I've always loved reading but since I got a Kindle last year I've been enjoying it even more. For some reason, I seem to be getting through books much faster than I ever did before. Seeing as none of my friends are as enthusiastic about reading as I am, I thought I'd start sharing my recent reads here. Well...I need to tell someone about them. Especially the good ones.
Here's what I've read lately:
1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This book (recently turned into a film starring Reece Wotherspoon) is a memoir starting when Strayed was in her early 20's and going through a particularly rough patch. Having just lost her mother and divorcing her husband after a series of meaningless sexual encounters with other men, she turns to drugs in order to dull the pain of her loss. Strayed then decides to hike solo along the Pacific Crest Trail in order to regain some control of her life. Wild tells the story of her trek and some of the characters she encounters. I've read some pretty harsh reviews of this book where people are slating Strayed for being stupid, unprepared and self-indulgent. I think they're missing the point entirely. The fact is she was unprepared and perhaps didn't always make the best choices but that's what makes her story so interesting. It's a really honest account of grief and survival which demonstrates that we can go through tough times in life and come out ok at the other side. I would definitely recommend it and can't wait to see the film. I hope it does the book justice.
2. Simplify by Joshua Becker
This is a short, basic guide on the principles of minimalism. I've read a couple of similar books over the past few months during my journey to let go of my less meaningful possessions. While I have no desire to be minimalist and found some of the book to be a bit extreme, I would say that it offers some common sense advice as well as some brief personal insights into what motivated some people to de-clutter or become minimalist. I found it interesting but it wasn't as motivational as I had hoped it would be.
3. The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre
This is another memoir starting off when McIntyre, stuck in a rut with his job as a journalist and generally afraid of life, decides to set off on a penniless journey across America. His account of his journey and the people he meets will make you laugh, cringe and restore your faith in humanity all at the same time. As a person who is also scared of just about everything and a born worrier, I could relate to some of the feelings he describes in the beginning of the book. I thought his decision to take the journey penniless was both crazy and awe inspiring at the same time. The story itself was heart warming at times, it's funny how the people who have the least often give the most. I would highly recommend this book.
I plan to post reviews of more books soon. Meanwhile, have you read any of these books? Or has this post inspired you to read them? I would love to hear your comments.