Monday, February 16, 2009

two down, three to go

On my recent vacation to Mexico, I was able to finish two books. You need to know about both.

My review as seen on goodreads:

Oh Annie.
Oh Annie.

I read this after a direct recommendation from a friend, which I rarely do because I rarely share people's taste in modern fiction, but I do love this friend and his poetic soul.

I find it interesting that in almost all of my reviews of Dillard's works, they begin with "this was not what i was expecting, but once I adjusted to the reality of the book, was able to find it very moving." And in Dillard's ever-changing talent and poetic pace, I find intrigue and admiration. I will pick up anything she writes from now on.

That being said, The Maytrees wasn't what I was expecting. I think once I adjusted to Dillard's poetic randomness, I found beauty in the speed bumps she throws in the path of word choice and plot disjointedness. The plot, which is really the first thing I cling to upon the initial read of a book, was a bit hazy and unclear (think Marquez), but once it emerged, the thematic treatment of human connection, age, art, and nature was true to every corner of Dillard's talent I have come to love and explore.

I still enjoyed Pilgrim at Tinker Creek better, but The Maytrees was a quick, moving, important, and gorgeous read.


My review as seen on goodreads:

I seriously want to buy this book for every single introvert I know. After that, I want to buy this book for every single extrovert I know.

Truth is, this book has treated a topic that is seriously underrated and has been the source of my anxiety for many, many years.

There are so many interesting facts/statistics that Dr. Laney throws into this book. For instance:
  • Introverts are outnumbered 3:1 in this world.
  • Introverts live longer than Extroverts.
  • Introversion has been directly linked to intelligence.
  • Introverts loose their words more easily, dislike eye-contact, and shirk when required to engage in "small talk."
  • Introverts require environments where they can control their stimulation levels (noise, color, people) and can become irritable and moody when overstimulated.
  • Introverts are not usually shy and do not lack social skills.
  • Introversion is not a pathology to overcome (Freud), but instead a personality trait (Jung), and is the reason Freud/Jung went their separate ways.
  • Introverts can only recharge by decreasing their stimulation and through tranquil, nonsocial solitude.
  • Introverts often live under immense anxiety because they and their world expect them to act like extroverts (spontaneous, outgoing, gregarious), and when they can't, they shame themselves and create immense internal angst.
  • Introverts "chew" on things longer than extroverts, so what seems like obsession to an extrovert is actually the natural internal dialogue of an introvert.
  • Introverts need to express themselves more than they do; repression is their natural bent and a dangerous one.
  • Introverts are almost incapable of spontaneity.
  • There are two kinds of introverts; left-brained and right-brained. The right-brained introvert can often mistake himself for an extrovert.
  • Introverts have less children.
  • Introverts have higher metabolisms because their life takes much more energy and therefore are prone to hypoglycemia and need to eat every few hours.
  • In order to decrease stimulation, Introverts need to be in control of social situations - often needing to arrive in their own transportation, leaving early, coming later, not hosting, etc. What can appear controlling to Extroverts is actually an Introvert taking care of his/herself.

...just to name a few...

In realizing that many of my problems with anxiety and depression have come from my shamefaced introvert trying to act as if she were an extrovert, I have found much release and understanding of myself.

There are a few chapters that are very self-help focused to the introvert (how to meet people, dating, etc), but in her more soulful, philosophical chapters, there are so many gems of advise and understanding. As I read these, I saw the knot in my belly finally begin to unwind after 15 years of clenching. The chapter "Nurture your Nature," was particularly helpful.

I borrowed this book from my local library, but will be buying it as soon as I find a cheap, used copy (and this is where I plug used books...down with corporate booksellers!).

The book also has tests for introversion if you are unaware of your specific bent, and if you have any suspicion or hunch that you, your spouse, your friend, or your child is introverted, this book will seriously enlighten those relationships.


So I have finished two books.
I have three open on my nightstand:
So do tell,
What books have you finished and to which are you headed next?
mme. bookling

*Interesting side note here. Bridges recommends noticing how you have dealt/do deal with the transitions in your life thus far. Without know it before, today I realized that in almost any major change, I want to change my hair and I want to scour the house in random cleaning (aka, ignoring the dishes, but meticulously cleaning my makeup bag and brushes or taking the vacuum to the ignored places in/behind the couch). What are some of your patterns when you are going through transitions?


Ann from Montana said...

Found you on Plume...

meant to be this morning - your "Introvert" review and the list - that alone untied the knot in MY belly.

Thank you!

Miss Crowland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Crowland said...

That list is SO me. Every item on the list completely resonated, especially the last one, about wanting control in social settings. I should get this book.