Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

I read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air about the Mt. Everest disaster back in the early 2000s. I loved it! Then my sister read it, and she loved it too. Since then, every so often throughout the whole decade, we've talked about Everest. In fact, we just talked about it a couple of weeks ago.

I've read every Krakauer book. I wasn't much of a fan of his last one, Under the Banner of Heaven, but I was still excited to read this one, his latest.

This one is about Pat Tillman who played football for the Cardinals. After 9/11, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million contract to enlist in the Army. He served in Iraq and then in Afghanistan where he was killed by friendly fire. The fact that it was friendly fire was subsequently covered up by the Army and the White House. This book tells the story of Tillman's life, death, and the cover-up by the Army.

The only word that describes how this book left me feeling is: conflicted.

It's worth reading - I got a bit stuck in some of the descriptions of the military, and it goes a bit into the history of Afghanistan and what's going on. Everything that is going on there is complicated...another reason why I was left feeling conflicted.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

This is written by the creator of the blog called Orangette. She started the blog and then got a book deal out of it. She also met her husband because he sent her a note after reading her blog.

This is how the book is put together: an essay about some aspect of the author's life (growing up, how she dropped out of graduate school, how she met her husband) followed by a recipe that is associated with that story.

This book is beautiful. The writing is lovely. The recipes are surprisingly accessible. I've baked the French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon several times now and it's been met with rave reviews.

The only slightly annoying part is that once Wizenberg starts writing about her then-boyfriend (now husband), it is very clear that they are in the Wow stage of their relationship and that everything is perfect.

Other than that, I really really liked this book. So much that I bought ten copies to give to friends.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Letters to a Young Therapist by Mary Pipher

This is a collection of letters written to the author's supervisee on the art of therapy. I think it's applicable to most anyone who is thinking about relationships, life, and taking care of yourself.

A quote I liked:

"Children have lives fully as complex as those of adults. Adolescence can be torture, young adulthood filled with angst, and adult life thorny with problems. People get married or they don't. Their children grow up or they don't. They grow ancient or they don't. Old age, if people make it that far, requires the patience of Job. To survive, we must all learn to live in the world with broken hearts." --Mary Pipher

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cleaving: A Story of Meat, Marriage, and Obsession by Julie Powell

I wasn't impressed with the book Julie and Julia. In my review, I even warned you all not to read it although the cover was very pretty.

Some of you have told me that the movie, Julie and Julia, is very good and that I should watch it. Okay, it's on my Netflix queue.

Here is Julie Powell's latest book. And once again, I am telling you: Do NOT read this book. I didn't even finish it.

It's about her internship as a butcher and her infidelity in her marriage. All I can say is: Yuck, yuck, ew, ew, gross. Oh yeah, and there's recipes thrown in there too which was weird.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

I was walking through the Teen section at the library and picked this up. Then, I started reading it and couldn't put it down.

It's about the title character, his unfulfilling marriage, and his love for his wife's cousin.

Oh my goodness. What a sad, sad story. But in a way that was brilliant. This book was short and stark, but still wrenching. When I read the end, I thought: Oh my gosh.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This seems like one of those old-fashioned books with rich writing and lurking secrets. It's a mystery and the pieces fall in place one by one. There's twins, murders, and ghosts. I really enjoyed this one and couldn't put it down.