It’s summer. It’s supposed to be anyway. The sun hasn’t shown up. It’s cold and wet and rainy, but the kids are home from school and rather than focusing on writing during the day (I’m still writing, but I’ve been sneaking away at night to write. Sometimes.), I’ve tried to work my way through a few books. I’m behind on my reading. I had originally hoped to read one book per week. It’s a good solid goal. At the end of the year, I’d have read 52 books. The only problem is I tend to read thick books. Many of which are over 500 pages. I should be close to 30 books. I’m still reading my 23rd book of the year. Sigh.
But as I’m nearing the end of my current book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard (which has less than 300 pages actually, but wow, what depth on those pages!), I’m looking at what to read next. I actually have a ton of books to choose from. Literary fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, I even got my hands on a steam punk novel. For some reason, though, I’m interested in memoirs. I want to read about the lives of others. So I spent a few hours browsing this morning and I’ve made a list of the memoirs I want to read within the next year.
1) Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Funny is always good in my book. We take life way too seriously. From the reviews I’ve read, this book doesn’t fall into that category. I also tend to believe life focuses around the kitchen. Maybe because for two or three years, my day centered around feed the kids, clean up after the kids, play, feed the kids a snack, clean up after the kids, play, feed the kids lunch, clean up after the kids, etc. The kitchen became my life. Once my son was able to, he pulled up his ‘helping stool’ every single night to help me make food. The conversations we had together, the laughs as we worked together, these are priceless to me. I wonder if the author has some of the same experiences and I’m curious to read about them.
2) The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
We all have wisdom to pass on, a story to tell and a chance to connect with others who will go on after us. I find this man’s story fascinating and I want to read about the guy who instead of letting a bleak outlook affect him, took the opportunity to touch the lives of hundreds of others.
3) Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I would probably read any memoir by any writer. But from the man who gave us such lovable characters as Charlie Bucket, Willy Wonka and Matilda, I’m almost positive I’d be enchanted from the first page.
4) Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
So this guy wanders into a poor Pakistani village and touched by their hospitality, promises to return and help build a school. Not only does he keep his promise, but he builds over fifty of them! I have to read this story.
5) Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
Stories of people working through their grief, anger and fear aren’t new, but based on the reviews, this one seems to be quite powerful. I’m normally not caught up in the hype surrounding anything, but I might make an exception in this case.
6) One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter
Maybe it’s because I packed up everything and moved halfway across the world, but I love a good travel story!
7) Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I said earlier I loved funny, and I do. I’m extremely frustrated when entertainers and writers interpret crass and snide for funny. When I started watching Parks and Recreation (love the entire cast!) I was in heaven. Here was a strong woman, she wasn’t snide and she wasn’t relying on toilet humor to get a laugh. She was FUNNY. I’m in love with her. Maybe my image will be shattered if I read this book, but I hope not.
Have you read any of them? Do you have any other recommendations?