Sunday, November 30, 2008

What I've been reading.

I am the type of reader who usually has two or three different books going at the same time. Right now I’m reading John Bowe's Nobodies and Reg Theriault's How to Tell When You're Tired in preparation for Citizen Reader’s Book Ménage which begins December 8th. The book ménage is an on-line book club where everyone reads a pair of related books (selected by vote on her site) and then discusses them in the comments section. The above choices are bound to generate a thought provoking discussion. I encourage you to participate or at least check it out.

Also, on my night stand is Stephen King’s, On Writing. This book has been on my reading list, since I read Trent's review on the Simple Dollar. He attributes this book as giving him the inspiration to quit his day job and become a full-time writer. I have never aspired to be a writer nor do I now, but I love reading books that inspired other people to pursue there dreams. Who knows I just might pick up a couple of writing tips.

Books recently completed:
To Love What Is by Alix Kates Shulman - I have been an Alix Kates Shulman fan ever since reading her memoir, "Drinking the Rain", so when I came across this post on Gretchen's blog "The Happiness Project" I knew I had to read, "To Love What Is", her latest book. Per Gretchen, the catastrophe began when:

Shulman's 75-year-old husband fell from a nine-foot sleeping loft in July 2004; he suffered a brain injury that keeps him from having a short-term memory. Her memoir covers the accident and the aftermath, and in flashbacks, the period during which they met, went separate ways, and years later, married.

I can't help but admire Shulman's spirit and patience; I can only hope if I ever faced a similar situation I would be able to handle it with the same strength and grace. The book is also a haunting reminder of how we need to be cognizant of our own physical limitations as well as those of our love ones. Perhaps, a 75 year-old man with signs of dementia should not have been sleeping on a nine-foot loft that didn't have a railing in a cottage without electricity on an isolated island without a road to get to it. The book also makes a strong case for purchasing long-term care insurance.

Kindred by Octavia E Butler - Dana, an African-American woman living in the late 1970s, is suddenly transported back in time to a Maryland slave plantation in 1819. It turns out that she’s been called back in time to save the son of the white plantation owner–a boy who, she soon learns, is one of her ancestors.

This book is considered a fantasy thriller, but is really so much more than that. Its depiction of slavery is one of the best historical fiction accounts on the subject I have ever read. I assure you, this book will stay with you for days.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This book was a recommendation by my friend Dana who described it as a thought provoking worth while read she felt to be much better than, “Remains of the Day.” As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

I can't say I liked this book, but I did feel it was worth my time.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted so to participate in the Book Ménage, but my reading is tied down lately. I'm doing too much in the have to read department.

    Thanks for following my blog! I notice your blog carries a lot of creative posts with advice and commentary on national happenings. A breath of fresh air - yes. Thanks for stopping by and I'll add you to my bloglines.