Back with Some Recent Reads

Hi again.  I basically took a summer vacation from blogging, but I’m back now and hope to be posting regularly again.

The reason for the hiatus was pretty exciting- we bought a house!! Construction hasn’t actually begun on the house yet, so it’ll be quite awhile till we move, and I’ve got no pictures to show, but my heart was in planning and getting all that together. Plus we took a no-computer-access vacation in August, which didn't work any wonders for my blog. 

But it leads me to my first post in over a month, a new edition of recent reads. I spent a large part of the summer gloriously lounging by the pool or on the beach, and I got some wonderful reading in.

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
I loved this. It’s ultimately a redemption story- the memoir of a woman wrecked by drugs and death and a broken home, who decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail when she has nowhere left to turn. The story was gripping.  Her ability to access and describe her emotions is amazing, as is her resolve, strength, and toughness. The hike is not an easy one, and Strayed is not even close to properly prepared, but nothing deters her.  Strayed, and her life, are my polar opposites, and reading this, I was amazed on so many levels- the abuse a human body could take, how much you can overcome with sheer willpower, and even the way the universe appears to look out for each and every one of us. Truly a stellar read.

This Is Where I Leave You,  by Jonathan Troppel
This movie comes out Friday night. My husband’s was obsessed with this book, so I picked it up too and enjoyed it. It’s a hilarious story of an extremely dysfunctional family who comes together for a shiva after their father’s death.  The characters are entertaining and vivid, and they’re all facing some intense personal problems, which makes some of their interactions quite bizarre.  A fun read, if a bit vulgar at times.

Women in Clothes, by Sheila Heti, Leanne Shapton, Heidi Julavits
I’d describe this book as a literary collage. The authors surveyed 639 women from all perspectives and backgrounds- young, old, rich, poor, famous, sweatshop workers, transgenders, you name it- to get their views on style and fashion.  The book, which is crazy long, puts these answers together in variety of fun ways, from straight-up survey reprints, to interviews, to photo collages, to arty little literary pieces (that, admittedly, I didn’t understand and skipped over).   It got a little long and boring for me by the end, but overall cool and something a little different.

Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is a kooky chick lit book about two twin sisters born with ESP. One chooses to go all out and become a medium, and the other chooses to abandon her skills in favor of a typical suburban life. When the psychic sister predicts a huge earthquake will hit their town, she gains crazy notoriety and the twins are forced to grapple with sibling and self-image issues that have been brewing for years. This is a fun, easy, chick-lit kind of read.