It has been a while since I chronicled what I have been reading.
I do tend to swing between a few poles of what I gravitate towards reading-wise. I have found a new suspense/crime writer, another Brit, Peter Robinson. I blitzed through the first book of his Inspector Banks series, Gallows View, and theN followed it up with A Necessary End. I really enjoyed both reads. Robinson is of the same ilk as Rankin, but perhaps not quite as dark? Both writers are very skilled at their craft and a great way to spend a few hours. I also read the prequel to the Nina Reilly series by Perri O'Shaughnessy, Show No Fear, and it too was a good book. I found the end of it a bit haphazard, but I enjoyed the background information and connections that were revealed between the main characters. I am just about done a Tami Hoag book, Dead Sky (aka Prior Bad Acts) that has redeemed the author a bit in my eyes after the last book I read by her (Alibi Man). DS brings back a few characters that I enjoy, the and the writing is a little tighter. AM was a good book, but it felt a little more "fluffy" than this one does. I am about 2/3s of the way through, and I am enjoying it.
On the other end of the spectrum, I finished off Living Oprah and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I should also mention that I had a (brief) conversation with Okrant through FB and she comes off as a lovely person. It is amazing that with this new technological age you can read a book by a person, be touched by them, and even let them know it in a quick way. It's funny some of the things you can take away from a book. We are getting a new to us couch in a few days, and with the cats, I am not going to allow them to destroy this couch the way they dug in to the (once) nice one Ken brought with him. I could make excuses and say the cats were young, but I didn't train them that well from the beginning to not attack furniture and have been paying for that since. The joys of being young and newly independent when you get your first animals that you are truly responsible for! So, now in my new and improved more responsible self, I am going to go by some advice in the book and put some double-sided tape on the couch the to turn the cats off their scratching. Some glue between the toes should be a good deterrent!
What else can I say about this novel? I appreciate how RO stuck by her guns and returned the Kindle that she received. It's about honour, looking yourself in the mirror. I would have anxietized (a real word in my personal dictionary) about receiving it, and ultimately have done the same thing. I appreciate the honesty and earnestness of this novel - of putting it out there unabashedly and leaving yourself open to life. There is something about honesty that is attractive.
I found myself agreeing about how RO reflects about interacting with other people "I've cultivated a deeper understanding of how I may be more respectful of other people, not only by listening but by being fully present when they reach out and share with me." (p 252 hardcover). I agree wholeheartedly. I feel like I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago when it seemed I transitioned from having a lot of superficial friends to a smaller and closer knit circle of good girlfriends that I don't always get to see in person, but the feeling is always there.
I also appreciated the ruminations of what a "real woman" is, and what she does with her day. The real woman is a bit of a myth as much as it is a misnomer. It is nice to see it in print and be able to acknowledge this. I also like the rejection of the word normal or average. What do they mean, really? I don't think my life has ever been normal or average and I suspect I am not alone in this. Everyone has an unique story and that is what makes life interesting. I like how the book ends with a few thoughts on what her year of LO was like - the highs and the lows, and what she gleaned from the experience. RO states that in seeking the for her, seeking her own"'highest vision possible'" [it] will never be found viewing a television show, flipping through a magazine, or in seeking the approval of others." (p257).
As I said in my earlier post about this book, I didn't expect to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did. I found that it struck a chord with me, and reaching the end, I felt an affinity for RO. I feel that we can take many (unexpected) lessons from books, television, magazines, classes, (hell maybe even church if you are slanted that way), and other people, but at the end of the day, we are all the captain of our own boat's and need to chart our own course. Many people choose not to, or be influenced in their decisions by others, but truly, it is so important to listen to what resonates as right and true inside - being true to yourself and what you hold dear. Honesty, authenticity, integrity. Values that people respond to in others, but only once the individual has done their own work and found them inside themselves.
Okay, enough waxing philosophical. Time to play with my son!