Buck and I are about to head out to explore Brevard (in Transylvania County, no less!) and Hendersonville, but I wanted to mention two terrific recent reads and one that had me up early making a start:
The first is Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. I read this with sleepless eyes burning. Finally, at the last, when I threw the Kindle down on the bed here in Maggie Valley at 2:30 a.m., I told Buck (yes, he was reading some other book) “finishing my novel, this is my Pacific Coast Trail.” He didn’t know what I was talking about, but could tell I was passionate about it. Every time I think, “This is too hard. I can’t do it,” I’ll see Cheryl on the trail, especially her feet.
Next is Rosellen Brown’s novel, Before and After. A friend called me to ask me to read this book. I had never heard of Rosellen Brown. Whew. That’s all I have time to say right now. Couldn’t put it down.
I had pre-ordered the new book by historian/biographer/journalist David Maraniss, Barack Obama The Story. It arrived on my Kindle sometime after midnight. I started reading about 6:00 a.m. Hate to put it down, but there’s exploring to be done.
What are you reading these days?
I check out The Daily Beast mostly for political and national news commentary, but until recently I hadn’t paid any attention to the fact that they write about books. There’s a clickable tab at the top of their main page, or you can just click here to take a look. They’ve recently announced that author Nathan Rich (The Mayor’s Tongue) is writing a monthly series there called American Dreams: The 20th Century in Novels.
This monthly series will chronicle the history of the American century as seen through the eyes of its novelists. The goal is to create a literary anatomy of the last century—or, to be precise, from 1900 to 2012. In each column I’ll write about a single novel and the year it was published. The novel may not be the best-selling book of the year, the most praised, or the most highly awarded—though awards do have a way of fixing an age’s conventional wisdom in aspic. The idea is to choose a novel that, looking back from a safe distance, seems most accurately, and eloquently, to speak for the time in which it was written. Other than that there are few rules. I won’t pick any stinkers. — Nathan Rich
Sounds like fun. I’ll be reading.
By the way, the first book Rich will be writing about is Brewster’s Millions, written in 1903 by George Barr McCutchen. I just added it to my reading queue.