THINK AGAIN by Adam Grant: A Review

One of the best non-fiction reads so far this year

The subtitle, “Knowing What You Don’t Know,” let’s us know this is a book about the value of rethinking. Taking tests as a student, I was always told “Go with your first instinct and never change answers; don’t overthink.” Grant says just the opposite. He complains that when we get an idea, we freeze it and seize it, and hold on to it too many times. Because we are human, we enjoy living in our “comfort of conviction” over the “discomfort of doubt.”

There is something for everyone in this book: for teachers in the chapter “Rethinking the Textbook, which has excellent ideas to teach ‘rethinking;’ for young people who are in a quandary over making a career decision or life plan; for mid-lifer crazies who are in a career crisis; and parents, who want their children to be able to solve problems that don’t even exist yet. It is especially applicable to business bosses and leaders who wish their companies/organizations to be effective and efficient.

Timely answers for NOW, for Covid questions, NASA examples and experiences from his own kids and family fill the book with readable and relatable anecdotes that keep the reader turning pages.

It is a “darned good read’ and very helpful in dealing with life.

MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE by Lori Gottlieb: A Review

This is probably one of my best non-fiction reads this year, right up there with I’m Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come (see review on this blog). Note the subtitle under the box on the cover for an accurate description of what the book is about. “This is a book that asks, ‘How do we change?’ and it answers with ‘In relation to others.’ ” Gottlieb explores the relationship between patient and therapist with real-life anecdotes from her patients and from her own sessions with her therapist that make us laugh, cry, and smile.

Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who also writes an advice column for The Atlantic magazine. Her personal, sometimes breezy writing style kept me turning pages way past bedtime.

THE CHURCH OF SMALL THINGS: AUDIO BOOK VERSION

Just after New Year’s, I finished Melanie Shankle’s The Church of Small Things, in hopes of fulfilling a 2020 goal of reading books recommended by blogging friends. This one was recommended by Deb Nance on her blog, Readerbuzz, as a book to improve one’s mood and uplift their spirits…and it did just that!

The cover of the audiobook along was a delight –all hot pink and gold scroll and included everything from an elephant to a wee mouse. Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond wrote about her delight with the book in the foreword, and describes it as “dry but warm humor.” Church deals with “the small moments, the small memories, the small achievements of the author’s life, and in turn’s, helps us appreciate our own.

Although “we live in a culture that celebrates the BIG accomplishments,” the author invites us to examine the “smallest, most ordinary acts of daily faithfulness.” For me, it reminded me to “live in the moment” and fully appreciate the everyday, smallest blessings.

Shankle’s lists of “Things I wish I’d known (in college, when I was a kid, etc.)…” are interspersed throughout the book and are not only amusing but helpful when it comes to coping with life’s daily troubles and trials.

I highly recommend this book. It will indeed uplift and inspire.

SUNDAY STATS

A new post begins on this site today, “Sunday Stats”–statistics, that is.

Today’s stat comes from Why We Sleep, a non-fiction book I’m reading on Kindle. The author is dealing with Americans not getting enough sleep to be  wholly functional:

“It is disquieting to learn that vehicular accidents caused by drowsy driving exceed those caused by alcohol and drugs combined.” (p.5)

UPDATE ON READING MORE NON-FICTION GOAL FOR 2019

One of my reading goals for 2019 was to read more non-fiction. In previous years, I had read novels almost exclusively until my Third Tuesday Book Club began selecting non-fiction books, and beginning with Erik Larson’s books, I found they could be engaging and even fascinating. Here is a list of non-fiction books I have read since January of this year. (They are arranged alphabetically by title. Use the search box to find reviews or mentions of individual titles.)

Afraid of All the Things  (a study of anxieties and worry)

Dove and Sword: Joan of Arc (a YA book dealing with the maid and her vision)

Faces of Oppression and the Price of Justice (written by a colleague describing the harrowing escape from human trafficking of a real woman, and the legal complexities she encountered in applying for asylum)

The Library Book (the story of the horrific fire at the Los Angeles Public Library)

Love Does (the way to live an extraordinary life in an ordinary world)

The Newcomers (a journalistic look at  immigrant newcomers to a Colorado high school and their educational, societal, and legal issues)

Why We Sleep (This one I have just begun, and I am already alarmed at what I have read.)

Worrying (the history of worry and what to do to eliminate it)

Eight so far–and 2019 is only five months old. I think a reasonable goal would be a total of twelve non-fiction books in 2019.