Five Favorites: Literary Edition

Wow, it’s been a busy few days.  I missed What I Wore Sunday and Menu Plan Monday (*sniff*), but I’m happy to be joining up now with Hallie at Moxie Wife for her weekly link up.   Today I thought I’d do a book-themed Five Favorites post.  The books aren’t really all-time favorites, but they’re some favorites of things I’ve read recently.  So:

1. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business

This book examines both personal and institutional habits and is written in a very readable style (unlike other psychological/sociological books I’ve tried to read lately).  The chapter on Target is particularly interesting in a scary way: they are so good at analyzing their customers’ spending habits that they might know you’re pregnant before you tell your husband!  Also, the author has a you-are-the-master-of-your-fate point of view, which I like.

Here’s the book summary from Amazon:

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg . . . brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death. . . .  Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

2. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

If you’re looking for something short and easy-to-read yet still substantial (maybe for vacation reading?), consider this.

On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.”   With this celebrated sentence, Thornton Wilder begins The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world.

By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper seeks to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His study leads to his own death — and to the author’s timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition.

I would add that this book also is an investigation into the working of Divine Providence . . . and whether it’s even wise to investigate it.  Engaging characters, thought-provoking themes . . . but still short!  A winner (Pulitzer Prize winner, to be exact).

 3. The Princess and the Peas and Carrots by Harriet Ziefert.

Our four year-old loves this book and has memorized it word for word.  I think it has helped us all see the humor in our finicky little princess’s demanding ways.

4. Paperback Swap:  Not a book but a great way to get books.  I always go here if there’s a book I want that isn’t available at the library.

You list books you are willing to give away, and you ship them when another user requests them.   The sender pays shipping, but it’s usually only about $3.  The website make it easy to print the mailing label from home, too.  Then if a book is posted that you want, you can request it and get it sent to you for free!  Newer books usually have a long waiting list, but I’ve had good luck getting books that have been out at least a few years.

5. My husband: 

(When discussing which movie to watch)

Me: “We could watch this . . . but it’s kinda long.”

Pat: (glances at cover)

IMG_2227 IMG_2228

Pat: “. . .  It looks long.”

Okay, not a book, but a conversation about a movie about a book, so that counts right?  😉

Thanks for hosting the link-up, Hallie!

12 thoughts on “Five Favorites: Literary Edition

    • No, I haven’t gotten to it yet. Have you seen it?

      Pat and I started “Iron Lady” instead, but we didn’t finish it. Kind of boring, which is a shame, because M. Thatcher’s life was anything but.

      • I have seen it. I thought Michael Fassbender was excellent, and I think I remember thinking Mia Wasikowska was good as well, but the film suffers greatly from the fact that there is NO sexual chemistry/tension between the two leads. How they didn’t perceive this ahead of time boggles my mind. Did they not test them with each other? Of all things in a film of Jane Eyre, you want the deep connection between Jane and Mr. Rochester to be apparent. They also made a couple weird decisions with Jane that played up her youth a bit TOO much. You won’t feel like you’ve wasted your life if you watch it, but it has some significant weaknesses. Really too bad, as Fassbender is an excellent Mr. Rochester.

        I haven’t seen Iron Lady yet. It’s on my list. Have you been watching Call the Midwife (first series on Netflix streaming, second airing now on PBS/ It’s really excellent.

      • Call the Midwife looked good, but not something Pat was interested in. I don’t do much solo-viewing these days so it’s all stuff we both want to watch. I’d like to watch it eventually. Speaking of which, we saw the first episode of Wallander. Ah! Too dark and evil and disturbing and terrible! Can’t do it.

  1. Love Jane Eyre. I’ve seen a few different versions, but I don’t think I’ve seen that particular one!
    And the Paperback swap sounds like a great deal. Will have to look into it!

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