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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cracked Spine: Better than Before, Gretchen Rubin

I adore reading, and now that its my "summer" I have the headspace and time to dive into the long list of books that have been piling up in my Goodreads account (which, in it of itself needs tidying up, maybe I will add that to today's project list!). I devour books in general, but have two main genres that I always come back to- personal development/growth and chick lit...the two opposite ends of the spectrum but I love reading about the ways in which we operate and particularly love books that can help me in my work or with students.

Admittedly, its been a long time since I have read something that makes me want to tell everyone I meet about it, either by design of being on the road and consistently on the go or just for lack of finding something truly inspirational. But not today! Better than Before is an incredible read about how we formulate and approach habits. Gretchen Rubin deep dives into the personality traits that people display, how each group of individuals approaches a habit.


I really enjoyed this book. I love personality tests and indicators and the way the book is set up, it gives me an identity (incidentally, one of Rubin's main arguments about how we come to formulate a habit) that helps me verbalize the way I approach these concepts and main ideas. Many reviews that I have read criticize Rubin for making the reader feel that they should adapt habits she feels are superior- but I didn't read the book that way. In my opinion the only way that she could illustrate some of the points in the book was to provide examples of habit formation working (or not working, or kind of working) for her and for others. 

At any rate, the book made me think, and helped me feel better about formation of my own habits. I have a tendency to start out with the best of intentions and somehow get my path veered off into a different direction- so reading a book like this helps me understand why that happens and feel OK with the fact that sometimes a habit isn't going to stick. It also gave me the language to verbalize how my brain works with (or against) my habit formation when I need to explain it to others. If you like Meyers-Briggs type assessments to learn more about yourself- this book is going to be a hit with you! 

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