Woo hoo! My 100th post. Happy anniversary to me. Considering I've had this blog since last summer, it's hard to believe I'm just reaching my 100th post -- some bloggers could do that in much less time. But it's been fun and I'm sincerely grateful to my very, very small group of regular commenters.
On to the reading. Just yesterday, I finished The Introvert Advantage. If you are an introvert (and you know who you are), GO BUY THIS BOOK! If you are an extrovert (and you definitely know who you are) and know and love an introvert, GO BUY THIS BOOK! I really can't think of any other book I would recommend so highly. Even though I know I'm an introvert, there were several "aha" moments in the book for me. The section on brain chemistry was fascinating: Did you know that in some people (usually introverts) it actually takes longer for the brain to access long-term memory? That's why we take so long to answer a question sometimes -- or even get completely tongue-tied. And I now totally understand why I hate returning stuff in stores.
What I really liked is that the author (an introvert herself) takes pains to make sure you understand that there is nothing wrong with you. Being an introvert is like having brown hair or fair skin. It's just as normal as anything else -- except that we are outnumbered by extroverts by 3 to 1. She also talks about ways to handle stress and how to break out of your shell just a little bit to live a fuller life. Really, just go buy it and read it.
I've moved on to another biography: Mao, The Unknown Story. When I was an undergrad, everyone at my university was required to take a class on another culture. I chose China -- and was fortunate to have one of the best professors I've ever had in any subject. I am fascinated with old cultures; America is still such a young country that it's always intriguing to read about cultures that are thousands of years old. The bio is supposed to be the first in-depth look at Mao from someone whose parents were killed in the Cultural Revolution. The book is unsettling -- Mao's almost total lack of empathy develops early on -- but it's also hard to put down.