Thursday, July 14, 2011

Being Perfect ~ by Anna Quindlen, 2005

Being Perfect ~ by Anna Quindlen, 2005, essay, 8/10
Summary:  "Quindlen believes that when your success looks good to the world but doesn’t feel good in your heart, it isn’t success at all.  She asks you to set aside your friends’ advice, what your family and co-workers demand, and what society expects, and look at the choices you make every day.  When you ask yourself why you are making them, Quindlen encourages you to give this answer:  For me."
This is a relatively tiny book, full of photos and what seems to me to be one long essay.  I enjoyed reading it, and two parts seemed to have been written for me.
"The perfect student can never step outside the safe box of the right answer, can never take a flyer on the honorable failure that may be more compelling than the safe paper that gets an A" (p. 35).
Uh-huh, that's me.  Until that time I decided to try writing a book report about a story I invented out of thin air.  Oh, and there's that time after I retired when my best friend and I decided to open a bookstore — and didn't succeed, at least not financially.  (I had lots of fun.)
"Someone sent me a T-shirt once that read WELL-BEHAVED WOMEN DON'T MAKE HISTORY.  They don't make good lawyers, either, or businesswomen.  Perfection is static, even boring.  Imitations are redundant.  Your true unvarnished self is what is wanted" (p. 39).
I wrote about that tee-shirt also, though mine says Well-behaved women RARELY make history.  A fun book I read in one sitting, this rates 8 of 10 — a very good book.

1 comment:

Helen's Book Blog said...

I don't know anyone else who has read this one, but it was an important book for me to read years ago. I was newly divorced, trying to do it all, and feeling overwhelmed. Reading this book allowed me to admit that I am always "the good girl" and that I don't have to be perfect. It's still something I am working on