Monday, September 21, 2009

26. Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt
September 2009

At first I struggled reading this book, simply because of the strong Irish accent that it is written in. However as the memoir progressed, this became part of the charm. It has been a while since I read a true memoir (even though they used to be what I read exclusively) so I forgot what it was like to read something without a true climax and story line. Although, in the end, I remembered why I loved reading them.

Memoirs give you the ability to learn about people from another place and time. You literally get to step into their lives and explore what it would have been like to live right along side of them. Here we get to go to Limerick, Ireland during the great depression and the first World War and live with a family struggling to survive. McCourt has a sequel which I'm hoping follows him once he's made his trip from Ireland to America. I will probably pick it up next year. He has me hooked!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

25. The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture Randy Pausch
September 2009

I wasn't originally going to write an entry for this book. But on second thought, I figured that, in the event that someone who might actually read this blog didn't know about it, I would be doing them a disservice. I have read the transcript of Pausch's actual lecture, but this is the first time I have read his entire book. It is essentially the background behind the lecture... why he decided to give the lectures.... why he decided to talk about certain things... and what was going on in his life around the time of the lecture.

Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and informed that he had approximately six months to live. At CMU it is common for professors to give a "last lecture" upon retirement, which gives them a chance to essentially "teach" whatever they want. Pausch's lecture was entitled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams."

Both the book and his lecture are more worth your time than probably anything you've ever read. Literally they both brought me to tears and made me laugh, inspired me and challenged me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

24. Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
September 2009

This is a novel that my roommate has been excited for me to read. I don't have too much to say about it.

It was an easy read and an interesting story. It did have a unique twist at the end, that made it less cliche than I originally anticipated. I had a friend who said they put it down and in some ways I can see why. It develops rather slowly and with some foreshadowing in the beginning it makes the climatic buildup even more straining. Although, in the end I am glad I took the time to read it! Made me miss the circus!