Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

May 29, 2012

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randolph @ 9:03 pm

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

My impression of this book seems to improve with age. Susan Cain presents a new perspective in introversion and its place in society. The book seems aimed at parents and teachers, but has enough information of general interest and value to be a good read for anyone interested in these aspects of psychology or sociology.

The book presents the strengths and weaknesses of both introversion and extroversion and why both are of value to society. I found the section on leadership styles and strengths and weaknesses very interesting. Susan continues to touch on why corporate America overvalues the extrovert and the value to business of the introvert and on the relationship between the two personality styles.

More of the book was directed more toward parents and teachers dealing with introverted children than I liked, or I would have rated the book much better. These sections were still interesting, but much less relevant.

This book is a good read for anyone, but it could have been better.

May 14, 2012

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson

Filed under: Fiction,Humor — Randolph @ 11:24 am

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson

This book is the story of Major ernest Pettigrew, retired. It is set in contemporary England. The Major is a bit stuffy, everything has to be proper and just so. The book has a lot of subtle (to an American) British humor scattered throughout in the situations the Major encounters and his prim and proper reactions to them.

The Major is a bit materialistic, especially when it comes to a pair of guns, a pair of Churchills. These were given to his father for an account of bravery. These were split on his father’s death. one going to each of his sons. The Major wishes to mount them so he can impress people of higher status than himself.

The book opens with the brother’s death, now the second gun comes back to the Major and the two are reunited. The death leads the Major to come acquainted with Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani and owner of a grocery.

The relationship between Jasmina and the Major grows through the book, blossoming into a romantic relationship.

The two guns seem to be symbolic of the Majors own emotional state, or perhaps his relationship to Jasmina. Early in the book, the one acquired from his brother is poorly maintained, as is the Major. He takes to cleaning it, and his own state improves as his relationship to Jasmina develops. The loss of the second gun seems to occur as the relationship solidifies, suggesting the two would be united.

the story explores some predjudism through the relationship between the Major and Jasmina.

The Major’s son also plays prominently in the book. He is a bit rude and lacks the refinement of the Major. The Major admonishes the son for characteristics that he does not see in himself.

Although reasonably well written, I found the book difficult to get into. It took half the book before I found the Major likable and was able to appreciate the humor in the book. I don’t regret the time reading the book, but I think I would have enjoyed others more.

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