Home > Books > What I’m Reading (Jan 2013)

What I’m Reading (Jan 2013)

January’s readings proved to be a bit unusual in that the title of every book I read this month began with the word “The.”  I don’t think that’s ever happened before.   Here’s the list:

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
The Dirtiest Race in History by Richard Moore
The Blind Side:  Evolution of a Game by Richard Lewis
The Twilight of Atheism by Alister McGrath
The Icarus Deception:  How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
The God of The Mundane by Matt B Redmond
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Huraki Murakami
The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor
The Mourner by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)

I’ve posted about The End of Your Life Book Club before, which is a great book.  In the last year or so of the author’s mother’s life, the author and his mother spend time, usually while waiting for doctor’s appointments, discussing a particular book they’d read.  In reading this book, I saw many of the same emotions I experienced in my own mom’s battle with cancer- the uncertainty of what to do and say, what questions to ask, the long conversations about the past, and much more.  Through the mother, the author paints a picture of a woman content with the fate that awaits her yet continuing to live her life on her terms.

Seth Godin released another thought-provoking book, The Icarus Deception.  This book is another thought-provoker as to what and how you’re going to live the one life you’ve been given.  Again and again, he uses the phrase “the connection economy.”  Life, art, is about connecting with other people.  The measure is not how many were produced, bought, sold, but whether or not a person’s work, their art, connected with someone else.  I was also pleased that Seth Godin dropped a comment on one of my blog posts this month, Tracing It Back…Like Finding the Love of Your Life.

In The Dirtiest Race in History by Richard Moore, the author tackles the men’s 100 meter race in the Seoul Olympics, one in which nearly every participant was suspected of cheating on some level.  If you’ve seen the 30 for 30 documentary on this race, the book goes into much greater detail.

And this month also saw Lance Armstrong confess to cheating and doping on Oprah.  I wrote a post on it (So What Does This Average Guy Think About Lance and His Confession), which turned out to be the most read post of the month.

In January, I went back and read two novels I’d previously read.  One was Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle.  I first read this book when it came out in the mid-nineties and was captivated by its post-modern, eccentric, paranormal tale.  The basic premise is man loses cat, man loses wife, and his journey to regain them both.  The protagonist meets mind-readers, seers, learns about the violence of war, develops and then loses the ability to heal, and much more.  It’s an imaginative head-spinner.

I also re-read The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor, which I hadn’t read since high school.  No need to mention when that might have been.  It’s a stunning story, the start of what people call Southern Goth, and a story that probably shocked people when it first came out.  There’s a healthy dose of fundamentalist religion, murder, bigotry, and hatred.  Underneath all the imagery and symbolism is a story masterfully told.

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