My poor book blog has been sadly neglected of late. Enough of that! This weekend, I swapped blogging software and jazzed it up a bit. I notice I have a habit of only posting about the books that enrage me or that I love. Will try to do all of them from now on, even if it’s only a paragraph. 6 years ago
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I thought this was a great idea because I have a mind like a sieve (I read Moby-Dick?!?) and I tend to think better when I’m writing than if I just sit and think – this usually spirals off into some sort of anxiety attack about money or the state of my cat’s bowels. So voilà: my book review blog . Of course, I’m already way behind in my entries, but at least I’m doing more than before. 7 years ago
I recently finished Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Interesting. In a. Well. In a not very defined way.
Often when I read books like that I’m thinking: how can I make use of this. And, with Blink, I’m not that sure. I mean basically it seems to me the book is saying, “If you’re an expert trust your opinion because, when you over analyze, you can talk yourself out of the right answer.” It also extends what expert means. Sure, there are art experts and tennis experts in the book. But there’s also what most of us are expert at: quickly sizing up situations and people and making conclusions about them based on things. We do it all the time: suit, morning commute: they work in the financial district. I scan bookshelves and make conclusions based on what I see there. But I don’t think of myself as an expert in these things.
So, great, now I can trust that funny feeling in my gut a little more but how does it make my worklife different? I have no idea. 7 years ago
I finished the Dunne book and now another, Nick Hornby, but I haven’t written about either. Not writing about what I read. It makes me worry that I’ll lose them 8 years ago
So, it seems the first step is to name the books I’m reading. Right now, top on the pile is 0&ri=1&menu=search&source=!dial&ipp=20&spp=20”>Playland by John Gregory Dunne. Not far enough to know anything but that I like the voice. Very much. 8 years ago
It doesn’t feel like it is enough to simply list and read the books. I feel like I also have to, in some way, interact with them. And for me that’s about writing about them. In fact, one of the things I miss about college is being forced to engage with the things I’m reading through writing. And that is one of the things I get out of maintaining a blog. I tend to engage with material at (a little) deeper level than normally.
I really worry about losing those old critical thinking facilities. This is one way to keep them up. 8 years ago