|I read this many books in 2012, because I am awesome. |
(Just kidding about the awesome part.)
It’s December, and that means pretty soon we’ll be bombarded with countdowns and all manner of lists documenting the best/ worst/ weirdest/ funniest/ most-shocking, etc. of 2012. In that spirit, here’s the list of my Five Best Reads in 2012. Drum roll, please…
Number 5. In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, by George K. Simon, PhD. If you think that deep down, every manipulative bully is a frightened, insecure child seeking love and attention, Dr. Simon has news for you. Read this book and learn the awful truth—some people use manipulation and bullying tactics because it keeps them in control, and they like control, period. If you work with, live with, or are otherwise tied to a manipulative person and find yourself frustrated, angry, and sad because of it, read this book. It’s eye opening.
Number 4. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. A good friend gave me this book as a gift, and it’s become one of the best book gifts I’ve ever gotten. Lamott writes about writing in a humorous, touching, and funny way, and if you’re a writer or aspire to be one, Lamott’s stories will have you saying “Ah hah! No wonder I’m so screwed up! I’m a writer” and leave you convinced that you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Number 3. The Other Woman's House, by Sophie Hannah. This novel was hanging out in the “Newly Released in Paperback” section at the bookstore. I’d never heard of the author, but I read the first page of the book and decided to give it a chance. I’m so glad I did. It is, hands down, one of the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time. Sophie Hannah is a skilled observer of human behavior and a very talented writer. Her novels intertwine family dynamics, psychology, and of course, murder. The Other Woman’s House is part of a series, and you’ll be as intrigued with the relationship between detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse as you will with whodunit.
Number 2. English Decoration: Timeless Inspiration for the Contemporary Home, by Ben Pentreath. I own more decorating books than I can count, but this one stands out with its beautiful, clear photographs; interesting text; and overall pleasing design. The English have a way of decorating that is distinct yet familiar. Some things are old, some things are new, many things are a bit shabby, and everything is beautiful. The end result is comfortable, pretty, and welcoming rooms that make you want to come in, sit down, put your feet up, and say “Ahhh…” Just gorgeous.
Number 1. The People Code, by Dr. Taylor Hartman. I can see Adam and Christian rolling their eyes, but I don’t care. They just don’t like that I’ve got their color. Dr. Hartman’s theory of personality is simple. Each person is primarily motivated by one of four things—Power (Reds), Intimacy (Blues), Fun (Yellows), or Peace (Whites). I’m definitely a Blue with a tinge of Red. Dr. Hartman calls Blues “The Do-Gooders” and lists Blues’ positive qualities as loyalty and commitment, self-discipline and stability, and sincerity. But it’s when I read Dr. Hartman’s assessment of Blues’ negative qualities that I knew I’d come home. Perfectionistic, unforgiving and resentful, worried and guilt prone. How did he know? I almost cried reading those pages, and that fits, too, because Blues are emotional. If you’re interested in psychology and theories of why people do what they do, you’ll appreciate this book.