Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Reading People by Anne Bogel

From the book site:
"Discover How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything

Backed by extensive research and illustrated with engaging stories, Reading People explains what makes you uniquely you, what makes the people in your life uniquely them, and why it all matters. Popular blogger Anne Bogel makes it easy. In this fascinating book, she collects, explores, and explains the most popular personality frameworks, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She shares the life-changing insights that can be gained from each, along with practical applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life.

Want to revolutionize the way you live, love, work, and pray? Understanding personality is the first step!"

I've been intrigued by people since I was a teen. My dad and I talked by the hour trying to figure the universe out well into my twenties and thirties, and a major topic was always people - how they think and why they do what they do. Since I began seriously writing a little over ten years ago, I've been even more fascinated. I've had gaping holes in my understanding of other people all my life. It's only relatively recently that I've been diagnosed as autistic and now realize that my dad was too. The holes are still there, but Anne's book is going to be an important resource for me for many reasons.

Reading Anne's book is just like listening to her. Her tone is welcoming and confiding as she shares personal life stories and revelations from her research. I especially love her many references to authors and literary characters and their personality traits and probable types.

Personality typing might be how I discovered Anne Bogel's blog Modern Mrs. Darcy years ago. Or I might have discovered her blog through my love of books and then stumbled over one of her posts on personality. Or I might have just come across the title of her blog and been compelled (yes, compelled) to visit it, as any self-respecting Janeite would. You'd have to investigate a blog with such a title. Whichever way, Anne has certainly enriched my reading life and now is contributing to my growing understanding of what makes people tick. As an autistic writer of character-driven fiction, this is huge! I knew about extroverts and introverts, of course. But that's like Personality 101. I'd never heard of the Myers-Brigg assessment before frequenting her blog, and I find that fascinating. I'm quite sure I'm INTJ but I'd like to take the full test one day.

More recently (last summer) I joined Anne's book club (which I LOVE) and first heard about her soon-to-be-released book, Reading People. You may know her through her weekly podcast, What Should I Read Next, which I also highly recommend whether you need the advice or not! Anne's manner is calm and warm and humorous and gracious. I'm glad she's narrating her own audiobook and you can get a free copy! More of that below. First, the book.

As I said, everybody knows about introverts and extroverts, and I'd already discovered the Myers-Briggs typing through Anne's blog, but it's much more in-depth than I realized. If I'm serious about knowing my own or anyone else's type, it's going to require a little more time than a simple online test. I knew about the ancient four "humors," but I'd never heard of Keirsey's Temperaments. I am a Rational and, though I didn't pay for the advanced report, since I'm quite sure I'm INTJ, that makes me a Rational Mastermind. (Sounds diabolical. Hehe) The other big one I'm not familiar with is the Enneagram, though I've heard a lot about it. This one seems a little overwhelming and it'll take some time for me to work through it. I relate to too many of the types! I'll need to spend more time with the Clifton StrengthsFinder for the same reason.

The Love Languages I've known for a while (mine is quality time) and also about Highly Sensitive Persons (I definitely am one). I personally think the latter is largely neurological and not necessarily personality, but I can readily believe that being an HSP can shape one's personality.

Although I read a free ARC, I've already pre-ordered a copy and plan on buying copies for my daughters and my son, as we all struggle with similar issues. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand themselves or who deals with other people in any way. In other words, everyone!

For writers: A valuable resource for checking character traits against motivations. I've read too many books where characters suddenly act out of character purely to further plot or cover up plot holes. Sometimes it's just lazy writing - not bothering to come up with clear cut characters in the first place. Understanding your characters, at least the ones that have significant page presence, will go far to keeping your characters on track and believable.

For parents: I'm very fortunate to have had children that got along most of the time. They're very close to this day (the youngest is thirty this year!) Conflict resolution wasn't a big factor in their upbringing. But I know that's not the norm for a lot of parents. Understanding your children's personalities and the dynamics in their interactions will help with problem solving and conflict resolution.

For teachers: The reasons are similar to parents on a grander scale: understanding your students, finding better communication methods for individuals, and avoiding and resolving conflict.

For employers: Knowing the strengths and personalities of your employees can help them be more successful in their work and work relationships. Win for everybody!

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Reading People website. Pre-order the book to claim your free audiobook and Reading Personality class!
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  1. Sounds like a really fascinating read. I'm really looking forward to learning and reading more. Thank you for the post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com