Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I started reading Anna Karenina recently because the movie looks good and I love Keira Knightley. She’s gorgeous and fantastic in everything she does. If you aren’t familiar, do yourself a favor and rent Love Actually, Pride & Prejudice, Domino, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
I’m only on chapter 7, but I’m into it and anticipating some twists and turns. Who doesn’t love a good affair story?
Anna Karenina was written by Leo Tolsoty (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910), a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Tolstoy was quite the sly little devil, too. He married Sophia Andreevna Behrs (Sonya), who was 16 years his junior, in 1862 and they had 13 children. On the eve of their marriage, he gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual past and the fact that one of the serfs on his estate had borne him a son. Their early marriage was happy and he spent his time composing War and Peace and Anna Karenina while Sonya acted as his secretary, proofreader and financial manager. Later on, things went downhill when his beliefs became increasing radical.
Tolstoy died from pneumonia at the age of 82, only days after gathering the nerve to abandon his family and take up the path of a wandering ascetic.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
I’ve always considered myself an introvert. I was the “shy girl” in class growing up, the one who got good grades and knew when to shut her mouth, so obviously she must be weird. During college, I “came out of my shell” a bit, so to speak, but will remain an introvert regardless of my brief moments of extraversion. When I did a Google search for the definition of introvert, the following descriptions came up:
1) A shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person; 2) A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty crappy definition. Probably written by an extrovert I don’t believe that just because someone prefers listening to talking, small social groups to parties, and thinking before speaking, that they are self-centered. Reticent, yes. But is being reserved so bad in a world full of loud mouths? Plus, “alone time” is the best. Just sayin.
Susan Cain is an American writer and lecturer who graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Cain practiced corporate law for seven years before deciding to leave her career for a quieter life of writing at home with her family. In the book, Cain describes the “Extrovert Ideal” — basically the notion that we live in a world where extrovert personalities are valued and introvert personalities are looked down upon — and introduces the reader to many successful introverts. She also offers advice on negotiating differences in introvert-extrovert relationships. I’m only on page 20, but I have a feeling that I will learn a lot about myself from this book. Watch Susan Cain’s TED talk here.