Two Nonfiction Books that Were Mediocre

Never Have I Ever: My Life (so far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

I expected more from this book. It’s a memoir by a 25 year old, and it recaps every potential romantic interlude and flirtation or crush from birth to now. The beginning was torturously slow. It was mildly more entertaining in the later years, but I kept expecting more humor. It didn’t make me laugh, and I’d give it a 2/5 stars. The quotes I liked:

  • (Some girls are lighthouses – they attract sailors over and over, easily. Other girls are Bermuda Triangles.) “It’s just that Bermuda doesn’t know how to handle itself when somebody sails into its territory, because that hardly ever happens. It hasn’t had much chance to practice, and it’s used to things going a certain way. So if a sailor DOES come around, it gets a little nervous, freaks the fuck out, and creates hurricane-like devastation in every direction around it. And then it gets embarrassed and sad and calls its friends.”
  • “Guys who would make fun of girls for sexual inexperience are terrible people, and when girls do it to other girls it feels even shittier. Guys who shame girls who haven’t had sex want them to feel like they aren’t doing their job, which is to be sexually available and attractive to guys.”

There were a few other instances where she describes a friend’s behavior, or talks about a weird quirk (parking is her go-to stressor about dates…yes!), where I felt like I was reading about myself. For the most part, I feel like I could chronicle the crushes and dating endeavors in my life and it’d be far more interesting and comical. It’s like, if she can do it, why can’t I? (Except for that whole time thing, and ruining my professional life…)

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

This is a book about biases. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but it was the selection for my kinky book club.  I’d give this a 3/5 stars.  Interesting notes/quotes:

  • “Diagnosis bias – in other words, the moment we label a person or a situation, we put on blinders to all evidence that contradicts our diagnosis.”
  • “We experience the pain associated with a loss much more vividly than we do the joy of experiencing a gain.”  — This is why keeping a gratitude journal is so helpful for retaining positive memories and maximizing joy from gains.
  • “‘Some men,’ LBJ once said, ‘want power simply to strut around the world and to hear the tune of ‘Hail to the Chief.’ Others want it simply to build prestige, to collect antiques, and to buy pretty things. Well, I wanted power to give things to people — all sorts of things to all sorts of people.”
  • Dan Ariely “expectations change the reality we live in.”
  • Draft selection order influences playing time more than talent – why peer pressure and popularity influences perspective more than who people actually are.
  • “We use diagnostic labels to organize and simplify. But any classification that you come up with has got to work by ignoring a lot of other things–with the hope that the things you are ignoring don’t make a difference. And that’s where the rub is. Once you get a label in mind, you don’t notice things that don’t fit within the categories that do make a difference.”
  • Adrenaline makes you more romantically attracted. Kink releases adrenaline, so more likely to be romantically interested.
  • “How we are treated –the fairness of the procedure– has as much to do with our satisfaction as the ultimate outcome.”
  • The pleasure center and altruism centers of the brain cannot function at the same time.

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