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

What I’m Reading (June 2013)

Finally, finally, finally, I finished the Parker series.  This month, thanks to a week in Florida, I knocked out the last three titles in three days.  For June, I finished off the series by reading Breakout, Nobody Runs Forever, Ask the Parrot, and Dirty Money.  The last three serve as sort of a trilogy, revolving around a single story.

Overall, I enjoyed the Parker series by Donald Westlake (who published the Parker books under the name of Richard Stark).  Early in the series, some were stronger than others, but by the last half, each of them were well-crafted crime noir books.  To read them is to be entertained by a good crime story and to watch a master at his craft (both the writer and the character of Parker).  If you don’t remember, it was this piece in Grantland on Donald Westlake that reignited my interest in the series.

Growing up, my mom was a huge Willie Nelson found.  Her car floorboard was littered with his cassette tapes, and on an occasion or two, I think she attended his annual 4th of July picnic.  In addition to Willie, she was infatuated with the movie, A Star is Born, which starred Kris Kristofferson.  With these two memories, I was curious to read Outlaw:  Waylon, Willie, Kris, and the Renegades of Nashville by Michael Streissguth.  Each of the characters has garnered individual biographies, but the author shows how they influenced one another and others as well as came to the forefront at the same time.  A great introductory read for a country music novice like myself.

Saints and Sinners by Lawrence Wright (the author of the recently released book on Scientology, Going Clear) tackled the subject of religion years earlier.  I’m not sure any of the book’s subjects (Walker Railey, Jimmy Swaggart, Madalyn O’Hair, Anton Lavey, Will Campbell, and Matthew Fox) would have ever thought they’d be profiled alongside the other.  The book was written back in the nineties, so much has happened to each of these individuals in the intervening years, but that doesn’t take away from the book.  Will Campbell, who recently passed away, was the one I didn’t know anything about and he proved to be most intriguing to me.

Sober Mercies:  How Love Caught Up With A Christian Drunk by Heather Harpham Kopp.  To the world at large, Heather Kopp was a valued Christian editor and writer.  Inside her home, she was an alcoholic with bottles hidden throughout her house.  Sober Mercies chronicles her hitting bottom, going to rehab, relapsing, and struggling to make sense of how a spiritual person could fall prey to addiction.

Other books I read this month include:  Runnin’ Rebel by Jerry Tarkanian, The Cycling Professor by Marco Pinotti, Paris-Roubaix:  The Inside Story by Les Woodland, and Splitting the Difference by Tre Rodriguez

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An interesting thing has happened on my website.  Nearly ever day, I get views on my site from people googling the term “eulogy for mom” or “eulogy for mother.”  I’m not sure what it means, but I hope people are finding the eulogy I wrote helpful.

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