Sunday, 8 April 2012

2012 Something New Reading Challenge - So Far, So Good

Well, I have fallen behind a little more than anticipated, and "Better late than never" is fast becoming my catch phrase - with everything I do lately. Yikes. So, though I'm trying to frantically play catch up with my reading, paper work, staff training, personal and work letters, messages, emails life, I present to you my progress report.

*insert theatrical bow with flourish, exit stage left*

February - chick lit - How Not To Shop by Carmen Reid

The title does seem to echo Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, but that's as far as the similarities go. Well, that and the outrageous spending habits their protagonists share. In this series, Annie Valentine is a personal shopper, about to embark on a television career...

I'm sorry, I can't go on. As far as fans of chicklit are concerned, I think this book would have rated a 4 out of 5. I must admit, when I was 19 I did go through my phase of being a Marian Keyes fan, and I did read Confessions of a Shopaholic. As light and easy as chicklit is, I think I have definitely out-grown the genre. There are only so many scenarios and types of characters you can have in the world of chicklit. I think that's probably why I prefer the fantasy genre. The possibilities seem infinite.

My aim for the 2012 Something New reading challenge was to introduce myself to genres I don't normally read. I figured a 10 year gap was enough to justify that, so it serves me right for taking the easy way out by picking chicklit over something like sports, business, gardening, or a racey romance.

March - sociology - Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Below is a reply I gave to Amy on my previous post, while I was halfway through reading Outliers. I have taken liberties by altering it drastically:

... according to Malcolm Gladwell, I am not an outlier because: a.) I have an average IQ (I think, I don't actually know what my IQ score is); b.) I cannot be a professional ice hockey player because I was born in October - it doesn't matter even if I don't want to be one, I just can't be one; c.) I was probably not born at the best of years - I have hit my "prime" during a worldwide recession... d.) well, that's how far I've got. Though I'm interested to see why rice = fantastic mathematician, seeing as all I've had is loads of rice = protruding tummy and still a math dunce.

Thought-provoking? Yes. Entertaining? Hell yes. Convincing? Not so much. I'm not completely sold on the idea that majority of us cannot reach our goals/dreams if we were born during the wrong month or year, or if we don't get given a specific opportunity. I don't believe that only people who put in 10,000 hours of practice, regardless of talent, can become famous and successful - all you have to do is look at someone like, as much as it pains me to say, Paris Hilton. 10,000 hours of practising what, exactly? Posing in front of the mirror? And what talent?

 I also don't believe that our culture defines our capability for success. Sure, it could be a contributing factor, but not the be all and end all. After all, I am living proof to refute his statement that Asians are good at math.

However, I do highly recommend this book. It is indeed thought-provoking and an enjoyable read. Most non-fiction tends to make me switch off, but Gladwell's writing is a pleasure to read. I shall most probably check out Blink and What the Dog Saw.


  1. I'm yet to put my March post up for the challenge but will do it in the next few days. I know what you mean about chick lit, it does get a bit tiresome after a while, although I always do enjoy Sophie Kinsella's books for some reason.

    I really want to read Outliers, I've heard so much about it and it sounds like a fascinating book. I definitely need to read more non-fiction.

    So good to have you back with us Toni!

  2. I think I enjoyed The Tipping Point better... give that a try later :)

  3. Hi Toni!!! *Hugs*

    I understand what you are saying about chicklit...I can understand how it would get old after a while...though I must admit that I just read my 1st Kinsella recently and really enjoyed it. Sometimes it's nice to have something light and fun to break up the sadness and tension that some other books can bring!!

  4. I have been wanting to read Outliers! I was just talking about it yesterday. It sounds like a fascinating read and after reading waht you posted I am even more curious! Thanks for sharing.