Home > Uncategorized > What I’m Reading (May 2013)

What I’m Reading (May 2013)

I’m not the type who has to finish a book.  If after twenty or thirty pages I don’t like it for whatever reason, I’ll move on to something else.  When I started The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith, I wasn’t sure I was going to finish it.  In this case, it had nothing to do with how it was written (well, by the way) or even the general synopsis (college-aged girl loses mother and then father to cancer).  But her actions and reactions to these tragedies were completely different from mine.  Yet isn’t that the point of reading?  Not only are we seeking to be entertained, but to read the very different emotions and experiences of another.  Even keeping this in mind, I was debating not finishing the book.  Maybe the story was too close to home.  Whatever the reason, her writing captivated me and I kept reading.  She writes of her parent’s diagnoses, their deaths, the grief she felt, the crazy trip she took (which is incredible), the constant changes she kept making to her life, and the chances she took as she tried to navigate her way through the haze of grief.  A superb book.

Andrew McCarthy, author of The Longest Way Home (known to more for his acting), tweeted that reading Jack Hitt’s book, Off The Road, A Modern Day Walk Down The Pilgrim’s Route into Spain, was the impetus for his own pilgrimage into Spain.  With such a recommendation, I dove right in to this book.  Hitt spins tales of the locals he encounters, the fellow pilgrims he travels with as well as the ones he doesn’t, and along the way he mixes in a history of Catholicism, icons, and pilgrimmages.  Quite interesting.

Born Standing Up:  A Comic’s Life is Steve Martin’s autobiography of his career as a stand-up comedian.  As far as memoirs go, of studying and learning your craft, analyzing why you went along a certain path and then stepped off of it, it’s a fascinating read.  And funny.

I am continuing with the Parker series by Richard Stark.  Stark took a 25 year hiatus from the Parker series before returning with Comeback, Backflash, and Flashfire.  Parker is just as cold and murderous and calculating as he was before.  As good as the earlier stories were, one can see how Stark (aka Donald Westlake) had grown as a writer.  It’s the same character and the same writer, but the stories are that much better.  I think there are three or four more left.  (Westlake died a few years ago.)

(I also can’t wait to read the latest Jo Nesbo book which was released recently.)

Most sports autobiographies spew banal generalities.  Last year’s Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, cannot be faulted for doing the same in his latest book, My Time.  He rarely seems to hold back telling you what he thought of his competitors and even his teammates.

Other books I read this month: Half Man, Half Bike: The bio of Eddy Merckx (the greatest cyclist of all time) by William Fotheringham, VJ:  The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave (eh, not so good), The Book Of Virtue (Bibliomysteries) (this was more of a short story) by Ken Bruen, and Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson.

***

I’ll drop a few more hints on my next book.  For now, it’s titled “Secrets To Keep.” (Unless I change the title again.  I’m ever so close to finishing the third draft and then it’s off to my chief editor (aka the wife) for the first reading.  I’ve already let her read the first few pages.  I may post those soon.  What else can I say?  It’s not a memoir and it’s twice as long as my previous books.

Oh, and it’s fiction.  Crime fiction/mystery to be more “specific.”

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