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

What I’m Reading (August 2013)

Cheese, crime, cycling, and success. If there’s a common thread in this month’s selections, I’m not sure what it is, other than some really good books. (Also, at the bottom, there’s a note on some shows I’ve been watching.)

Who would’ve thought a book about an artisanal piece of cheese would be so fascinating? The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and The World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti received some great reviews, but it wasn’t until Wright Thompson (a senior writer for ESPN) gave the book a huge push on Twitter that I took note. How do you begin to describe this very unique book? Paterniti discovers an artisanal cheese, described by some as the greatest cheese ever made, and is instantly fascinated by it. Years later, he tracks down the creator, finds that he has lost control of his business, and is driving a truck to pay his bills. How could such a thing happen? Betrayal. Betrayal by someone he considered a friend. Give this book a try. The scene when Paternit meets the cheese creator for the first time will have you hooked. I won’t spoil what the creator describes as the key to happiness, but it’s unlike anything you’ve probably ever heard before.

Domestique by Charly Wegelius is probably one of the ten best books on cycling. But most fans have never heard of Wegelius. Domestique isn’t the glamorous autobiography of a professional cyclist who won race after race after race, but rather it’s the account of one those trusted teammates, the one who enabled the team leader to win race after race.  Wegelius pulls back the curtain on professional cycling and lets the reader have a look at the unglamorous side of the sport. Having said that, I also read Va Va Froome: The Remarkable Rise of Chris Froome by David Sharp, a biography of the recent Tour de France winner. Froome’s ascension was anything but typical and his rise demonstrates his dogged determination to win. For the first biography of Froome, not bad.

In Give and Take: The Revolutionary Road to Success by Adam Grant, the author makes the interesting that people who are givers (rather than takers or matchers- matchers being people who give in the same amount as they’ve been given) are far more likely to achieve success. Not only does he provide plenty of anecdotal evidence, but he also finds how some givers avoid burnout and being taken advantage of (doormats). Interesting book.

Here’s some other books I read this month: Unwanted and Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson (both better than average police procedurals), Helsinki Blood (An Inspector Vaara Novel) by James Thompson (fast paced thriller), Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen (interesting history on Bulger, the FBI, and the Boston crime scene), Hunger: The Sean Kelly Autobiography by Sean Kelly (Irish cyclist), Born to Ride by Stephen Roche (autobiography of the cyclist,) and The Sports Gene by David Epstein (despite numerous stellar reviews, I couldn’t finish this one.)

***

Of course, I’m watching Breaking Bad. From a storytelling standpoint, there’s never been a tighter, more well-written show. Last week, I also discovered the Inside Breaking Bad podcast, hosted by editor Kelly Dixon, where she interviews the producers, writers, and cast members of the show.

Prior to Breaking Bad starting, I finished Top of The Lake, which was pretty good. A unique twist on a familiar story with some odd characters.

***

Update on Secrets To Keep, my own book. I think I’ve read it ten times this month and it’s so very close to being done. So close. At the moment, it’s in the hands of a couple of readers and then I’m planning to only make one last edit. I’m hoping- hoping- for an October release. Meanwhile, I’ve started on another book with some of the same characters.

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