This week I’ve stacked my five books from smallest to largest and I’ll review them in that order. I considered looking at them from largest to smallest but that seemed psychologically demoralizing. Oh, and when I say small and large I’m referring to width and height and not thickness or number of pages. This has great importance although the reason escapes me.
- Walking Your Way to a Better Life by Kimiko is both an inspirational and autobiographical book about a woman who used walking and proper “mental posture” to overcome depression and build an international training business. It’s refreshing to read a book by a Japanese author because their writing rhythm and cadence is so different than western authors. Although, after a while the repitition of a single theme and the sometimes wandering narrative got to me a bit. Also, while I’m a big believer in positive self talk (it can build real neurological pathways in the brain that in turn manifest in your attitude and body) I got really tired reading about the author telling herself that she loves herself.
A Unicorn in a World of Donkeys by Mia Michaels had potential (I always give potential points to unicorn references) but failed to impress. The subtitle is A Guide to Life For All the Eexceptional, Excellent Misfits. Seriously, I get the whole meaning of unincorns and donkeys but she mentioned unicorns and glowing horns so many times I felt like I was sitting in a pink bedroom surrounded by teacups and teddy bears and a couple of giggling girls who would suddenly curse for no apparent reason. It was a little disturbing.
“Do you stand in your uniqueness, or do you hide what makes you wonderfully weird?” Mia MichaelsI know creatives can sometimes be overly dramatic but there’s only so much “You’re amazing and should shoot for the moon” advice I can take. What’s worse, Michaels organized her chapters into a 12 step program. Oddly, much of the book read as if it was written for alchoholic mythical creatures.
- Next up is the medium sized book In Chocolate We Trust: The Hershey Company Town Unwrapped by Peter Kurie. This was another book I had high hopes for that were never realized. I thought the book was going to be some sort of biographical history of the man, the company and the town. But in the pages I actually read (there was no way I wanted to finish this one) I felt like it was merely a blandly written institutional explanation of what a trust is, why the one that controls the Hershey company is now evil and why “Captalism is bad”. You know what, let’s just move on from this one. I’m getting depressed.
- Now we get to my favorite book of the week. To be perfectly honest, I’m not finished with this one yet. But that’s because I’m actually enjoying reading it. If it weren’t for this whole size of book ranking thing this one would have been first, or last. The title is The Secret Life of Pronouns and it’s written by James W. Pennebaker. The premise of the book is that the pronouns we use in our speech and our writing reveal a lot about who we are. The author and his collegues have spent years developing software that can analyze writings and make predictions about the people who wrote them. Pick up the book and at least flip through it. Maybe you won’t discover any life changing conclusions but you might gain a bit of insight into how our words betray us.
- The biggest book this week (6 1/4″ x 9 1/4″) is Into the Lion’s Mouth by Larry Loftis. The book is “The true story of Dusko Popov: World War II spy, patriot, and the real-life inspiration for James Bond”. The book is interesting and you can definitely see where Ian Fleming got many of the attributes for Bond. As mentioned in a former post, I’m fascinated by stories of WWII espionage so for me this book was a page turner. However, as in many historical books the documentation of the story sometimes gets in the way of the story itself.
Well, there you go. Five more books you should either read or run from.