Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mud, Sweat & Tears Bear Grylls

mud-sweat-and-tears

WOW! What a full on story. This book is insane and what is more insane is that Bear achieved acceptance into the SAS, breaking his back and climbing Everest before the age of twenty four. This is a truly remarkable and humble account of Bear’s childhood, his ambition in life and ultimately what it took to go the extra mile. The main two focuses are his SAS selection and the Everest climb. Both of which he goes into huge detail and it’s at times exhausting just reading about it (in a good way).

What I really liked about it is that he identifies with just being normal, nothing special but a desire to be determined and stick at things, no matter the cost, and it paid off in the end. It’s a short read, 470ish pages I think but each chapter is just a couple of pages so it makes for a short sharp story, I read it in five days becuase it was so compelling.

I would highly reccommend the book as it’s a great insight into the man who now is a reluctant mega-star, and inspires us to keep the perspective that life is for living. 9/10. A great read.


Life & Laughing Michael Mcintyre

 

michael-mcintyre

Brilliant! I really love Michael McIntyre’s comedy and after recently purchasing one of his DVD’s I was amping to get into his book. It’s wonderfully funny. Michael is great at observational comedy and I still giggle when I think of his ‘scissors’ gag. His book is a look into his past and how his rise to success was actually a hard slog of seven years of trying and feeling like he wasn’t getting anywhere. But thankfully with a good break he got to become famous.

I love the humor, the serious side of him and the things in his life that shaped who he was. Altogether a warm and fun read which I highly reccommend. 10/10. Love it.


Freedom Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan-franzen-freedom

 

Based on my experience with ‘The Corrections’ by Jonathan Franzen, which is one of my all time fave books ever, I anticipated Freedom with gusto. I got caught up  in the characters to begin with and journeyed with them for a while in a roller coaster of drama that could almost give you motion sickness, so much happened in the first two hundred pages. However by the time I got to the middle of the book I really struggled to keep up the pace as it was just so dam depressing. So depressing in fact, that I gave up reading it three times, went back to it, and then finally gave up the ghost. Now I knew from that start that it was not an uplifting story, but it was almost too hard to read for the pure lifeless and foolish attitudes the characters had, although I have no doubt they are a true reflection of our current society. Maybe it just wasn’t the best time to read something so cold, having started back at work and feeling blah about it, and missing my wife and daughter, and contemplating what I wanted to do with my life… so I gave up mid way through. I don’t think it’s fair to give the book a rating as I didn’t finish it.


The Introvert Advantage – Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.

introvert advantage

 

I really loved Quiet by Susan Cain, however was left wanting more. I wanted to know more about the neuro-biology and physical differences between introverts and extroverts. I wanted to know specific temperament tendencies and how they play out and are managed in specific relationships. I wanted to know more. And thankfully this fantastic book delivered. Laney explored huge amounts of research and data on the intricate way introvertism plays out in every day life, with great tips for life in every way. What I found interesting was the different dynamics of both an introvert being married to an extrovert and also how to  nurture either temperament in your children, despite your own tendencies.

I did however, at some points, feel Laney was a tad patronizing and a bit overly stereotypical. Especially when it felt like she merged both introvertism and shyness, which don’t always go hand in hand. This was only irritating as she’d previously stated that shyness and being an introvert don’t necessarily go together, that shyness is not a result of being introverted, but a result of fear of making yourself vulnerable to others.

However, it was a wonderful book and I’d say it was way better than Susan Cains effort (which is still good). I give it an 8/10 for covering all the topics I wanted Susan to cover but didn’t.