Posts tagged books
Posts tagged books
1. Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough - Lori Gottlieb
2. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) - Suzanne Collins
3. The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin
4. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) - Suzanne Collins
5. Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality - Christopher Ryan
6. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) - Suzanne Collins
7. How We Decide - Jonah Lehrer
8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking - Susan Cain
9. Imagine: How Creativity Works - Jonah Lehrer
10. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed - Carl Honoré
11. How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
12. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson
13. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 - Travis Bradberry
For the last few years, I set the goal of reading a book a month. This year, I decided I wanted to up it to 13. Next year? Who knows. Maybe I’ll hit 14.
I didn’t exactly stick to the one book a month timeline, but I was able to get in at least 12 this year, so I’m happy. I also attempted to tackle some pretty lengthy and non conventional books as well (the programming/tech ones and 4 hour body), which helped account for spanning multiple months. I definitely wish I had read more, but this year was kind of crazy so not much I could do. Plus, there’s always next year, right? Here’s what I read in 2011 (most recently finished first):
by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D.
“Men resemble the times more than they resemble their fathers.” - Ancient Arab proverb
There’s been a lot of talk recently about people of my generation. Often referred to as Millenials, GenX or GenY, Jean Twenge calls us: Generation Me (GenMe). Those of us born after 1971 (though I personally think post-1980 is more accurate), for the most part, we are the children and grandchildren of the Boomers. We are too young to have really experienced any part of the Cold War or remember a time before the Internet. We grew up with sesame street and most of us were still in school when 9/11 happened.
At the beginning of the last chapter, Twenge sums up GenMe as follows:
So here’s how it looks: Generation Me has the highest self-esteem of any generation, but also the most depression. We are more free and equal, but also more cynical. We expect to follow our dreams, but are anxious about making that happen.
From the rest of the book, it appears GenMe has a pretty steady dichotomy of traits. On average, we have higher self-esteem and we are more free and accepting of other cultures and lifestyles. We are for greater equality and are more confident and assertive. The flip side is that we also have higher anxiety and depression, take criticism poorly and are easily disheartened and cynical (especially with politics). We feel entitled and are generally more narcissistic than those that came before.
According to Twenge, it appears most of GenMe’s biggest problems (being directionless, loneliness, narcissism, anxiety/depression, apathy, lack of community) stem from one common place: the meritless “self-esteem” programs we took part in as children. From very early on, we are taught that “everyone is special” and that “we can be anything we want to be.” But these ideas are fed to us without teaching us WHY we are special and how we can be better. There isn’t an emphasis on teaching self control or hard work, but merely that we are all “unique snowflakes.” As a result, we have become increasingly more narcissistic and selfish than previous generations. We put a great deal of focus on our own needs, resulting in older generations often perceiving us as spoiled. And it’s because of this increased emphasis on self, and always being told we are special, that we tend to look down upon conformity, and value personal expression and individuality (this might help explain why so many of us are so appearance obsessed and why trends like tattoos and piercings have increased in popularity).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Granted, you could probably save yourself a lot of time and just read the last chapter and get a pretty decent overview of what was talked about and what the author thinks we should do to better deal with members of “Generation Me” as well as what changes we should make to prevent some of the negative traits in future generations. I’m not entirely sold that Twenge is totally accurate in her depiction of my generation, but I realize that I’m biased and I’ve really only had a limited and probably sheltered experience with my own generation. That being said, I think she was pretty spot on with a vast majority of her points, so it’s definitely worth a read if this type of thing interests you.
At the beginning of the year, I vowed that I’d read at least one book a month. I was pretty close. The only month I didn’t finish a book in was December. The reason I didn’t finish one this month was because I attempted to read four different books but none of them stuck. And with all the holiday hustle and bustle, I just wasn’t able to finish one in time. Here’s what I read in 2010 (most recently finished first):