I've been reading like crazy this past few months. Below are some of the highlights.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. It took me over a month to read the first half and then two days to read the second half. It was hard, at first, to sink into it, but once I did, it was inspiring. Tharp is a genius. I don't mean that as a compliment, I mean it as a statement. Her book is filled with case studies and anecdotes which is nothing new, but the jaw-dropping part is that so many are all her own. She has lived and created and changed for decades and calls on her depth and breadth of personal experience to write a book of suggestions and methods for creative living. I was so impressed with her and the connections she makes. I also enjoyed her writing style. She tells it straight and there is no sugar coating. She's a dancer and choreographer - neither of those are "feel-good, hug it out" careers and she doesn't try to hold your hand. I reacted well to that.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This was suggested to me when I mentioned I needed summer reading and I am so glad I dove into it early in my backyard garden career. The book is preachy; I don't think there is any getting around that. But I am at a point of my life where I want a little real food preaching, so I soaked it up. It did tell a good story, but it was also packed with information. An almost overwhelming amount of information. The book is a true story that chronicles a family of four's adventures in eating seasonally (and locally) for one full year. It includes recipes and tid-bits and adventures. Many, many times throughout the book Kingsolver mentions how California is basically the produce capital of the world and each time, I felt myself sinking down into my seat when I remembered how often I have bought bananas (which are obviously not grown in the US) or decided to make a tomato salad or chocolate covered strawberries in the winter. Just like Born to Run or Secrets of a Healthy Metabolism, were last year, this book was a complete game changer for me.
Game of Thrones & A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin. Paul and I watched season one of Game of Thrones a few months ago. It took me at least four episodes to feel any connections to the characters (or even learn their names) but by the middle, I was totally hooked. I decided to start the books (there are currently five in the series which is called "A Song of Fire and Ice") and I am so glad I did. They are fantasy (to me, much more Lord of the Rings than Harry Potter style) and make for somewhat dense reading, but I found the first two books easy to get into. I have already started book three.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This was another one that was suggested to me. After I saw it pop up all over the place, I hopped on the train. I found it magical. Totally magical. It takes place over a span of many years at the turn of the century and follows two magicians who are forced to duel. I fell totally in love with the book and finished it in less than 48 hours.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I think amazon told me I would like this based on my purchase history. It was a dark murder mystery, so very different from my other selections this summer. I was creeped out at times and didn't really like any of the characters, but I was fascinated by the story and found myself rushing through it, appreciating all the twists and turns.
As mentioned, next is A Song of Fire and Ice book 3. I am always and forever looking for good fiction and am going to be working my way through much of what was shared in the comments on my last book post. Anything new to share? I've been seeing Gone Girl pop up lots of places and the Art of Fielding is still on my list...