Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 3 & 4 - 2014

Book 3: A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the Third: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket – 214 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Dear Reader, If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all. If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair. I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story. With all due respect, Lemony Snicket

I started reading these books years ago, read two, got bored, and stopped. I’m moving out soon and these books belong to my sister so I’m trying to finish reading through them as quickly as I can now. They are relatively simplistic, but nice, quick, fun reads, and I can see why kids would get a kick out of them. I’m still amazed the things these kids get up to (particularly the baby!) and just how horrible the villain, Count Olaf, is. I also can’t help comparing this one, at least, to the film that was made a few years back of the first three stories. All in all, a funny, silly, little read, that’s nice to break up more adult titles.

3 / 50 books. 6% done!

1236 / 15000 pages. 8% done!

Book 4: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – 323 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
The book that started the Quiet Revolution. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts--Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak--that we owe many of the great contributions to society. In "Quiet, "Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, "Quiet "has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

I’m an introvert. I’ve known this for a long time, probably since I was five or six, though I didn’t understand what this meant. I’ve always understood that I was different from most other people. I’ve always preferred my own company, I’ve always needed time to be on my own (and when you’re one of four, this is hard!), I’ve always lived in my imagination, and preferred the company of books. At times, I’ve thought this was as a result of bullying as a child, and at other times, I’ve thought it was because everyone else was far more immature than me (though in some instances, I think I might have been right about the maturity one!). When I was in my mid teens, I read a book called ‘Stargirl’ by Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl changed my life. Stargirl was different. She wasn’t necessarily an introvert, but she was different! And it was okay! And I needed to hear that! And I realized after reading that book that being different was totally okay, and I should love that I was different. And since that day I’ve embraced my difference and been proud of it, in the face of a lot of opposition (for example, I don’t drink. I’m an auditor. Auditors drink – non-drinking auditors are unheard. For six years I have copped crap for this! Don’t even get me started on the piece about being a non-drinking Australian!). What has this all got to do with Quiet? Quiet is amazing! Quiet should be required reading for every person in management! Like I used to give Stargirl to my more ‘odd’ friends as gifts in high school, I want to give Quiet to my colleagues and superiors, so they too can read its lessons! Quiet is about introverts, and what that means, and how being an introvert affects said introverts view of the world, their contributions to it, and the way society responds it. It is also a detailed analysis of how we are negatively affecting everything we do in business by expecting each and every member of our staff to be extroverts. It’s a fascinating read, and whilst many of its messages were things I’d always considered true, this book has the proof. At no point does it play introverts off against extroverts, or imply one is better than the other, but rather its outlines why it is we need both, and why it is we need to value introverts as much as we currently value extroverts. Like Stargirl, its one of those books that lets me sit back and go ‘Oh, I am okay the way I am.’ A must read for everyone!

4 / 50 books. 8% done!

1559 / 15000 pages. 10% done!

Currently reading:
-        The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory – 437 pages
-        The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson – 746 pages
-        A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of my Husband, Danny Pearl by Mariane Pearl with Sarah Crichton – 272 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages
Tags: academic, kidlit, lemony snicket, non-fiction

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