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Non Fiction Books I’m Liking (Winter 2014-2015)

02 Jan

2308813Style Statement, by Carrie McCarthy, Danielle LaPorte ~ There aren’t a whole lot of things that I could call life transforming.  This book promised to inspire me to discover my own personal lifestyle.  It looked interesting, but I could only hope it was as good as it looked.  When it arrived I discovered it was like a giant workbook, filled with questions about the details of different areas of my life that I faithfully answered, page after page.  There were a lot of questions!  It was like taking a giant personality quiz, except that instead of a computer calculating your answers and generating a vague answer, I was the one sorting through the answers to questions like What are some of your favorite words?…  My dream home is?… If someone didn’t know me very well, they’d take me on a date to?…  Besides just asking yourself what you like or don’t like, you are also invited to examine the why behind your answers.  Why do you like what you like?  Why do certain things irritate you?  I consider myself an introverted person who knows myself pretty well so I didn’t expect to get a whole lot of out of these exercises, but I discovered a wealth of things about myself that I never realized before!  At the end of the book, you put together the recurring themes in your answers and decide that if you had to boil yourself down to two words, what would they be?  These two words are your Style Statement.  (What is mine?  That would be telling!)  I’ve had a blast making Pinterest pages of the different life categories with my Style Statement as the theme ever since.  If you love personality quizzes, self-analysis, and lists, this book is surely for you, my friend!

9286762Race to the End: Amundsen, Scott, and the Attainment of the South Pole, by Ross D. E. MacPhee ~ Every couple of years I settle down in the winter to read an exciting survival (or not) story set in the arctic/Antarctic.  I’ve often heard the names of Amundsen and Scott, even watched a short documentary about them, but didn’t know a lot of details about this epic competition to be the first at the South Pole.  I just happened to be browsing my local library’s shelf under explorations and saw a special edition with a plastic slipcase around this book.  Something about the cover grabbed me and I knew I had to check it out.  This really is a nice publication from the American Museum of Natural History and would make a great coffee table book.  There are pictures on almost every page, with maps and other foldouts in the back.  Wonderful photographs of actual items from the expeditions are also included.  All in all, the book design was very creative.  This story details the individual trips of Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott with the assumption that the reader already knows the fate of each party.  The author does a good job of being fair to each explorer and remaining neutral.  I’ve read quite a few pole survival stories over the years, some of which were boring, but this kept me interested in what would happen next (even though I knew the ending already).  A great winter read!

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