heavy, and the stories are very difficult to listen to, the way Krakauer describes real events is so well-researched, and so well-explained that I have a really hard time putting it down. I put the book down because I have someplace to be, or because I have other things going on and really want to and need to focus on it. I truly believe that we need better sensitivity training in this world, and this book is great if you want to understand how a not so isolated group of people thinks and feels this is great. If you just want to understand something that is very real, but does not apply to you, this is a great book. If you are one of the people who has been assaulted, I am not here to offer advice because I am not one of you. I don’t know how this book will affect you.
Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the rise of raunch culture. Okay, I was disappointed with this book and that’s why I saved it for last. I figured if you make it this far you’re a champion and you will either continue reading, or you’ve already stopped and I’m talking to myself. Either way, if you’re interested in feminism or the sex industry, I guarantee you can find a better book than this. Levy claims to be telling the story of what we have decided the sex industry is, but after reading the book, I cannot actually tell you what we have decided. Problem number 1. Problem number 2 is the absolute unrelatability of the people in the book- which is absurd because these are REAL people, not works of fiction. The quotes are from actual men and women, and yet I related to maybe two of them. That to me says that not everybody has made the sex industry this awful thing Levy claims it to be. I won’t deny that women are awful in the ways she is trying to convey, I am claiming that the telling of it was awful.
The morals I am very thankful I picked up each of the books in this post. If I had to recommend one first, it would be The Slight Edge for someone who is serious about changing their life, and Wake Up Happy to someone who just wants a little change. I learned something from each of these books, mostly about myself. I learned what my perspective is on the world. Your perspective is such an important concept, because everything you see is filtered through the lens of that perspective.