Booking Through Thursday: Multi-Tasking

Booking Through Thursday

Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?  Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?  (Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

Yes, sometimes I multi-task while I read. I occasionally  read while I eat, check email, or watch TV. For the most part, I read during my morning and evening commute. But if get adsorbed into a book then I prefer to do nothing but read :).

Advertisements

Interpersonal Skills 101: How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleEveryone needs a refresher when it comes to interacting with people in their personal and professional lives. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People provides readers with exactly that. I don’t often read self-help books but I have to say that this book is worth reading. I actually wish I had read this book sooner. Sure, not everything in this book is eye-opening and some of the stories might be dated but they are still relevant. This book will remind you of simple and obvious things you already know and should be doing such as remembering people’s name, smiling, not criticizing or condemning, letting people talk about themselves/interests, admitting when you are wrong, etc.

The book is well-written, easy to read, and the stories used to illustrate the techniques are on point. I also enjoyed the anecdotes Carnegie used from Abe Lincoln’s life mainly because I am a big fan of Lincoln and enjoy learning about him. There were times that I did feel that he provided more than the necessary stories needed to illustrate his techniques to the point that it became a bit redundant. Despite that, I still found the book enjoyable and highly recommend it. I am sure you will at least find one technique that will help enrich your interpersonal skills or better yet you may discover that you are doing something that you should not be doing.

Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing etc.

It’s been a bit crazy lately so I have neglected my blog and missed a few BTT memes. So let’s catch up…

Booking Through Thursday

Borrowing?: Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend? (Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?) And, DO you return books you borrow?

I prefer to borrow books from friends just because it takes me a while to return them. I would probably have to pay the library several late return fines. Wait, I already did. I usually have a pile of books to read through so I am not able to get to them before the due date of the second renewal after which the book must be returned.

War Stories: Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

I have read a few books about wars and people impacted by them. Some which I enjoyed are:

1. The Diary of Anne Frank
2. Les Miserables
3. A Farewell to Arms
4. Night
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns
6. The Reader

Good or Bad: I’ve seen many bloggers say that what draws them to certain books or authors is good writing, and what causes them to stop reading a certain book or author is bad writing. What constitutes good writing and bad writing to you?

This is a good question but I think the answer can be a bit subjective. For me, good writing is more than just proper grammar and punctuation. It is about good character development, captivating plot, and successfully transmitting emotions. I like getting emotionally invested in the story and forming a relationship with the characters so that as I read a story I can picture it in my imagination.

On the other hand, bad writing includes bad grammar, shallow characters, bad dialogue, scattered storyline, bad punctuation, and too much description. I also personally hate it when the conclusion of a story does not provide closure, leaving you feeling like there is something missing or that it was pointless. Like I said the answer can be a bit subjective.

Skeletons: What reading skeletons do you have in your closet? Books you’d be ashamed to let people know you love? Addiction to the worst kind of (fill in cheesy genre here)? Your old collection of Bobbsey Twin Mysteries lovingly stored behind your “grown-up” books? You get the picture … come on, confess!

I don’t think I have reading skeletons because I am not ashamed of any books that I have read. I try to read books from different genres; you never know when you will discover a treasure. However, I am guilty of re-reading the entire collection of the Anne of Green Gables series and Pride and Prejudice several times. I still find them just as entertaining as when I first read them.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray a while ago but its one of those books that you just never forget. When I was first introduced to the book I wasn’t interested in it at all, it seemed boring and long. If you have ever read the book you know that it is everything but boring and maybe it’s a little long but it’s worth reading.

Basil Hallward is a painter creating a portrait of the young dashingly handsome Dorian Gray when Lord Henry Wotton enters to observe. Lord Henry begins to express his opinions on beauty and the world to Dorian Gray, ignoring the constant opinion of Basil who is telling him to stop. From here on after Dorian Gray seems to believe that beauty is the only worthy characteristic of a person. His vanity is  his doom. He rejects his true love knowing that she will one day get old and lose her physical beauty. He becomes rude and condescending towards everyone. He essentially loses his true beauty. Dorian Gray is a perfect representation of how the focus on physical beauty can take away from inner beauty. The portrait painted by Basil soon begins to show the true Dorian, it now shows an ugly person who is deprived of any form beauty. Oscar Wilde does a truly magnificent job in stating that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. This book is a beautiful winding story of self destruction. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates different perspectives on true beauty.

“It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But it is better to be good than to be ugly.”

Booking Through Thursday: Foreign

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

I love reading book from all over the world. Foreign books expose you to experiences from other parts of the world, other time periods, and other cultural perspectives. If you have not read any foreign books you are missing out. A few of my favorites include:

  • Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Les Misérable – Victor Hugo
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende
  • Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

What are some of your favorite foreign books or authors?

“Kissing Frogs in Cyberspace” by Dianne Sweeney (Guest Review)

Kissing Frogs in CyberspaceYou meet up with a guy that you met on an online dating site for the first time.  You notice that he is shorter than he described to you. He said he was four inches taller than your height.  But, he is the same height as you and you are not even wearing heels.  This is a red flag. If he lied about something as noticeable as his height—what else is he going to lie about to you?

Similarly, in “Kissing Frogs in Cyberspace,” Dianne Sweeney discusses the red flags that she has learned when screening potential dates.  Although not written as a “how-to” book, Sweeney’s memoir of the first six months of her online dating quest documents her experience with several online dating services and publishes actual emails from potential suitors.  Through her experiences, we can learn from her lessons in dating and even relate to the dates that are entered into with high hopes but turn out to be duds.  Even though I have been on many similar bad dates as Sweeney, it’s a lot funnier when it’s happening to someone else. Sweeney’s voice is honest, relatable, and humorous—I laughed out loud on public transit while reading her book.  I would definitely recommend this book to all of my friends that are single ladies.

Booking Through Thursday: Rewrite

If you could rewrite the ending of any book, which book would it be? And how would you change it?

This is a really good question and I am sure I felt like that after reading a few books. However, the only one that comes to mind is Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. I felt that she forced a happy ending for everyone. Jacob is a teenager so I am sure he would have gotten over Bella eventually. The fact that he was destined for her daughter did not bother me as much as her trying to make him have a happily ever after ending.