Thursday, August 27, 2009

23. Into the Wild

Into the Wild John Krakauer
August 2009

I watched this movie several months ago and was drawn to read it by two different things. 1. I was intrigued to learn more about who Chris McCandless was as a person. I enjoyed learning about his take on life and the world and was drawn to find out what drove him to think and feel that way 2. I wanted to find out how Krakauer would have personally told the story, instead of watching someone rendition. Both desires were materialized through reading the book.

And just a final thought on McCandless. I see the desire for people to chastise him as an ill prepared, arrogant young person. In fact after seeing the movie and reading the book, several of my male friends felt exactly that way. There argument was similar to the ones high lighted in the book: He was selfish. He was stupid. He doesn't deserve any of the attention he has received. However, I can't help but feel the same way that Krakauer does. We have all done stupid things in our day. We have all tested our limits with our parents, with society and with life itself. I've gone skydiving. Even though its very mainstream to do so today, some people would argue that it is an idiotic thing to do. Why risk your life? Because everyone loves the feel of adrenaline pumping through there system and everyone loves do do something different. McCandless was no exception.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

22. Wolf at the Table

A Wolf at the Table Augusten Burroughs
August 2009

Burroughs is hands down one of my favorite writers. I've read several of his memoirs and I'm amazed on several levels every time I read a new one. I've always been amazed at his ability to recollect so many distinct details of his early life, which he finally addresses in this book. His stories of his childhood both intrigue me due to their seeming uniqueness, but they also sadden me due to the realization that these stories hit home for far to many people in this country and world. Maybe my fascination with his life and the way he tells it is because it instantly makes me grateful for the wonderful life I have and parents that provided it to me.

Outside of the stories, Burroughs style of writing is one that captures you instantly and doesn't ever really let you go. Even when you are long done with the book there seems to be always moments in everyday life that spark a recollection of one of Burroughs stories. After reading four of his books, there are countless times were his stories get mistakenly categorized into the stories of close friends. This is why I can't stop reading them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

21. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Rebecca Wells
August 2009

Holy Crap! I really liked this book. I saw the movie years ago, whenever it first came out. I remember enjoying it, but I haven't really thought about it otherwise, that is until the book caught my eye at the store recently.

Every girl has an unique relationship with her mother, and I obviously am no different. Wells has the ability to make you feel as though, no matter how atypical your relationship with your mother might be, it is still a powerful one. I think after reading this book I might have a new take on my mother. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in worrying about how she acts and is perceived. I definitely wonder now and again how she ever got to be her certain way. But Wells drives home throughout the novel, that understanding why she is the way she is, isn't really important. What's important is just accepting. Sounds so easy to say it... doing is a whole other task...

Monday, August 10, 2009


So my goal this year was to read 20 books, and I've done so by August. I recognize for many this is not that large of an accomplishment, however for someone who only gets about an hour a day to read, I couldn't be happier. No worries, I'm already almost done with my next book. Lets see if I can get to 30!

20. The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
August 2009

Sometimes it seems like I'm a little behind the curve with the "must reads," but I'm really glad that I finally got around to reading this. I think because I just recently read To Kill a Mockingbird, the similarities were glaringly obvious to me.

Sebold was daring in the perspective that she chose to write the book from. Rarely has a story like this been written from the view of the deceased, which made this book different than so many others like it. At times the story line became a little strange, but overall a great book and excellent read.

19. The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger
August 2009

I just went to the beach so finally I grabbed all those love story/beach reads that I've been meaning to get around to reading. My friends have been hounding me to read this and as expected it was very good.

I loved the twist on a traditional love story. Niffenegger did a great job with the large task of organizing a novel that jumps around in time and perspective.

18. Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed Earth Jhumpa Lahiri
August 2009

Lahiri is most noted for authoring The Namesake, however she has received immense recognition over the past year for Unaccustomed Earth. In fact, several publications rated this as the book of 2008.

This book is broken down into eight different stories. All of which revolve around first or second generation Indian Americans. What I found most interesting was the way she carried certain characteristics from one character to the next in the different stories. It made it interesting but also slight confusing, such as when two characters were avid photographers.

I enjoyed the book, it was a quick read. However, I struggle to understand why it was praised so highly. It seems highly unlikely that there was not a better book released in 2008.