So, for the 3rd post of the 2014 Blogger Challenge, I will start out by writing about a book that I’ve been trying to get through called: You Are Not So Smart: Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, Why You Have Too Many Friends On Facebook And 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney. That’s right, its an extremely long title for one of the most crushing, deflating, and downright negative books I’ve ever read in my life. Disclaimer: The review for this book is not positive, if you couldn’t already tell.
Basically, I purchased it wanting to know more about my mind and how I might be able to become a person who is better at life. What I got was a book that points out all of the ways that your mind “tricks” you into sucking at life, and gives you absolutely no suggestions on how to overcome these issues. I feel a little dumb for not noticing it in the title that flat out says, “You are not so smart.”
In the end, I stopped reading it after the chapter called, “Normalcy Bias,” which isn’t too far into the book, but basically, I was tired of hearing about how I’m so dumb that if I were in a plane crash, I would become so overcome with emotion and confusion that I wouldn’t be able to save myself (yes, that’s exactly what this book said). To be fair, they did back up their points with a lot of research studies and data, so there was plenty of evidence supporting these theories. However, I was simply tired of reading about how dumb I am that I decided to move on to a FAR more positive book.
I am now reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. Yes, I know, this book title is also kind of negative, but since Mindy Kaling is a a comedian, despite the title, I received a funny, light and upbeat book. I have not yet finished the book because I’ve been in the process of traveling and moving back to NYC, so its been a bit busy. However, I did read over half the book on a 3 hour plane ride from Morocco to London, and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be finishing this book within the next day or so.
So far, she’s described a few funny stories from her childhood, her college life, and the start of her professional career as an actress and comedy writer. I am now reading the part of the book where she is describing her time as a writer for the US version of The Office, which is a very funny show (especially the first few seasons).
I find that I really enjoy books written by female comedians. I read one of Chelsea Handler’s books a few years ago called, Are You There Vodka? Its me, Chelsea, which I really liked. I also recently read Bossypants by Tina Fey, and that was really good as well.
As most people know, Tina Fey is a comedy writer, producer, and actress. In her book, she talks about her time on Saturday Night Live, her life as a wife and mother, her time impersonating Sarah Palin, and the story of how she came to develop her show called 30 Rock.
What I like about both Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is that, along with being funny, they both have an edge of female empowerment. From reading these books, its been brought to my attention that the world of comedy is very centered around men, and it can be a bit difficult for women to be seen as “funny” to the public and their professional peers. Therefore, what these women did to become so successful is inspiring to me because they worked hard and they are good at what they do. I think that anyone with any type of dream can take this message on board into their own life as well, and that’s why I recommend giving these two books a read.
Final Thoughts: Although its important to learn more about yourself and how your mind works, I think its more important to feed your brain with positivity and inspiration. McRaney’s book did not inspire me to be a better person and work harder to achieve my life goals, it made me feel as if the way I was living my life was “incorrect” or even detrimental in a way. Therefore, if you do read non-fiction, I would personally recommend sticking to books that don’t make you feel hopeless, but ones that uplift you instead. Happy reading!