Does Anyone Else Struggle to Identify with the Author?

Use this forum to discuss the January 2018 Book of the Month, "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White
User avatar
SPasciuti
Posts: 329
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
Favorite Author: Marissa Meyer
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 46410">The Wendy</a>
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-spasciuti.html
Latest Review: L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century by Jason R. Richter
fav_author_id: 2388

Re: Does Anyone Else Struggle to Identify with the Author?

Post by SPasciuti » 25 Jan 2018, 16:53

I think the biggest thing I had a hard time relating to was the arrogance. It was definitely weird to feel as though some of the messages were incredibly important but to feel awkward about the way he passed those messages along? Which is kind of silly because I'm a huge supporter of Pay It Forward, but I just didn't like the pat on the back he repeatedly gave himself. It was hard to reconcile that with the idea that he was also proving that he wasn't simply stating things, but that he actually went out and did them and I'm unsure how he could have gotten that point across without seeming arrogant...but it definitely gave me a lot to think about.

User avatar
Christina Rose
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 962
Joined: 27 Jun 2017, 08:41
2018 Reading Goal: 56
2017 Reading Goal: 49
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 63
Currently Reading: Island Games
Bookshelf Size: 126
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-christina-rose.html
Latest Review: "Superhighway" by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Christina Rose » 25 Jan 2018, 23:41

RASchneider wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 10:19
I identified closely with his experience growing up in a mill town (mine was a mining town), being the only person to go to college (we had more than one, but I'd say 80% stayed to work the mines), and struggling with impostor syndrome at a major university. THOSE are good stories. I identify with their authenticity.

Beyond that point, it becomes clear (to me) that the reason for writing the book is to attract clients to his business (Motivational Speaking). Concluding the book with a web address inviting readers to continue their self-help journey cheapened every worthwhile message in the story. Again... IMO, YMMV, FWIW, etc.
I haven’t reached the end yet, but I can understand what you’re saying about the conclusion. I’ve read self help books in the past that included shameless promotions, and it did take away from the overall appeal. Sometimes, it makes sense for the author to provide the links. Other times it’s out of place and distracting.

User avatar
Christina Rose
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 962
Joined: 27 Jun 2017, 08:41
2018 Reading Goal: 56
2017 Reading Goal: 49
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 63
Currently Reading: Island Games
Bookshelf Size: 126
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-christina-rose.html
Latest Review: "Superhighway" by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Christina Rose » 25 Jan 2018, 23:43

SPasciuti wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 16:53
I think the biggest thing I had a hard time relating to was the arrogance. It was definitely weird to feel as though some of the messages were incredibly important but to feel awkward about the way he passed those messages along? Which is kind of silly because I'm a huge supporter of Pay It Forward, but I just didn't like the pat on the back he repeatedly gave himself. It was hard to reconcile that with the idea that he was also proving that he wasn't simply stating things, but that he actually went out and did them and I'm unsure how he could have gotten that point across without seeming arrogant...but it definitely gave me a lot to think about.
There is definitely an arrogant undertone, and it is difficult to get past. That is probably what has made it harder for me to relate so far.

shree_reads
Posts: 11
Joined: 21 Dec 2017, 21:39
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Currently Reading: Great Expectations
Bookshelf Size: 51
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-shree-reads.html
Latest Review: "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White

Post by shree_reads » 26 Jan 2018, 00:18

I understand where you're coming from, but personally I felt it was refreshing to see how different experiences affected him. The chapters of his childhood were undoubtedly inspiring to a college student like me, but I was also inspired by Rob's continuous drive to reinvent himself and try new experiences. I may not have a Porsche, but I could relate to the way Rob felt when his prized possession was damaged by his friend. I'm sure we've all been there. In the end I feel it's not about the details, but the attitude Rob exhibits that is relevant to readers from all walks of life.

User avatar
SPasciuti
Posts: 329
Joined: 07 Jan 2018, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
Favorite Author: Marissa Meyer
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 46410">The Wendy</a>
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-spasciuti.html
Latest Review: L.I.F.E. in the 23rd Century by Jason R. Richter
fav_author_id: 2388

Post by SPasciuti » 26 Jan 2018, 00:28

Yeah. And what's funny about it is that I feel like the arrogance showed up a little less in the childhood chapters, which I think is part of what makes those chapters so much easier to realate to for a lot of people (from what I've noticed, anyway). There's something about the innocence and perhaps even how unsure he felt about himself at times that helped with that? For example, there were the chapters when he focused on the issues of escaping his small town in order to go to college--leaving behind the almost assured job he had and additionally how he had isolated himself and befriended only the janitor at his university later on.

The arrogance seemed to start (at least for me) around the time that he had cheated on his exam and his Professor caught him. It was just harder to take the stories at face value after he gave his pay-it-forward moment with the kid who was breaking into his car. Something after that, changed for both him as a person and the story he was telling.

User avatar
pinklover
Posts: 326
Joined: 29 Nov 2017, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Currently Reading: The Everett Exorcism
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-pinklover.html
Latest Review: Prayers of the Righteous by Sylvia M Cuttino
Location: Philippines

Post by pinklover » 26 Jan 2018, 06:22

shree_reads wrote:
26 Jan 2018, 00:18
I understand where you're coming from, but personally I felt it was refreshing to see how different experiences affected him. The chapters of his childhood were undoubtedly inspiring to a college student like me, but I was also inspired by Rob's continuous drive to reinvent himself and try new experiences. I may not have a Porsche, but I could relate to the way Rob felt when his prized possession was damaged by his friend. I'm sure we've all been there. In the end I feel it's not about the details, but the attitude Rob exhibits that is relevant to readers from all walks of life.
You've got the right point! I do agree with you. His attitude matters most to me on how he manage his ups and downs in life. I admire the way he rules his life. We might have silly things but we must learn from it. :tiphat:

User avatar
RASchneider
Posts: 15
Joined: 19 Jan 2018, 13:01
Bookshelf Size: 4
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-raschneider.html
Latest Review: "Sigfried&rsquo;s Smelly Socks!" by Len Foley

Post by RASchneider » 26 Jan 2018, 12:10

Christina Rose wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 23:41

I haven’t reached the end yet, but I can understand what you’re saying about the conclusion. I’ve read self help books in the past that included shameless promotions, and it did take away from the overall appeal. Sometimes, it makes sense for the author to provide the links. Other times it’s out of place and distracting.
Yes... and the "correct" place to advertise oneself is in acknowledgements, author blurbs, etc. Unless the book is sold AS a sales tool for a specific product. In that case, good on ye... shove the plugs in throughout the book. But White "seems" to be writing a memoir/advice book and inserting the website in the actual body of the book comes off as manipulative and suggests ulterior motive for the entire book. IMHO. :-)

cshaffer17
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Jan 2018, 09:47
Currently Reading: The Last Days of Magic
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cshaffer17.html
Latest Review: "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White

Post by cshaffer17 » 26 Jan 2018, 12:28

I adored this book, but I would definitely have to agree with you. The first half of the book was way more relatable. In fact, I could see my own dad telling stories of the same character. The message in the second half of the book was supposed to be that money doesn't fill you up, but that message was lost in translation somewhere. I also kept waiting to hear the story about how he became a writer, but that never came.

User avatar
Christina Rose
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 962
Joined: 27 Jun 2017, 08:41
2018 Reading Goal: 56
2017 Reading Goal: 49
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 63
Currently Reading: Island Games
Bookshelf Size: 126
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-christina-rose.html
Latest Review: "Superhighway" by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Christina Rose » 27 Jan 2018, 00:29

RASchneider wrote:
26 Jan 2018, 12:10
Christina Rose wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 23:41

I haven’t reached the end yet, but I can understand what you’re saying about the conclusion. I’ve read self help books in the past that included shameless promotions, and it did take away from the overall appeal. Sometimes, it makes sense for the author to provide the links. Other times it’s out of place and distracting.
Yes... and the "correct" place to advertise oneself is in acknowledgements, author blurbs, etc. Unless the book is sold AS a sales tool for a specific product. In that case, good on ye... shove the plugs in throughout the book. But White "seems" to be writing a memoir/advice book and inserting the website in the actual body of the book comes off as manipulative and suggests ulterior motive for the entire book. IMHO. :-)
I agree. Typically, but now always, I'll see the author include these links in an "additional resources" area. I don't mind this at all, and actually welcome the suggestions. Otherwise, it really does suggest ulterior motives.

User avatar
The BookWorm Nagham
Posts: 104
Joined: 25 Jan 2018, 14:27
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 77
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-the-bookworm-nagham.html
Latest Review: Randy Love...at your service by Shay Carter
Location: Lebanon

Post by The BookWorm Nagham » 27 Jan 2018, 13:27

I didn't identify with all the chapters, i did see myself and began recounting stories of my own in the first few chapters , but in the latest's ones i couldn't identify with Rob at all. I guess it's because at the end he lived a life that's very different than mine. But even though i didn't identify with those stories it doesn't mean he didn't give us good lessons.The main point of the book is that we can find our "gurus" in our everyday life.
We have to keep in mind that everyone is impacted differently by the same situation; our age, nationality and experiences in life makes us see things differently.

User avatar
Spirit Wandering
Posts: 739
Joined: 12 Mar 2017, 16:21
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... bastian</a>
Currently Reading: The independent
Bookshelf Size: 75
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-spirit-wandering.html
Latest Review: "Dear Thailand" by Diane de Simone
Location: Central Highlands Maine

Post by Spirit Wandering » 28 Jan 2018, 08:56

I would agree, especially as it relates to the story of running with the bulls. I was annoyed by his detailed description of how wonderful his outfit was, as I think it was an example of where his ego often got in the way of the story's message. I understand that he was doing it as a setup for when the outfit is later ruined. However, I don't think the outcome of the story was as effective as it might have been if written with less focus on himself.
Interested in books that help one's spirit move beyond the ordinary.

User avatar
pinklover
Posts: 326
Joined: 29 Nov 2017, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Currently Reading: The Everett Exorcism
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-pinklover.html
Latest Review: Prayers of the Righteous by Sylvia M Cuttino
Location: Philippines

Post by pinklover » 28 Jan 2018, 09:03

Spirit Wandering wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 08:56
I would agree, especially as it relates to the story of running with the bulls. I was annoyed by his detailed description of how wonderful his outfit was, as I think it was an example of where his ego often got in the way of the story's message. I understand that he was doing it as a setup for when the outfit is later ruined. However, I don't think the outcome of the story was as effective as it might have been if written with less focus on himself.
You've got a point but his memoir must focus on himself. I understand why some part of his story is less effective to other readers if the reader cannot relate to the author himself. :tiphat: :idea:

eBookreviewer
Posts: 68
Joined: 28 Dec 2017, 17:29
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... =8714">The Angel's Game</a>
Currently Reading: Diary of a Snoopy Cat
Bookshelf Size: 20
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ebookreviewer.html
Latest Review: Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon
Reading Device: B06XD5YCKX

Post by eBookreviewer » 28 Jan 2018, 14:40

Although I like the book, I struggle to identify with the author. In my opinion, not everyone can have this kind of life.

User avatar
Emma13
Posts: 38
Joined: 27 Dec 2017, 11:28
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
Currently Reading: It Can't Happen Here
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-emma13.html
Latest Review: Book Blueprint by Jacqui Pretty

Post by Emma13 » 28 Jan 2018, 14:58

SPasciuti wrote:
25 Jan 2018, 16:53
I think the biggest thing I had a hard time relating to was the arrogance.
This exactly. Once you start to notice it, it becomes so hard to move beyond. The combination of arrogance and unacknowledged privilege (which I think grows as the book goes on) really took me out of his stories and made me question the validity of a lot of his lessons.

Gikonyo Caroline
Posts: 140
Joined: 07 Jul 2017, 06:30
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading: Lost in the reflecting pool
Bookshelf Size: 85
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gikonyo-caroline.html
Latest Review: "From Drift to SHIFT" by Jody B. Miller
Location: Kenya

Post by Gikonyo Caroline » 29 Jan 2018, 04:32

I think we see people as we are and as we need them. If you struggled with the myths he dealt with in the first chapters of the book or your childhood experience is similar to the author's you will identify with this section the most. For example I liked the section that Rob dealt with accepting and loving himself , that is identity and his speaking career such as the story where Rob's wig flew off his head and landed on the stage because I am a speaker and trainer on embracing your true identity. So it's quite understandable for you to relate with certain stories and sections of the book and not relate with other sections or stories in the same book.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White”