Book smart.

March 24th, 2010

What is on your nightstand, bedside table?

Reading wise.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo seems to top a lot of lists – sort of the way Noble House and The Thornbirds did in the early 1980’s and The Pelican Brief did in the early 1990’s.  Remember those fun reads?

There have been similar blockbusters since then.  Forget the NY Times list, just take a gander at what people are reading in airports and on planes.  Speaking of which, Kindles are taking off. Do you have one?  On a flight to Dallas I sat next to a free spirit, retired from overseeing the food service of the Pennsylvania prison system.  He liked reading on the (clothing optional) beaches of his Carribean island. Over a glass of wine in the DFW airport I learned from him Kindles are a challenge in bright light conditions.

Switch for me was an easy pick up at Powell’s Bookstore this week since change is inevitable in both professional and personal arenas.  I read Fast Company and I cannot sit still, inspired by so many people doing neat things.  Travel guides for Oregon and Washington also creep into my stack.  It is very easy to work, walk the Whippets and want for nothing living in the Pearl – mixed urban land use at its best, delivering EVERYTHING within 6 short blocks of my front door.  I know I must expand my geographical horizons or face disapproving looks from visitors this summer, to say nothing of bluffing my way through conversations with locals when they speak of any ‘hood outside easy walking distance.

The magazine More came recommended by friends in Tulsa and Portland.  I found it a bit light on content and suggest you’ll do as well with a visit to their website.  On a wild hair I picked up the college day rag choice of many TU female students, Cosmopolitan, and of course, who can resist the marketing machine of Oprah, to say nothing of the cover hook:  REAL LOVE?

I leave you with two items for comment:

Somewhere in the sea of online literature this week I stumbled on a study that concluded 6 minutes a day spent reading boosted your mood.  As willing as I was to embrace this over a recommendation of 6 minutes on a treadmill, I found it rather vague.  Is subject matter important? Time of day? What do you think?

Oh, and here’s a thought-provoking, potentially scary observation: lots of fellows on are reading Five Love Languages.  Are their motives for wanting to understand women honorable?

As always, Trix

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4 Responses to “Book smart.”

  • Elie Says:

    Your nightstand reading looks remarkably like mine, although I read “The Girl” over the summer as part of a nonfiction smorgasbord. To break this steady diet of unreality, I also chose both “Nudge” and “Spark” vs. the current “Switch” …the latter three all focusing on critical findings in neurochemistry/neurobiology and their relationships to personality, human habits and behaviors.

    Relative to the focus of your blog and your particular curiosity concerning your findings on, I highly recommend Helen Fisher, PhD’s 2009 “why him? why her?”

    The executive team at met with Fisher in 2004 to have her help them understand this fundamental question: “why do you fall in love with one person rather than another?” Her reply? “No one really knows….how two individual personalities match up remains unknown…And yet, whom you choose matters because it wil color every aspect of your life: your morning conversations in bed and at the breakfast table, your friendships, family reunions and weekend frolics; where you live, how you raise your children, most likely even your career. And certainly this will affect your tomorrows.” became Fisher’s love incubator, romance petri dish and human attraction genome project and it provided her with a chance to apply the newest data in neuroscience to the essential question of who you love…and perhaps even help people find “the one.”

    Fisher went on to become a consultant and scientific adviser to another Internet dating site,, where she wrote the core statements in the questionnaire members would fill out; a questionnaire to establish their personality type. All the statistical data collected on this sample of 39,913 anonymous men and women, what Fisher called “the Personality Type Study” – as well as information from genetics, neuroscience, anthropology, psychology and other scientific disciplines – form the basis of Fisher’s understanding of four basic personality types: “Explorers, Builders, Directors and Negotiators.”

    And what – you ask, are the key ingredients that compose these types? Brain chemicals. Dopamine, “the powerful and ubiquitous neurotransmitter” produces Explorers. Serotonin produces Builders. Testosterone produces Directors and estrogen produces Negotiators.

    Perhaps more remarkable, is that Fisher’s “four types” mimic those four predipositoned characters or personality types known or discovered since the time of the ancient Greeks up until the modern day work of such pyschologists as David Keirsey and Meyers Briggs.

    Hippocrates (460-370 BC), a Greek physician, first proposed the concept of four broad temperament styles based on the “four humors.”

    Aristotle (384-322 BC) believed that human kind sought happiness in one of four ways: through sensual pleasure; by acquiring assets; in logical investigation, or in expressing moral virtue. Aristotle perfectly described core traits of Fisher’s Exloprer, Builder, Director and Negotiator.

    Galen, a Roman doctor living in the second century AD, again defined the primary traits of these four types: sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic and choleric.

    Since then, the sixteenth-century Viennese physician Paracelsus, the eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant and later philosophers and pyschologists, including Rudolf Steiner, Alfred Adler, Erich Adickes, Erich Fromm and most notably, Carl Jung – have all embraced the idea that each of us has inherited a specific constellation of biological traits.

    In the late 1940′s Isabel Briggs Meyers and her mother, Katharine, began to devlop what has become the world’s most popular personality questionnaire, the so-called MBTI.

    Then, in the 1990′s, the brilliant psychologist David Kieirsy, a protege of Myers, simplified her schema to fous on his four personality types: Artisan, Guardian, Rational and Idealist.

    Further still, these four personality types are also represented in non-Western traditions. Several North American Indian tribes believed in the sacred medicine wheel representing the circle of life marked by east (eagle), west (bear), north (buffalo) and south (mouse.)

    Fisher realized that the basic aspects of “who you are” began to evolve long before our human ancestors strode the earth. But why did our human forebears evolve the tendency to be far more attracted to some types than others – what the folks at originally asked?

    You know the answer: Read the book!

  • LKP Says:

    I just finished Dragon Tattoo–it was tough slogging through the family tree at first, but I would rate it a good commuter read! I also just finished ‘e,’ a fictional novel that tells the story of an ad agency’s quest for a coveted Coca-Cola campaign. The whole thing is told by email–very fun, quick read with lots of British slang–I enjoyed it lots! Waiting to get ‘e2,’ the sequel, from the friend who loaned me ‘e!’

  • Cori Mueller Says:

    Reading Sea of Poppies right now, which i borrowed from Mom. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is very good, as is the next one in the series!

  • all online games Says:

    Fantastic blog! I really love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the facts are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which ought to do the trick! Have a nice day!

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