*Images are only for books that have been completed by September 30, 2020*
PAGE READ/BOOK & RANKING
~LISTED FROM FAVORITE TO LEAST FAVORITE~
The Wars (Timothy Findley): 396 → ★★★★
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey): 120/380 → ★★★★
Sophie’s World (Jostein Gaarder): 17 → ★★★★
New York Times: 7
The Economist: 6
Any SAT prep: 52
(SEPTEMBER 8 – SEPTEMBER 30)
TOTAL PAGES → 598
PAGES/DAY → 26
PAGES/WEEK → 199
Finish Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Finish 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik
Edgar Allan Poe Compilation
For the entirety of this month, I was studying for the SAT, which explains why I do not have as many books on my list. For 4 weeks, I did enough reading comprehension questions for a lifetime. I know more about random trivia topics than necessary to engage in small talk with my fellow peers. I am happy that I took on this challenge because it truly showed me how hard-working and dedicated I can be. My reading rate is acceptable considering the circumstances of this month. I hope to return to my life of books and articles in October.
THOUGHTS (FOR COMPLETED BOOKS)
The Wars by Timothy Findley (★★★★)
This book is fascinating. The first few pages were confusing and hard to digest with one read, but after I was able to understand the flow of the story, I began to fall in love with the setting and the characters. The symbolism of the mud was so carefully woven into the dialogue and description that it almost seemed like a character in and of itself.
My favorite line was, “I still maintain that an ordinary human being has the right to be horrified by a mangled body seen on an afternoon walk.” because it shows that soldiers of these wars never really got “used to” the blood and death like some assume. It really humanized soldiers in war as people with feelings and fears. It is difficult to understand their experiences from a normal person´s point of view, but Findley did a brilliant job of making the reader feel as if they were in the experience themselves, rocking back and forth with the gunshots and hardship of the front lines.
Robert was a difficult character to empathize with in my opinion. I like character´s with really loud minds because I enjoy analyzing their thoughts and motives as an observer. I felt that Robert thought as little as he spoke and I had to fill in the spaces. It was mentally taxing yet also worth it. I plan on reading more of his work soon.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (★★★★)
This was a book that my dad brought home for work years ago, and it has just been sitting in our living room bookshelf since then. I am surprised it took so long for me to get to reading it. We already did a course on this in Leadership 9, but I personally found the school-version to be a bit watered down for my taste, although I do understand why that was done, as we were only in Grade 9. The book, however, is a great example of the art of persuasion. Covey believed that our lives should be guided by principles rather than circumstances. He uses many personal anecdotes, statistics, and absolute statements to weave in his thesis into the reader´s mind. He knew which moments to focus on himself and where to stop and allow his audience to reflect on their own lives and change for the better.
My favorite idea was how our attitude toward immovable circumstances results in how tolerable they are. It is easy to cast blame onto our surroundings as an excuse for mediocrity – I hope that I am able to resist this temptation and become a better person in the future. The quote that most resonated with me was, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” because it illustrates the selfish nature of people. We are too worried about ourselves to have genuine conversations, and breaking this trend is a sign of good character.