September Book ReportMonday, September 21, 2015
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
My train of thought while reading this book: "This is really good! I like it!"
"Well, that was a little sad."
"Whoa, this is majorly sad."
"I'm so depressed, I'm not sure I want to keep reading."
"I guess it's getting a little better."
It was chosen for Oprah's Book Club, so I guess some people out there like it but I would not recommend it.
"It was a matter of perspective, I began to see. The whole world was crazy; I'd flattered myself by assuming I was a semifinalist."
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
This book made me grateful for the tiny neurons and wires in my brain that I never think about, but are constantly communicating with one another so I can type a sentence like this and do normal everyday activities. I tore through this book in a matter of days and then reiterated it all back to Mark. Susannah's story is incredible and also frightening, because what happened to her can so easily happen to anybody. There's really no rhyme or reason why the bits and pieces of our brains start misfiring, but it is tragic when they do. Incredibly interesting read that I highly recommend.
"The brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess."
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
I adored this book. The beginning, the middle, the ending. The writing. The storyline. The characters (well, some of them). The racing parallels. The pictures I created in my head of the characters and their homes. I had this book on my to-read list for quite some time. So long, in fact, that it eventually got taken off because I couldn't even remember why I wanted to read it in the first place. Silly me. It was so worth the read!
"Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories."
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
A book about the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party isn't a very light read, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As much as one can enjoy a book about Nazis, I suppose. I love books about history, especially when I can learn random little facts that seem to get glossed over in history classes. Like, did you know that in order for a German Jew to migrate to the United States in the 1930s and '40s, they had to provide a character reference along with their passport and other documents. Because Nazi rulers were handing out character references left and right to Jews in those days. Not. Also, I learned that the State Department only allowed a fraction of the Jews into the United States because they believed that America had its own "Jewish problem" and, at first, thought that Hitler was doing a good job of curbing the Jews influence in his own country. Whaaat?!
"Nowhere have I had such lovely friends as in Germany," she wrote. "Looking back on it all is like seeing someone you love go mad — and do horrible things."
I was unable to squeeze in the last two reads that were on my list for September, but they're at the top of my list for next month. I'm going to try really hard to keep my reading up as the days get cooler and my Netflix queue fills up. What's on your list for next month? Let's hold each other accountable!