Monday, April 22, 2013

Quiet Week

In case y'all are waiting with bated breath for my every utterance upon the subject of literature, I thought I'd make my excuses as to why things might be slow this week. I got buried in a couple of different nonfiction books that I failed to finish, for multiple reasons, and didn't get to zoom through quicker fiction which is more easily reviewed. The first was Triumphs of Experience by George Vaillant. The library required this book back before I was finished with it, and it had been like wading through a long doctoral thesis, complete with references to psychological studies by the obscure and presumed brilliant. Vaillant's analysis of the lives of "the men of the Harvard Grant Study" contained some interesting insights into growth and aging in America, provided by the opportunity to study the lives of a similar cohort of men for nearly seven decades. Unfortunately, I was aging faster than the men in the study as I read it, so I reluctantly bid it adieu.

I had come across a reference to neurolinguistic programming somewhere in my perambulations, and I picked up a copy of Influencing with Integrity, by Genie Z. Laborde. Back in my younger days, I was an Amway distributor in a very active organization. We were encouraged to read a ton of positive thinking, goal setting, and attitude adjusting books by such authors as Peale, Schuller, Waitley, Clason, and many others (I gave away two large boxes full of those books to a friend who was working sales a while back, and I still have a couple dozen laying around somewhere). Influencing with Integrity seemed to me just another rehash of goal-setting, dream-building, name-it-and-claim-it motivational literature, and when they suggested studying a series of grainy facial photographs to determine whether someone was more or less susceptible to our Svengali powers, I called it a day.

That's all for today, hope to see you later this week.

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