Monday, August 01, 2005

50 Book Challenge: "Homework" Books and Lighter Fare

Part of the reason I'm not going to make my 50-book total by the end of the year is that for some reason I'm reading a lot of heavy books this year. Sci-fi takes me a while. Sometimes I pick up a mistake of a true crime book and I end up trudging through it instead of gobbling it up the way I do with the really good ones. Another thing that will probably slow me down is worrying about Enthusio and wanting to do some research on dealing with his issues.

I was really disappointed in The Highly Sensitive Child. I probably shouldn't have had such high expectations. I read the author's earlier book, The Hightly Sensitive Person, several years ago, and it was kind of a life-changing experience, in that it explained what had been "wrong" with me my whole life. I had always felt like things were so much harder for me to deal with than for anyone else. I knew that saying I was "shy" or "introverted" wasn't really the issue. I knew it wasn't just emotional sensitivity because it seemed physical too -- not being able to deal with extremes of temperature for any length of time, or uncomfortable clothing, or having volume too loud for TV or movies or music, or more than a little caffeine -- it all seemed to point at having a stupidly delicate nature. Turns out this is a trait I share with 20% of the population, more than the number with whom I share the trait of left-handedness. It was a huge relief to read this book that seemed to explain who I was, but at the same time, I knew that I hadn't ever fit the profile of the typical Highly Sensitive Child, who seems timid and hesitant -- by all reports, I was always a cheerful, open, friendly kid, from the time I was a baby. Enthusio has always been the same -- "shy" is about the last word I would use to describe him. I do feel very strongly that the Highly Sensitive label fits us both, between the strong emotional reactions to so many things and the many sensory issues that both of us seem to suffer from. But it does make sense that the book would naturally be more geared toward dealing with the issues of the typical HSC, so I guess I shouldn't have expected it to answer all my questions.

It did point me in another direction -- emotional intelligence. I've read that EQ is supposed to be a more accurate indicator of how well a person will do in life than IQ. A couple of years ago, I took an online EQ quiz and scored incredibly low, which I thought was kind of funny, since the last time I checked, I wasn't a total loser and had in fact managed to do reasonably well in life. But I would definitely like to read up on the subject, especially with regard to raising a child to have high EQ, because I think that could really help Enthusio. So this morning I ordered a used copy of Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman on Amazon.

Along those same lines, I was really proud of Entusio this morning. I took him to day camp, and they are going on a field trip to a miniature golf/arcade type place today. This situation seemed fraught with opportunities for Enthusio to get upset, so I checked with the lady at the front desk to get a sense of what the fee I'd already paid was going to include and what he might need to spend his own money on, and I talked to him about how to handle some different situations that might come up, like not doing well at the mini-golfing since he's never done it before and that sort of thing. He seemed very prepared for it. I am starting to think he has actually grown up a lot this summer and that day camp has been good for him.

Anyhow, now I get to choose something else to read, and, as though I didn't already have about 100 books sitting on the shelf waiting to be read, last night I picked up 3 more (Borders had a buy 2, get the 3rd free deal): We Thought You Would Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro, a short, funny memoir-type thing; Bee Season by Myla Goldberg, about a girl placed in a class for slow learners who unexpectedly find success in a spelling bee, and Atonement by Ian McEwan. The book I recently read for one of my book clubs, The Reading Group, was not my favorite, but I was intrigued by some of the books the women in the book met to discuss, and Atonement was one of them. It looks kind of heavy, but the story sounds really good. I think I'm going to start with We Thought You Would Be Prettier -- it looks like one that will be easy to gobble down -- before I get to my other August book club selection, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a young adult book that I think will also be a quick one.

Maybe August will be my month for catching up on my total, although I am determined to deliberately choose quick books for that purpose. That feels like cheating.

1 comment:

guile said...

i love atonement.. mr mcewan really writes well..