Posts Tagged ‘ memoirs ’

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another wonderful weekend with great running weather. Hope you were able to get out and enjoy the weekend too! The nerdiest part of my weekend was when I took my long-haired dachshund Jackson to the local pet store to get his caricature done. It proved to be very entertaining. Lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes were there and Jackson had a great time checking things out. I’m still on the fence as to whether this was okay to do or if I should get out more…Regardless, I have a great picture of my pup now. 🙂

When I’m not playing the eccentric dog-owner, I’m reading and working on my novel. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet -Daniel is an autistic savant born into a world that doesn’t quite understand what autism is yet. He falls on the highly functioning side of the spectrum and chronicles both his fascinating view of the world as well as how he learns how to become more socially at ease. It always interesting to me to hear stories of how differently people think and see the world. For example, Daniel has a unique relationship with numbers where he visualizes them differently than others, so to raise money for an epilepsy foundation he memorizes over 22, 000 numbers in pi. !!! I’m lucky if I remember my phone number most days. I listened to this book on CD and it was very well done.

  Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott -I’m also listening to this memoir on CD which is read by both authors, although mostly by Anne. She has a great dry wit that really catches me off guard, so I find myself laughing a lot (which probably looks pretty creepy to passing drivers, but oh well). This story chronicles her son’s first son. Sam is only 19 and dealing with school, a young girlfriend, and a new baby aren’t always a recipe for blissful peace. Listening to this one makes me want to read her memoir of Sam when he was young called Operating Instructions as I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining.

  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami -I’m long overdue in reading this highly touted memoir by novelist Murakami. He writes in a journal-like style with jotting down his thoughts on different dates and giving readers an inside look into how he thinks, why he runs, and how he became a novelist. It’s an interesting running book as it delves more into the day-by-day workings of a man’s mind rather than on a longer narrative. If you’re a runner or a writer, then you will like this little book.

  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson – So said Winterson’s mother to her in regards to her daughter being gay. Adopted and raised by a domineering mother who prayed fervently and would alternate locking her daughter in the coal cellar or outside all night, this memoir captures Winterson’s unique voice perfectly. Readers walk with Winterson as she comes to terms with her upbringing and how those experiences shaped her life as a person and a writer today.

I just realized that all of these are memoirs! I love reading about people from different walks of life and the stories they have to tell, but this week was especially memoir-centric. All well worth reading too. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is brought to you by Sheila @ Book Journey and the letter S.

This weekend was great despite the fact that I had to work on Saturday. I’m a huge football fan and although my poor little Eagles have disappointed me yet again I was thrilled that two of the teams I want to go to the Super Bowl won – the Packers and the Jets. The Jets beat the Patriots in a surprising (especially to Pats fans I would imagine) upset. My girlfriend and I are going over to a friend’s house for a Super Bowl party which is always a fun time.

As for reading, I’ve been burning through my TBR pile despite the fact that it continues to grow. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Malcolm X by Andrew Helfer and Randy DuBurke – Whenever I don’t know a lot about an important figure in history or any particular subject or world event, I do something probably none of you can relate to – I read a book about it. 😉 I’m sure many of you actually follow in this practice as well and enjoy historical fiction and biographies as much as I do. One way I learn best is reading a graphic novel about someone. I’m a visual learner and I’m more likely to remember facts when they are accompanied by words. (Side note: I think that graphic novels are great tools to use in teaching. Kids who can’t remember notes on a board may thrive if they read graphic novels in addition to the usual textbook/worksheets of a class.) When I found this graphic novel on Malcolm X I knew I had to read it. Gritty black and white illustrations accompany this raw story about a man who changed the history of American and how he became an influential, out-spoken man and a tragic hero.


The Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith – This was a great book! I’m fascinated by all things odd, especially creatures of lore. This novel takes the idea that those myths exist for a reason and it’s up to the Cryptid Hunters to find the creatures and protect them. Grace and Marty are twins who live in a boarding school while their parents travel as photojournalists. When their parents go missing in a helicopter crash and they get whisked away from school by a mysterious uncle they’d never even heard of before, the twins’ world is turned upside down. I think this book was a great first book in the series and I look forward to reading the continuing saga.




The Long Run by Matt Long and Charles Butler – In December of 2005 during a transit strike in New York City, Matt Long, a local firefighter, was biking to work when a 4 ton charter bus made an illegal turn and ran Matt over. Matt was sucked under the carriage of the bus, his body so wrecked and mangled that he had only a 5% chance of living. This memoir is the story of his miraculous survival and subsequent recovery. The primary reason doctors said he survived? He was a runner and a triathlete. His body was in such good shape from staying fit that when his body underwent severe shock and blood loss, his heart was strong enough to endure the trauma. Even while I’m reading and knowing that he recovers (since he wrote the book and all), I keep thinking – “There’s no way he’ll live through this, his injuries are just too extensive!” A great book about family, love, survival, and running.


What about you? Read anything inspirational lately?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is brought to you by Sheila @ Book Journey. Head on over and join the fun! 🙂

Since my computer has been in the Apple store for most of the week this is the first time I’ve been able to blog since last Monday. Computer seems running fine (knock on wood), which is good since I was going through a bit of blogging withdraw!

I’ve been reading a lot of great, great books this past week, seeing as I had some spare time from not being on the computer. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

i know i am, but what are you? by Samantha Bee – I just started reading this one and so far, so good. Bee is a news correspondent for the Daily Show and takes her wit and sassy ways to novel form. I love reading memoirs of people, especially if they have a convoluted way of looking at life. Bee’s novel looks to follow in this vein and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman – I listened to this on cd in about two trips as it’s a very short middle grade novel. Gaiman is the King Midas of the novel world and he is brilliant in whatever he sets his pen to, whether it’s for adults, young adults, graphic novels, or middle grade readers. It’s astounding really. Odd is a little boy who has had a rough life. While in the woods he meets three animals that led him on an adventure that will change his life forever. And while this may not be a complicated plot, the way Gaiman tells a story is so wonderful, that you’ll forget that it’s for middle grade readers and enjoy it thoroughly.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon – I’m listening to this book on cd now and really enjoying it. I really appreciate Chabon’s novels. He has an amazing skill with words which inevitably pulls me into whatever book of his I’m reading. If you’ve never read any of Chabon’s works, his memoir is one of my favorites, but you should read his Pulitzer Prize winning tome – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, if you are going to read any of his books. He has also written Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, both of which have been made into movies. This particular book centers around the imaginative world where Jews live in Sitka, Alaska, having had escaped the atrocities of WWII. Chabon is a deft hand in making you understand his characters and this novel is no different. So while there is a mystery in the center of this novel, it’s really the unique characters that make this novel great to listen to.

And of course:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – One of my favorite parts about the Monday group of bloggers is getting to read reviews about whichever books they decided to read this past week. And last week a lot of blogs I visited were hyped on Mockingjay and its release on Tuesday. I’m assuming many have since read this last installment in Collins’ riveting Hunger Games trilogy and am super excited to read other reviews on it! As for me, I thought it ended the way it was supposed to end. I was satisfied, saddened, thrilled, and ultimately pensive after I finished the last page of the final book. It’s really hard to say anything about what I found to be sad, satisfying and thrilling without giving away key plot points, but I will say that there was so much going on in this book that I felt it could have easily been made into another two or three books with no problem. I understand that Collins stuck to her vision of wrapping it up in the third book, but I felt, well, rushed, even though it was a satisfying ending.

That’s been my week. 🙂 Have you read any good books lately??

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