**My thoughts go out to all those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. I can only imagine what you're going through. Stay safe**
kind of a lull this summer, I have been reading up a storm lately.
This probably has something to do with the inconsistent and often
crappy weather we’ve had. At least I’m getting a lot of good reading
done. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed:
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
by L. M. Montgomery: I saw someone mention these books on Instagram a
while back and although I remember loving them as a kid, I can’t really
recall much else. Anne was...a plucky orphan? Or is that Pollyanna? I
was delighted to find that my library had copies (in the children’s
section, but that’s ok with me) and plowed through them each in about a
day. They’re delightful, and I’m currently waiting for the next book (3
of 8, I think) to become available. Sure, it’s not high literature,
but it is charming and fun.
The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling: Listen, I wanted to love this book. I LOVE the Harry
Potter books and was excited to see that Rowling was venturing into
literature for adults. But...I didn’t love it. First of all, the book
is kind of depressing. Second of all, none of the characters are
especially likeable except for maybe the one that dies in the first 10
pages. Third, the woman is nothing if not extremely verbose and wordy.
This book could have been half as long and just as good. It’s like no
editor anywhere would ever dare to cut some of her prose, and her books
balloon to twice the size they need to be. This is one of the only
complaints I have about Harry Potter too, especially the later books.
Anyway, despite all those quibbles, I liked this book well enough to
finish all one million pages in about three days, so it’s compelling and
worth a read if you like modern British literature.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed: This book was heartbreaking, inspiring, hard to
read, and incredibly compelling. I couldn’t put it down. It’s not for
the faint of heart--Strayed talks in depth about her grief over her
mother’s death, her own drug use, and lots of sex--but it’s also so, so
good. I loved it.
The Secret Race
by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle: I grew up watching professional
cycling like most people in America grew up watching football or
basketball. My parents have been cycling since college, and even used
to compete in local road races. When I was a little girl my mom crashed
and broke her collarbone in a race, which my dad then quit prematurely
(on his way to an age-bracket win) so he could ride in the ambulance to
the hospital with her. Cycling is a big deal in my family. It is with
this preface that I want to review The Secret Race.
If you’re at all interested in the sport, I highly recommend it. If
you’re not interested in the sport, I still recommend you read it. It’s
gripping. You probably just won’t recognized a single name except
Lance Armstrong’s. The book, which is about the world of professional
cycling, the doping issue, and Armstrong, is a fascinating
behind-the-scenes glance at just what it’s like to be a world-class
cyclist. Bottom line: everyone dopes, here’s how they do it, and what
would you do in their situation? After reading this book, the answer to
that question definitely changed for me. I think it’s especially
relevant in light of the latest accusations against Armstrong, which he
has declined to fight.
So what have y'all been reading? What should I add to my list?