Home books two good (and very different) books

two good (and very different) books

by Shawni

A blog reader asked how I keep track of the books I read. I don’t know how most people do it, but I LOVE having this space on the internet to keep track of the books I love.

I love being able to write about them so I can remember what I loved on all those turned-over pages (or all those “clips” when I listen on Audible).

So…I just finished two more books…this one took me a while:

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

I mean, it is over 900 pages long and I think 39 hours to listen to (which is what I did…on 2x speed sometimes!).

My book club read this one years ago, right when I was in the middle of building a house and I didn’t get it read. But they all loved it and so highly recommended it so many times I figured I may as well get busy reading.

I LOVE how a book can transport you into a different time and place. I could almost feel the dryness of those dusty plains in the wild west, the feelings in those early frontier towns, the fear and courage and grit of the characters. The connections and friendships. I was so impressed with the writing…quite meandering I must say (I mean, it is long!), but I loved the detail and the way it was written. Filled up with the most random details like how a man in pain (because a bug was crawling around in his ear) shot the barber’s leg right off and how Newt imagined all kinds of details about the moon. And Lee Horsley was a pretty entertaining narrator I must say.

I love that Larry McMurtry delves into the characters and their lives. The depth of their backgrounds to help you try to understand where they are coming from. And I loved that it was filled with sorrow and sadness, frustration about lack of communication (so real), but it was also filled up with humor and triumph, understanding and friendship.

I’d recommend it.

Then on the tails of that I read this one:

Think Again by Adam Grant

Oh Boy!

Such a contrasting book (and I listened to it all in one day on the long road home from Bear Lake), and one that really got me thinking in a whole different way.

The cool thing about this one is that my cousin had just recommended it, and Dave jumped on it and read it, and then our whole family reunion was based around it (theme this year was “Think Again,” my brother and his wife had recently read this book).

More on that soon!

Here’s what Amazon says about it that explains better than I can:

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process.

Here are some of the notes I took just to have them here on the blog:

It made me think about “Confident Humility.” How do we find the balance between finding gaps and flaws in our knowledge and how to we just humble ourselves to think again?

It talked about how incredibly important listening is…in every aspect of our lives.

It talked about how we’re not born with our opinions, we have full control over what we chose to believe.

We should IMPROVE ourselves rather than trying to PROVE ourselves.

It talked about the Wright brothers (of the first flight fame) and how their parents encouraged debates…makes me want to instill more of this in our home.

I love that it talked about how we don’t need to talk people into things. We don’t need to persuade or convert. We just need to ask questions. Sometimes we will find we are actually on the same side of an issue but going about doing it in different ways.

We are always tempted to steer people into thinking as we think. (This made me think about parenting…and also disgruntled blog readers…ha!) It’s so important for us all to just try to be on the same page, ask questions, we may find we are actually going toward the same goal and realize there are different ways to get to that goal. I need to be better at asking questions and finding common ground.

There is a fine line between heroic persistence and educated turning around, there could be a “shadow” side to “grit.”

We should review our aspirations and goals on a regular basis (made me happy we make revisions to our dream books every so often…need to do that again!).

There was a whole section about changing YOU rather than changing your environment. If you are sad and you think you’ll be happier moving or going on a trip, or changing your surroundings that may not be true. Our happiness depends on what we DO more than were we ARE. It’s our actions, not our surroundings that bring us meaning and belonging.

Anyway, obviously I could go on and on. It’s a really good book.

I’ll have to touch more on this when I recap the “Think Again” reunion. Until then, happy reading!

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6 comments

Tammy July 23, 2021 - 10:26 pm

Hey Shawni

Will you post more about Claires internship? xoxo

Reply
Shawni July 26, 2021 - 12:45 pm

Yes, I did today, so check it out! And more coming when she does her own little wrap-up after she gets back.
xoxo

Reply
c July 23, 2021 - 10:36 pm

I love this post… truth. I’ve thought about listening and its power so much this year as we’ve had more time to “slow down.” I also love the thought that when we “see” we really do have a lot more in common than not, and the challenges are respectable opportunities to grow and learn from each other! I went to Jerusalem and loved the experience of taking Judaism and Islam and being a Christian, realizing how close our roots are and how intertwined they are… seeing the needs, desires, and backgrounds of each point of view is so fulfilling and hope bringing… I think this too about the media… I think we should defund the media! Because it doesn’t cover “things as they really are” fully… there are a lot more people who are not covered who are going about, doing good, who have differing views, but a common purpose to grow and be better and be happy. And we can learn from each one…

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Shawni July 26, 2021 - 12:47 pm

Love this thought! I’m so with you, it’s hard to know what “truth” even is these days! I think the majority of the world has the best intentions and are busy doing good, we just don’t see them in the news and on all the social media platforms nearly as much as everything else.

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Mar July 25, 2021 - 5:57 am

Hello! Waiting for more information about the book and bear lake. Great topic this year

Reply
Shawni July 26, 2021 - 12:47 pm

I loved it! Hopefully I’ll get to posting more about it soon!
xoxo

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