Monthly Archives: April 2013

Walking to Defeat ALS

Walk to Defeat ALSThis Saturday, I will be participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.A good friend of the family has ALS and I have seen these devastating effects firsthand.

This will be the third year that Robin’s Walkers, named for my mom, will be a part of the race. The money raised from the event goes towards ALS research. I would really appreciate any donation to this great cause. To donate just visit:
http://webgny.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/GreaterNewYork?px=2986102&pg=personal&fr_id=9205#.UVrZBqJOSOx

Interested in the Interestings

The InterestingsI’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. My lack of interest in The Thin Place kept me from reading very often and now I find myself well behind in the number of books I’ve read year-to-date compared to previous years. But it’s not all about the numbers and now I’m ready to reclaim my reading enthusiasm.

Well, sort of.

At the moment I’m catching up and reading a few books for work. So far, I’m enjoying the one I’m in the middle of now so things are looking up.

On the purely for pleasure side of things, though, I’ve found a new addition to my TBR list. And it’s an interesting one… The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

If the name Meg Wolitzer rings a bell, it could be because her book The Ten Year Nap is on my mom’s list and I went to one of her readings at Barnes and Noble awhile ago. While I wasn’t super excited about The Ten Year Nap, I never blamed that on the author, just that it seemed to target a different, slightly older demographic. I did like her writing. Now, with The Interestings, I think I’ve found a Wolitzer book I would really enjoy. Here’s the (short) description:

The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

I mean, I love camp! Plus, this book seems like it would appeal to all age groups.  It helps that I’ve been reading rave reviews on this one everywhere (Entertainment Weekly, I’m looking at you). Also, I’m a sucker for the pretty cover. All good things.

Hopefully, I’ll get to The Interestings this summer when a good amount of travel will probably mean a good amount of reading time.

A Review of The Thin Place

The Thin PlaceIt’s taken me a while to write this review of The Thin Place not because I have been putting it off but rather because it’s taken me a while to read The Thin Place.

Unfortunately, Kathryn Davis’ novel is one of my least favorite I’ve read from my mom’s list. It didn’t help that I read such short sections at a time that I frequently lost track of who was who and what was happening. But more than that I think my problem with the book is just that it is a little too out there for me. Chapters would jump around from plot to the thoughts of various animals to reflections on nature. I get that the author was trying to make the point about how all of the universe is connected and the line between life and not life is a “thin place,” but I am too much of a concrete person for these asides to mean much to me.

As I often do, I wonder what my mom would have thought of this book. And that is the one downside of being done with The Thin Place. It means that there is only one book left on the list. And while I am excited to complete this undertaking, I think it will be a little sad to be done.

However, that does mean that I will get back to reading books of my choice (or really, probably, more books for work). So at least hopefully that means I will be reading faster and more.

Listening That Will Affect My Eating?

Salt Sugar FatI have finally gotten around to choosing a new audiobook and everyone who comes in contact with me regularly should be afraid.

That’s because I’ve decided to listen to Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss and read by Scott Brick. It’s basically this big expose of the processed food industry and how they have used salt, sugar, and fat to make us addicted to their products (and thus cause an obesity epidemic).

This is not at all my usual read, but I heard about it somewhere and I became determined to listen to it. It’s funny because I am not a health nut nor am I all that concerned about processed foods… though I have a feeling I will be soon. I am just a sucker for an audiobook that sounds like it will teach me really interesting things without boring me (see also: Born to Run).

The thing is, I’m a little nervous. I am worried it will make me want to change all my eating habits. Which, okay, is maybe not the worst thing in the world. Except for poor Andrew who will probably suffer the consequences. I am also afraid I will be telling everyone in a 5 block radius about what I hear and they will all get annoyed with me and not want to be my friend anymore.

Then again, maybe I will find it all fascinating, smile, and nod my head then go on my way eating Lays potato chips.

Catching Some Z

Z: Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldWhile I am making my way through The Thin Place (it is going a bit slowly), I thought I would tell you about another book I read recently that I really liked. And that would be Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler.

Z is the fictional story of the real Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Z is in the same vein as Loving Frank, The American Wife, and The Paris Wife, all of which I read and liked. I actually listened to The Paris Wife and, while I didn’t care for the narration of the audiobook, I really enjoyed Paula McLain’s story about the Hemingways, which made it extra fun to read Z.

In The Paris Wife, the Fitzgeralds are very minor characters and are not portrayed well. In Z, the Hemingways are much bigger characters and are also not portrayed well. It’s entertaining to see all the drama that went on between the famous names of that time.

Even Hemingway malarkey aside, Z is a great look into the world of the Fitzgeralds. Zelda has been a misunderstood figure in literary history and Fowler has approached her sympathetically. Now I want to know even more about her.