If it’s not wedding season, it’s reading (and running) season. In fact, when I’m traveling around during the summer wedding season, there is nothing better than combing used bookstores in search of cheap reads. The books are saved for months later, for when the snow is falling and I have zero desire to leave the apartment! (Like a 12-year-old with an Xbox, I can sit for hours!)
For better or worse, some of my latest purchases…
David Sedaris – Naked
The humor is dark. The tone is self-deprecating. This collection of stories includes a play-by-play of the situations Sedaris finds himself in. Musings about nudists, hitchhiking and childhood ticks are not for the faint of heart. Some of his memories are painful/uncomfortable but presented in outstanding dialogue. It’s also great for the noncommittals out there, who don’t want to pledge their time to reading an a full on novel. The memoirs are broken down into essays that you can read one at a time.
David Rakoff: Fraud
Similar as above. An intimate look at the author’s life experiences in essay form but he is not nearly as perverse as Sedaris! In fact, the author takes a really thoughtful and eloquent look at weirdness (people and place). His encounter with Steven Seagal had me in tears, I was roaring.
Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
I picked this up because I knew it would be quick and easy, and I remember all of the hype when this story gained traction in the mainstream. Chris McCandless gives up modern conveniences and begins his journey into the Alaskan Wilderness. A reporter retraces his steps and interviews many of the characters he came into contact with. I really loved the book and wished it was longer.
Into the Wild should not be confused with…
Wild – Cheryl Strayed
As soon as this book landed on Oprah’s book club I should have backed away! But no, like the author hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I trudged on. I feel like this book could have been great but the lack of sophistication in her writing style and general lack of drama had me bored. Hiking the 1,000 mile trail – unprepared and alone – and then writing about how unprepared and alone she feels…is not the stuff of great novels. Seemed contrived and uneventful. Still, it’s an easy read and everyone else but me (apparently) loves it. So what do I know?
Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
I am going to ignore the controversy over whether the author’s memories of his dysfunctional childhood is completely true, because I don’t care. His beat by beat account of some truly outrageous things that happen – whether or not they did actually happen – is intense. The people and stories are dismal, bizarre and outrageous, definitely not suitable for everyone.
My Struggle – Karl Ove Knausgaard
So many in the literary world praised this author for his unique voice that I had to check it out. All I can say is that his writing is excellent, I just wish the subject material was a little more gripping. Still, I couldn’t put it down for days. This is one of 6 autobiographical books that total 3,500 pages. I won’t be reading the other 5. I feel like I’ve already given this man too much, ha ha!
What books need to be on my reading list? Anything you couldn’t put down recently? Great bookstores I need to check out?