Review | Reading People | Anne Bogel
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Page Count: 224
First Sentence: "The BuzzFeed-style quiz is taking over the internet, serving up answers to questions no one is asking."
Book Description (from Amazon): If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we're finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn't as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.
For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part--collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.
My Thoughts: If you're an avid reader, you have most likely heard of Anne Bogel, aka Modern Mrs. Darcy. I've been following her blog for years. She's someone you can look toward for a solid book recommendation, a space to discuss what you've been reading with other avid readers, and if you're lucky, personalized recommendations via a spot on her podcast, What Should I Read Next!
What always stood out to me about her writing was its authenticity. She seemed to be someone who knows very well what books she's apt to enjoy and which ones she stays away from (she's a HSP and owns it!) I've always been impressed with the level of self-awareness she seems to possess. Turns out, there's a reason why she's so in tune with her own personality. She's been studying personality as a hobby for the better part of 10 years. Of course you've seen those quizzes online: what Disney princess are you, what famous Shark are you (seriously), and the like, and while those are fun, I've often been interested in finding serious personality quizzes to help me understand myself in a real way.
I know that the quizzes that you find online are not going to be as thorough as the ones you would actually be able to complete with a trained professional, but I do think there are ones that we can take at home that are worthwhile. These assessments can be used as a guide and if you are able to answer honestly, I think you can gain some serious insight. Luckily, Anne has done the hard work for us. I would describe Reading People, her debut novel, as part memoir, part non-fiction, and part self-help.
There are eight different major personality assessments that Anne introduces: Introverts and Extroverts, Highly Sensitive People, The Five Love Languages, Keirsey's Temperaments, The Myers-Briggs Indicator, the MBTI Cognitive Functions, the Clifton StrengthsFinder, and the Ennegram. I have a pretty solid background in psychology, but I definitely still found myself learning new things. I loved all of the citations she gave and there's plenty of if you want to know more about this, turn to this resource. I think what I found different about this book was that it was not meant to be a be all end all overview of all things personality. To me, it seems this was meant to serve as an introduction to personality to anyone who might want to know themselves and the people they work with better. One item that was stressed over and over was to answer the questions in the assessments truthfully and sincerely- answer who you REALLY are, not who you think you SHOULD be. That's harder than you think- but that's a part of the growth process.
I'll admit, I had my eyebrow raised when I saw that the book may change how we live, work, and pray. I am not especially religious and tend to be intimidated by books that might have a religious tone. However, I wasn't turned off by Anne talking about the role in religion in she and her family's lives, since it felt like an authentic part of her experience. I thought the message would hold true for those that are religious and those that are not. I thought it was important to mention that because I'd hate for people to rule this book out for fear of it getting too religious. I her to write in a self reflective and open way. I also enjoyed hearing about how her experience in evaluating these personality constructs helped her. The book reminded me a bit of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project (but less shallow). One of the ideas that stuck out to me that helped sell me on the importance of personality, is how one key piece of information can reframe everything (relevant, if dated example- finding out in the Sixth Sense what's really going on with Bruce Willis!)
II was reading it on my e-reader, and I'll definitely be getting my hands on the physical version. This isn't a book that you necessarily will need to read start to finish. Rather, you might find yourself reading in fits and starts and going to the internet to find out which personality type you might be. If you would like to order your own copy, you can pre-order now at readingpeoplebook.com. There's some cool benefits that you get for pre-ordering before September 19th, including a free audio version of the book as well as access to Anne's "What your Reading Personality?" class. (I'm an Insider.... no surprise there!)
Favorite Quote: "It takes all kinds to make a world."
Rating: 5/5 I really enjoyed this. I highly recommend that you read this in physical form with a pen in hand- you'll want to take notes and I guarantee you end up Googling things throughout. But no matter- Anne acknowledges that you might want to bounce around the different sections!
Full disclosure- I was connected to this author more than I typically might be. That said, my review and comments are honest, as always! Thank you to Anne Bogel and her publishing team for allowing me to have access to an ARC.
If you're interested and would like to get your copy (pre-orders help SO much- and you get all of the extras!) you can do so here.