Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Introvert Advantage


I just  started a book by Marti Olden Laney called the Introvert Advantage.  I am reading it via audible.  I chose the book after a conversation that Steve Sims and I had during our High School 50th reunion.  It is quite intriguing to read if one thinks that indeed "I am an introvert" by nature.

Here is the description on Amazon:

At least one out of four people prefers to avoid the limelight, tends to listen more than they speak, feels alone in large groups, and requires lots of private time to restore their energy. They're introverts, and here is the book to help them boost their confidence while learning strategies for successfully living in an extrovert world.

After dispelling common myths about introverts-they're not necessarily shy, aloof, or antisocial--The Introvert Advantage explains the real issues. Introverts are hardwired from birth to focus inward, so outside stimulation-chitchat, phone calls, parties, office meetings-can easily become "too much."

The Introvert Advantage dispels introverts' belief that something is wrong with them and instead helps them recognize their inner strengths-their analytical skills, ability to think outside the box, and strong powers of concentration. It helps readers understand introversion and shows them how to determine where they fall on the introvert/extrovert continuum. It provides tools to improve relationships with partners, kids, colleagues, and friends, offering dozens of tips, including 10 ways to talk less and communicate more, 8 ways to showcase your abilities at work, how to take a child's temperament temperature, and strategies for socializing. Finally, it shows how to not just survive, but thrive-how to take advantage of the introvert's special qualities to create a life that's just right for the introvert temperament, to discover new ways to expand their energy reserves, and even how, when necessary, to confidently become a temporary extrovert.

The thoughts that I had in the introductory information were two fold.  First the fact that our 50th High School reunion was wonderful fun for me when I was working on it.  However, the actual event that is a huge room filled with people is overwhelming and not as much fun.  And secondly is the fact that I often lament the fact that I do not initiate "things"....I am more likely to let life happen to me.  This seems to be the difference according to the author between the extrovert "warriors" who make things happen and the introverts who are less likely to lead the charge.  These are my words....my interpretation of what the author says.

Tonight Greg and Mom and I went to dinner.  We talked a bit about the book.  Then I listened to part of it on the way home.  The thought that I take away with me tonight is again two-fold:

1st.  Dr. Laney explained that introverts often have trouble coming up with the word that they want.  Something that happens to me all of the time.  I can add the word someone else is hunting in an instant, but often I grope for the word that I want in whatever I am telling.  Interesting that it is a trait of the introvert.
2nd.  And this one is exceptionally odd.  Introverts often have trouble remembering what they like to do and what they are good at doing.  I make lists of things that I want to do at night when I am relaxed and "not working"....then I lose the lists....When I get a few spare minutes, sometimes I have trouble remembering what I might want to do.  Tonight I did what the author suggested.  I sat quietly and relaxed and just thought.....and it came to me....I want to update my blog.

I am within the last half hour of the book.  Because I am listening to it rather than reading it, I don't often make notes nor bookmark parts that I want to note.  But one thing that was interesting this morning is that introverts tend to have an inner voice that goes over and over in a critical way things that they have said.  Oh, boy, do I ever have that!  It never occurred to me that others don't have that.  She says that indeed extroverts have a similar voice but is is more likely tied to things that they DO rather than things that they said.  She encouraged introverts to calm their inner voice with words such as "it is Ok....no one minded those words".....(my example rather than hers).

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Secret Chord



I met Geraldine Brooks several years ago at the Key West Literary seminar.  It was the year that they were featuring Historical fiction.  I LOVED everything about the seminar that year.  For that event, I read her book:  Year Of Wonders.  Since then I have read everything that she has written that I know about.

This book reminded me of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent in that it takes a small part of the Bible and with imagination and research turns the segment into a full length, fascinating account.  I loved the Red Tent and I loved The Secret Chord.

After I recommended this book to a knitting buddy, I told her the next week that the book is very violent.  And I would caution my readers to be aware of the violence.  This is definitely a book for adults rather than children.  One does not have to believe every interpretation that Geraldine Brooks makes about the life of David, but the ideas are fascinating to consider.


Here are a few highlights from reviews found on Amazon:

"The Secret Chord," by Geraldine Brooks, is a novelization of King David's life, narrated by Nathan, who counseled the sovereign for many years. As the scorned youngest son of Yishai, David spends most of his days tending his father's sheep in the wilderness. Samuel proclaims that David, whom his older brothers ostracized, is destined to become the future king of Israel. The young man's victory over Goliath brings him great acclaim, and initially, King Saul takes the boy under his wing. David not only distinguishes himself on the battlefield, but also composes beautiful music, plays the harp, and sings with divine inspiration. Unfortunately, Saul becomes jealous of David and turns against him in a murderous rage.

 It is in his middle age that David falls in love with Batsheva and it is with her that he conceives a child Solomon (referred to as Shlomo in this book). Solomon is raised differently from the rest of his brothers ad he receives some of the finest education a boy of his time can get. It is with cunning of prophet Nathan and David's wife Batsheva, that Solomon assumes power and becomes King of Israel. It is during his reign that Israel prospered and some of the most beautiful verses of Old Testament are created.

 King David is believed to have composed a large part of the Book of Psalms in the Bible, .....

I read this book via audible.com.  I recommend it.