What I've been reading ~ Books 30&31 | The Life of K: What I've been reading ~ Books 30&31

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What I've been reading ~ Books 30&31

You know by now that I'm always reading. I write a lot too, but not quickly enough to keep up with these review posts so I'm putting two books in one post. Maybe you'll find your next read.. actually, do yourself a favour and read this one:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

From Goodreads: A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

What I thought: This was one of my favourite books so far this year. Walking the Pacific Crest Trail is a huge undertaking (I learned, anyway) and the author went and did it with very little prep. It was fortunate that such a great writer did such an incredible thing - the book was captivating.

Strayed's past stories are sprinkled throughout the story of her trek. The characters she meets along the way and the things that happen to her... I could picture her, all disheveled, sitting by herself jotting down notes so she wouldn't forget the details.

I couldn't help but laugh at parts like when she lost a shoe and had to make do with some handmade ones. I was haunted by her experience with the parts of the trail that are at such a high elevation that the trail is covered in snow and ice. Months later and I'm still thinking about it.

It was a great book and I can't wait to see the movie!

February by Lisa Moore

From Goodreads: In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind when her husband, Cal, drowns on the rig. It begins in the present-day, more than twenty-five years later, but spirals back again and again to the "February" that persists in Helen's mind and heart.

What I thought: This book was beautifully written, full of characters complete with their own faults and who made bad decisions. It was heart-wrenching imagining what it must have been like for Helen, the main character, living her life after the death of her husband. You feel her pain and sorrow and eventually her joy. A great Canadian novel.

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