I have always been fascinated by people, and so memoirs, biographies, conversion stories, pop psychology, educational theory and such are some favorite reading categories for me.
an extremely, almost uncomfortably, intimate relating of the grief of a
dad and his family over the loss of his six year old son in a car
accident. Comes from a profoundly Catholic perspective. What I found
perhaps most interesting was the "15 Years Later" part, in which each
family member reflects back on their son and brother and what he has
meant to them, even after death.
edifying, educational, and sometimes a little crude, Bill Bryson paints
a picture of a rather hidden part of our world while relating the story of his adventures along a substantial portion of the Appalachian Trail. I found his commentaries on how people today (and in the past) tend to interact with and treat nature to be
thoughtful and balanced.
This was an engrossing, heart-wrenching - and at
times depressing - memoir of a young woman whose life is torn apart by the untimely
death of her beloved mother. After four years of destructive behavior
(extreme promiscuity, drug experimentation, etc.), she sets off for a
solo three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, through California
and Oregon, to try to "find her way".
I enjoy memoirs partly because their perspective is different than my own. That is certainly the case here, where, for example she justifies her own abortion because of her mother's difficult history. But these differences bring into sharper focus the parts I especially relate to, such as an understated and touching theme of reverence that runs throughout the book.
Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West
watching a DVD on White House history a few years ago, I became
fascinated by the human stories behind the presidency, which were told
primarily through the staff. (I think it was National Geographic: Inside the White House - oops! I sat down and watched this one and it was interesting, but not the same one). So when this book showed up on BookBub
(which is a subject for a different post), I jumped on it. I was not
disappointed. It was a welcome diversion during a sick week. J.B. West
was a White House usher (and chief usher for many of those years) from
1941-1967, who shares interesting and very human insights into the
presidents (FDR thru Nixon) and their families, as well as a substantial
bit of history surrounding them and their temporary home. Not a
must-read, but a good read.