Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reboboth Reading

I’m back! I was away for a little vacation in Rehoboth Beach and Vermont. While in Rehoboth I purchased a book that has lots of promise (for me) called Culinary Intelligence by Peter Kaminsky. I love to read books about good food and smart eating. God knows I need that kind of input! I haven’t started that book yet. First, I had to finish Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed. 

As the title suggests, Ms. Strayed was in a bad state when she began her journey on the Pacific Coast Trail. She was broken in many ways. She had lost her mother to cancer and was reeling from her loss. Her marriage had just ended in divorce, and she was trying to figure out who she was and where she was going. 

Wild was an important book for me in many ways. My stepchildren lost their mother suddenly almost three years ago. While I had empathy and sympathy, I couldn’t really understand fully what they were experiencing. Of course I knew that it was profoundly sad, but not having experienced anything like that myself, I couldn’t fully comprehend the depth of their loss. Ms. Strayed was so articulate about her feelings, her grief and her loss that she helped me relate to my stepchildren better. I appreciate her for that. 

I have always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail and was planning to do so this past March. I read books, watched videos, made plans, and dreamed about it. A section of my basement is filled with some of the gear that I would need. Like Ms. Strayed, I am not an experienced hiker or camper. I’ve been a city person my entire adult life, but I had complete faith in my ability to hike for seven to eight months. Then I had a health issue come up, and now I can’t figure out how to make it work. So, reading Wild was a vicarious pleasure for me. 

I recommend this book to you. Oprah also recommended this book, and I’ve heard that there are “Oprah” editions out there that are driving people nuts. Oprah highlighted sections that she thought were relevant. I suggest finding a non-Oprah version to read, if you are anything like me - although I love to talk about them, I like my books to be between me and the author. 

I did finish that book that I mentioned in my last blog, I’m Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. While I enjoyed his story, it’s kind of edgy and may not appeal to everyone. The reason I like memoirs and biographies is that they provide insight into people who are different from me. I love stories about people who are braver, smarter, more creative and bigger than me in every way. Kilmer-Purcell fit that bill as does Saima Wahab who wrote In My Father’s Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate, which I’ll tell you about next week. Have a great week!

I’d love to hear from other book lovers! Feel free to comment on this blog, recommend books, or take issue with any of my opinions.



  1. I've been reading mostly trashy books that I get free on my Kindle. Sometimes I find a new author this way, sometimes I just provide a bit of brain candy.

    Given you like biographies... wondering if you've read/heard good things about "Let's Pretend This Never Happened". I've been toying with reading it but I don't usually read this type of book.

  2. I like what you said about why you read memoirs. I feel the same way. I am reading "Wild" now, thanks to your recommendation (thanks also for the tip about the Oprah highlighting; I would have hated to get one of those). I like the book and the author's honesty about herself. I also liked "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls and "The Tender Bar" by J. R. Moehringer.

    I haven't read the book Jana G asked about, but it has a good title.