*Book Review* READING PEOPLE

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    ‘Reading People’ By Anne Bogel

    We live in a selfie culture obsessed with trying to nail down why we are the way we are, why certain things happen to us or behavioral patterns occur, and how we can become our best “selves.”

    This is what attracted me to Anne Bogel’s new book, ‘Reading People.’

    The book is intended to shine both light and depth on learning how to understand the unique personalities of ourselves and those we interact with.

    Inspired by pop culture’s interest in online personality quizzes (you know, the many Facebook time-suckers with ranging themes from “find out which movie star is your perfect match!” to “discover the ice cream flavor that best describes who you are”), Reading People specifically focuses on the most reputable personality evaluations. This includes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Enneagram, StrengthsFinder, and others.

    I was initially fascinated by the idea of understanding my own personality as well as the personalities of those closest to me. However, I found this book to be a bit more focused on logic and a lot less focused on application.

    I was hoping to attain a biblical perspective on personality as well as practical application and wisdom on how to approach the many personalities I encounter each day. While I wouldn’t say the book failed at this I would say it certainly didn’t succeed. Or at least, not for me.

    Perhaps the book was way more intellectual than I expected or than I prefer, which it very well could have been. I don’t know, I just couldn’t “get into” this book like I had hoped and I felt like I had already accomplished what the book intended after reading a few chapters. Once I felt like I nailed down my personality (plus the many personalities of those I do life with), I found the information to be very repetitive. Even though it was presented differently through the various personality evaluations, the content all seemed to be about the same.

    Additionally, I was disappointed by the lack of scripture and influence of spiritual growth. I was hoping this would be the heart of the book when in actuality it was an asterisk sparingly used.

    While ‘Reading People’ received great endorsements, I most likely would not have chosen to read this book if I had read a review similar to mine. It is possible I am not fascinated with understanding and decoding personality like I had previously thought. With that said, if you are someone who enjoys personality quizzes and learning more about what makes you (or those you love) tick, this book may be a perfect match for you.

    * I was gifted this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As a person who has changed immensely since becoming a follower of Christ 10+ years ago, I have found the quote below to be highly supportive of my personal transformation.

    “We are constantly evolving products of the influences we take into our brains. What we look at, what we long for – to a large extent, this is exactly who we become. The foundational habits we adopt, the people we hang out with, the thoughts we dwell on – these all greatly impact the kinds of people we are and the kinds of people we become, as well as how we change and how much.” ~ Anne Bogel, ‘Reading People’

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