Friday, June 16, 2023

One Month of Books (Reading May 15 to June 15)

 I actually managed to read quite a bit in the last month.  I expect my reading to slow down in the next month or two.  But then again, maybe not as I always have my ipad near me and pick it up in those few minutes of down time whenever I can.  (I honestly prefer reading to watching tv).  I also realized that I was a lot more heavy on non-fiction than normal this month.   Quite interesting.  :-)

So what did I read this last month (from May 15 through June 15)?   Here goes..... (book links are amazon affiliate links) :

Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry.  I picked up this book out of curiosity.  I had heard that there was a memoir and wanted to read about America's friend.  the book talks about his life from the very beginning and through his early times as an actor and of course it took us through his years as Chandler on "Friends".   It was actually  a sobering read to realize that so much of his drug and alcohol problems happened while he was appearing before us each week on our television screens.  

The Spare by Prince Harry. I read this book not because of any great love or hatred toward Prince Harry.  I have always been ambivalent toward him.  I simply read this book to see what everyone was really talking about.  As I said, I was ambivalent toward him and his supposed plight before reading the book.  However, after reading the book I lost every shred of respect for him.  I'm not saying that what happened wasn't true.  I'm sure there are aspects of truth within the book.  But, his attitude of entitled privilege really made me sick to my stomach!  He started his story at his mothers death and referred to her constantly, almost as if in an attempt to garner sympathy.  Oh yeah, and I was extremely bothered by a grown man in his 30's referring to his mother as Mummy the whole way through the book.  

Only when I step on it:  One Man's Inspiring Journey to Hike the Appalachian Trail Alone by Peter Conti  This non fiction book is written by a man that was in an accident that left him dealing with chronic pain and unable to walk any distance.   For some reason he decided that to heal himself he had to hike he complete Appalachian Trail.   So, with only a few weeks' notice, off he went.  His book is an honest look at his hike and his journey to a healing, if not the healing he expected.

Walden on Wheels:  Onthe Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Illgunas.  I really enjoyed this often humorous look at the journey to being debt free that the author took to be free from student debt.  The book takes a serious look at the great institution called the student loan and how it affects new graduates.  The book walks us through the authors sometimes radical lengths to become and remain debt free.   While it may be too crazy for most to complete the journey that the author did, it is a real reminder that if we want it badly enough, we can make it work.

A Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel  This is an absolutely fascinating account of a man that went into the woods and had little to no (if you can count 1-2 times of saying or waving hello to someone) contact with another human for more than a quarter of a century. He survived in a tent year round and lived off of the more than 1000 burglaries that he committed during his time in the woods. Yet, this story is written by a man that conducted multiple interviews with the hermit   I was fascinated from the first chapter and my interest only grew as I read.  I was actually left wanting to know more about the hermit and what happened to him after the hermit broke off contact with the author.   Absolutely fascinating. 

Doctor Ice Pick by Claire Prentice   I decided to read this book for two reasons.  Number one it refers to the insane asylums in West Virginia and in particular the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston,  West Virginia. It had been on my bucket list to visit that historic site for years and finally in 2020 I got to visit (you can read about that visit here). The other reason was that I have read books by and about patients that endured a lobotomy by this doctor.  Yes, this is a true accounting of the doctor that committed the lobotomies back in the mid 1900's.    This book was sobering in that it shows how much faith we put in the medica profession, but in realty sometimes those professionals do not have our best interests in mind!   

There's a Bear in the House by Walter Kirn  This book was the biggest disappointment of the month. The writing was choppy and disjointed.  This made the book hard to follow.  It was thankfully short...but can be summed up in about three sentences.  Man goes to cabin in woods to die and sees bear outside bedroom window.  Man dies.  Bear breaks into house and does no damage.     There you go......I just saved you the time!

The Lodger by Valerie Keogh  The first fictional book of the month, and that is odd for me as usually I am heavier on fiction.   This was a quick easy read.  There were one or two things in the beginning that was a bit predictable.  However, the book led us through a bit of a mystery that included a missing woman, a dead body and some serious accusations.  I was kept guessing the whole way through the book as to the true perpetrator of the crime (s).   The book wrapped up a bit fast in an unexpected and somewhat unbelievable way though.   While I was happy to have a resolution, I was disappointed in how it was revealed. 

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze  I picked up this book to try to get a bit more guidance in the prospect of feeding our Newfoundland Puppy a homemade and more natural diet of food. About 2-3 months ago we switched to a homemade food (that I make every few weeks and freeze in daily portions) in an effort to relieve some of her intense itching (she was hairless in some areas due to her incessant digging). So this book was important as I want to make sure that I am feeding Zoe exactly what she needs in order to live a healthy and long life.  The book was more geared toward feeding a raw diet to your dog (or cat), which is based upon the theory that in the wild these animals would be eating raw.  However, I'm not quite there to feed raw, so I will keep cooking her food....but regardless the information was spot on for what I need to make sure that I'm feeding my very large baby. 


The Summer House:  By Keri Beevis  Another fictional book.   This is a 'who done it" style mystery.   There is angst between family, friends and enemies.  There is an old murder that is looming over everyones heads and a mystery that really does have one guessing as to who did it!  The summer house is the scene of all the badness from the original murder of a young girl to the main character who is back at the scene years later to prepare the property for sale.  Who to trust though...your enemy, your friends, your family or even a stranger?

I'm not sure what I'll be reading this upcoming month yet.  I sometimes get a list of books that I have stacked up and waiting, but lately I have gone online to the library website and just find a book on the fly to read.  Sometimes I line up two at a time, but lately nothing more than that.  

For more in depth reviews, you can check out 'my library'.  I have decided to start keeping a review on the books I read.   I read so much that I sometimes forget what I thought of a book.