Sunday, May 5, 2013
What I've Been Reading
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. This had the feel of a book of short stories, because three separate characters follow three seemingly separate story arcs for the majority of the book. It's not until near the end when you start to figure out how the three characters are connected to each other. One is a girl who ran away with her high school teacher; another is a guy who's searching for his criminal twin brother; and the third is a Northwestern student who leaves school and gets involved in some shady business.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I read this book on the recommendation posted in the comments section from my last "What I've Been Reading" post, and it was a great read. The perspective is unique, because chapters alternate between a wife's diary entries (prior to her murder) and the discovery by the husband and subsequent investigation, dealings with the police, media, etc. I'm generally not a murder mystery type of reader, but this was a good one. If I could only recommend one book out of this collection, this one would be it.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. This is by far the most literary sports-themed book I've ever read. The story revolves around a scrawny, slick-fielding shortstop who soars to college stardom, his gay teammate/roommate, his manly man of a catcher, and the university president. It's a pretty funny read, but you may find yourself frequently having to stop and consult with a dictionary. Even if you don't like to do that sort of thing, you should still read it, though. It's that good.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I had been hearing about this book for a long time but never got around to reading it until recently. Krakauer's books aren't the most entertaining reads, but I thoroughly enjoy the subject matter. This one (in case you don't know already) tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a kid who grew up just outside of D.C., went to college in Atlanta, and then traveled the west coast as a vagabond until braving the Alaskan wilderness. The Alaskan wilderness won. I identified with McCandless because I, too, have occasionally had the desire to just disappear into the wilderness for a time. I would grow tired of it soon and would likely die from getting eaten by a deer or something, but it would be very fulfilling to just get rid of the phone, the computers, the responsibilities, and just experience Earth in a completely foreign way.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. I have been a fan of the television show Dexter for years but just recently got into reading the books. I generally don't like to read books after I already know the outcome, but the story lines from the television show vary greatly from the books. Some of the characters are the same, but beyond that, it's like a whole new season.
Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. See above.
Inside Seal Team Six by Don Mann. With numerous family members, past and present, in the military, I saw this on the shelf and it piqued my interest. It's a little bit sensationalistic. As a former Seal Team Six member, Mann apparently included lots of material that was too sensitive to be released to the public. Rather than excising that information, the publishers decided to black out the info, so there are entire paragraphs and essentially full pages that are blotted out. Overall, the military stories are interesting, but the writer is full of himself and spends too much time talking about his troubled youth, as if people read this book to learn about him. He probably could have divulged the same amount of pertinent information in about two-thirds of the space.
Feel free to leave reading suggestions in the comments section. Thanks!