Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Reading Updates...

Summer Reading (update):

What I've read:

Bad Mother (recommend) Every chapter great except the penultimate chapter which is slightly preachy (?) or maybe just a big ol' happy kiss to Berkeley and the world-- it reminded me of how I might write bunch of "my husband is driving me crazy" poems and then stick in a "I love my husband poem" so no one thinks we're breaking up. This chapter does a similar thing, but in a "mom/woman in the community" way.

Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson (Recommended, but only get this if you like books where nothing happens- see Under the Tuscan Sun)

Jennifer Culkin's new memoir/essays: A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care (highly recommend, she's a friend of mind and is a fantastic writer!)

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt (Just finished! Recommend - the only part I didn't enjoy was the details on if there was cheating in sumo wrestling, but I understood its relevence to the rest of the book)

Outliers, The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell: (kind of recommend, but would recommend BLINK above this)

***Here's the deal with this book, I will summarize and save you the time from hearing story after story that prove the same thing. The reason people are successful has to do with their hard work (or time they've devoted to a particular thing-- 10,000 hours seems to be his magic number) and circumstances of their life (i.e. Bill Gates was the perfect age when the computer revolution began and he had his 10,000 from his work at his HS private school (Lakeside) computer and from his time using the UW computers). Really, that is the same point he hammers home with each story.

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting read and I learned something, but about midway through the book, I stopped learning and instead became just the listener saying, "I get it. I get it."

What I'm Currently Reading

Engulf Your Family in Flames: David Sedaris (so far interesting, but not crazyfunny like his other books and I keep forgetting to go back to it.)

Madness: A Bi-Polar Life by Marya Hornbacher - I zipped through pages 1-100, but 100-165 were rather tedious with the same "I'm drinking all the time, taking/or not taking meds, and manic." One problem, to which the author admits, is that she doesn't remember much during these manic times, so as a reader, it felt as if I was hearing the same vague story again and again like in Outliers, I wasn't learning anything new.

Her writing is strong and her life is interesting, but the middle does not equal what the first 100 pages gave me. I'm in the last section and hoping it reads more like the beginning. I will let you know. As I said, I could not put this book down when I first began it.

Stranger Than Fiction True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk: So far, I love it. But I'm a Chuck fan. We'll see if he's able to pull me through to the end. As you see, I've had a few issues with many of these books in the middle. Oh, how to sustain your work, it's something we all work on.

What's on my list to read:

Womanomics (recommended by January)

Ka-Ching by Denise Duhamel The Seeker's Guide (I think it's called that)

Grayson: Just got it from the library ( in LARGE PRINT so it seems) and I forget who wrote it. Looks like an easy read, hope to have this finished by the end of the weekend.


I'm back from Lake Quinault Lodge, our yearly family trip. It was wonderful and poured one day (well, we were in the rainforest). It seemed we missed a windstorm and power outage at home. We came home to find our patio table umbrella on its side and our huge gas grill knocked over on our deck.

I'll post a couple photos from the trip. When I booked it, I asked for a "pet-friendly" room and the woman wrote in "poet-friendly," which was hilariously perfect. The whole lodge is poet friendly though. I sat on the big leather couch in the lodge by the fire and read Madness, while it poured outside. It reminded me how much I love fall (shhhh, don't tell anyone I said that, as summer just began...)


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