A Book (or Four)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The books I've read most recently have ranged from memoir to a compilation of advice columns (not what I would typically pick, but one of the most moving books I've read), from fiction to a children's book (by one of my all-time favorite authors, Patricia MacLachlan). What have you been reading? I'd love to hear.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Cheryl Strayed)

'The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer - and yet, also, like most things, so very simple - was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial.... As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go. The bull, I acknowledged grimly, could be in either direction, since I hadn't seen where he'd run once I closed my eyes. I could only choose between the bull that would take me back and the bull that would take me forward. And so I walked on.'

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (Cheryl Strayed)

'I do know one thing. When it comes to our children, we do not have the luxury of despair. If we rise, they will rise with us every time, no matter how many times we've fallen before. I hope you remember that the next time you fail. I hope I will too. Remembering that is the most important work as parents we can possibly do.'

The Good House (Ann Leary)

'I show homes to a lot of important people - politicians, doctors, lawyers, even the occasional celebrity - but the first time I saw Rebecca, the day I showed her the Barlow place, I have to admit, I was a little at a loss for words. A line from a poem that I had helped one of my daughters memorize for school, many years before, came to mind. I knew a woman, lovely in her bones.'

White Fur Flying (Patricia MacLachlan)

' "He doesn't speak?" asked Alice.
"No," I said.
"Why?" asked Alice.
I shrugged.
"Okay," said Alice. "I can talk."
I smiled.
"You sure can," I said. "You and Lena."
"He doesn't have to talk," said Alice.
"That's what Mama said."
But why didn't he talk? Was he afraid? Was he sad? He must have talked once, maybe when he was a baby. When he was little? Maybe he talked last week. Why not now?'


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