Hooray for Friday! I hope you're all looking forward to a lovely and warmer weekend!
I'm back from my whirlwind trip to San Antonio. I had a great time - learned a lot, ate some good food, had some good conversation, and finished up three really solid books!
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
Recently I read Then We Came to the End by Ferris and decided I would try to read most everything he has written (unless it looks especially crappy). The Unnamed was super weird and I wasn’t even sure what to do with myself while I was reading it, because it was oddly addictive but tedious. The main character has this odd medical issue where every few years he has a spell for however many months where he is compelled to just randomly go on walks and pass out wherever. It’s a strange premise for a book and of course the real deal is: how does it impact his relationship with his wife, his daughter, his career, himself? What starts out as a medical/physical issue becomes a medical/mental issue and I felt like I slowly started to lose my mind along with this character. I read this on my phone during the AFP conference and was therefore moving quickly between learning more about fundraising trends to going on frantic walks around the country with my manic protagonist.
I might need a month or two to process this one. I think I kind of loved it. The plot was a bit jacked up, but the characters were good – and very relatable. The love story was intense and unusual.
I would recommend this to some of my reader friends for sure – just be aware that he walks a lot and he spins out and you’re going to spin out a little bit with him.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
As mentioned in the title, this book analyzes why people think what they think in regards to what is morally right and what isn’t. This was a fascinating book, and thank you to my old pal Steven Beatty for the recommendation. Pick it up when you have the time and energy to focus, as you really need to stay with the author to get what you need to get out of your investment of time in reading it. Occasionally it will read like a Psychology textbook, but then miraculously he will throw a delightful un-textbook-like curveball.
So much of what he shares makes complete sense, and I really appreciated his ability to be objective politically. As he concludes, he’s able to outline what the various political viewpoints bring the table in our society and the benefits of listening to one another and embracing this diversity of thought.
Good airplane reading!
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
I can’t sell my house and go on a trip around the world with my husband and three kids, but I can live vicariously through the experiences of someone who did!
Not only is this book SO MUCH FUN (because this family went on a trip around the WORLD!!!) but it’s well-written, introspective, funny and fast-paced. I was honestly exhausted after reading it because I felt like I was right there with them throughout their trip. I was so frazzled that I (they) had decided to take 3 youngish kids on this adventure. How insane! Yet what a gift!
I really loved this book. I also decided to follow the author on Twitter once I was finished up, simply because I liked her voice and how she approached life. This is something I rarely do, because I tend to put someone on a pedestal after reading their awesome book and then their tweets annoy me and the magic has ended. Or worse, what if your beloved author tweets something just really stupid and awful (beyond just a differing viewpoint but like a picture of their infected wound) and then you know you can never read any other books by them because you’ll simply be reading that tweet over and over and over….
At any rate, I urge you to grab this one and – if you’re like me – you will absolutely savor it! You’ll be thinking about it at all times until you’re finished. You’ll be trying to finish up your pointless report for work and counting down the minutes until lunchtime because you know that the family is headed to Africa next and surely they’re going to have some super cool experiences in Africa!!!
Up Next: I'm about halfway through our Book Club choice for April and it's great, but heavy. On my phone I've just started another book that someone recommended to me via this blog! It looks like I'll be getting my best book recommendations from YOU - so thanks!
What are your reading plans for this weekend?
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.