Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Books, Books and More Books.....

Reading is time I carve out for me and almost always enjoy. I don't read an entire book in one sitting or skim over an author's words, but admit books can leave me with a mixed bag of emotions when I've finished reading the book.

For instance, earlier this year, I mentioned how I found one book I was reading incredibly painful and wanted to break up with it but didn't because I was hopeful for an amazing ending. I've only wanted to break-up with 2 other books in my lifetime, so I'm thinking if I come across a book I want nothing to do with once-in-a-blue moon, I have a good track record.

Other books entertain me like a night out with friends where I laugh and just forget where I am. I relish these books, but admit, they're so light and playful that the book's plot doesn't really stay with me. I just remember how I enjoyed my time while reading the book.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of non-fiction and memoirs. I'm not sure why, but admit, I enjoy the feeling of walking around with someone and getting to learn something new through the eyes of someone else. I have a feeling I'll probably stay along this path for a very long time just for this reason. However, I recently snuck in a type of "self-help" book in my mix and it's left with the strangest impression -- a sort of book-after-glow if there's such a thing.

Several months ago, I read The Luck Factor by Dr. Richard Wiseman. I believe I read about it in an Oprah magazine, but after an email exchange with a man I admire (he got me hooked on the concept of a daily gratitude journal), I thought I'd read the book. The premise is that there are not lucky or unlucky people as most believe (all people have the same chances of winning lotto), it's our perception of lucky people vs unlucky people all comes down to the choices we make. How we put ourselves out there, or how we don't.

The book gives the reader various exercises to take and experiments to do (e.g., talk to a complete stranger -- put yourself out there to try a new experience) and I have to admit this book made me stop to reflect on moments in my life when I went against my intuition and the situation turned out badly for me, or when I forced myself to approach a person in a new situation and recognize what a great experience I had because I put myself out there.

Dr. Wiseman had presented something I had seen before, but it's how he presented it. These are the books I really LOVE. They make me look at things differently, make me try something new to prove if a book's theory is true and because of this I do experience something great. In the end, his book made me cognizant of how I can change and improve my life's experiences.

I'm not sure I'd want every book to leave me with the same experience as Dr. Wiseman's book. I'd miss the light-hearted reads, or being able to walk beside someone and enjoy another person's experience. Besides, if every book left me the way Dr. Wiseman's book left me, would I be able to recognize its impact? Probably not.

Would I recommend The Luck Factor to others? Yes. No. It really depends upon the person reading it. I kept an open mind and enjoyed reading the book, but others may not and miss the point.

I'm curious, what type of books move you and why? I'm also curious, do you see movies that are based upon books you've loved?


Brian Miller said...

i love books that make me look at things differently as well...have read the luke factor...cool book

Maria said...

I have been reading alot of beach novels. Have found two great women authors that I love and in the process of reading all their books. These books help me 'escape' from the stresses of life and while they are light, there are many poignant moments on friendships and family relationships that I can totally relate to.

Sara said...

Very interesting concept for a book. I'm going to have to check that out. I'm really all over the place with my book selections. I'll go from a chick-lit book, to a history, to a memoir to a teen vampire book, to a classic. There's really no rhyme or reason, I read everything I get my hands on!

Maria said...

Didn't address your comment about seeing books that I have read on the big screen. Many of the books I have read haven't been adapted. I would like to read The Help before seeing the movie which comes out soon. I read "The Firm" which was great, movie, not so much.

Shanni said...

I've read several articles based on the premise that "lucky" people aren't really lucky, they are just more open to opportunities and changes than others.


Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

I love the self help ones.. Well written. Wishes!!!

DB said...

I like pretty much everything except science fiction. I do enjoy reading non-fiction where I learn something but it's not presented in a dry fashion - like Freakonomics, which presents economic theory in a very understandable way using everyday examples.

I am not above total chick books or trashy romance novels either. I rarely give up on books but I have broken up with (in other words, didn't finish) a few. I will have to find the book you talked about at the library, because the whole concept of luck is pretty fascinating. I do believe you create your own luck.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Brian - I love anything that has me look at things differently (books, movies, conversations). I'm happiest when I learn something new.

Maria - Beach novels are fun. It's definitely a great escape. I'm reading a cooking competition book, but may plug into a chick lit book next.

Sara - Classics are sometimes the best! For me, I'm impressed what an author can write in one sentence that I don't often see in today's literature.

Maria - I liked the Firm, but didn't read the book. I have to admit, loved the movie Wuthering Heights, but disappointed in it after I read the book.

Shanni - Exactly. It was interesting to read this book because it was the result of a multi-year study.

PR - thanks.

DB - you can take the book from me next time I see you. It's such a short book you probably don't even have to skim it.

DB said...

I was waiting for a skimming comment :). Maybe I can get it from you when we go to Tanglewood....

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