Camping is for reading

Before we left on our trip, I went to the library and stocked up. I have gone through 3 so far; read 2 and gave up on 1. But before we get to that, let’s talk about the food from today.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with brown sugar and bananas.

Lunch:

Same delicious sandwich as yesterday.

And a plum that was huge! This plum was perfect, more on the sour side with a touch of sweetness, just the way I like them.

Dinner:

Cheese pizza from the best pizza place at Silver Lake; Pizza Factory.

Most of the time I can eat a meal and drink water, but not with pizza, I have to have a diet coke. Caffeine free tonight because lately if I drink anything with caffeine after 2pm, I can’t sleep at night.

And now on to the books. This one I started a couple of days before we left and finished it the first night we were here.

On the surface Grace Bennett has it all — three wonderful children, a devoted husband and a life of adventure and travel. But somewhere between her husband Steve’s demanding career, raising a family, the constant uprooting and the Navy’s routine, Grace has lost her sense of self. And when a nearly forgotten secret resurfaces, her discontent comes into sharp focus. Something needs to change. She needs to change.

Then duty calls. Now, separated by an ocean of regrets and longing, Grace and Steve are forced to take a hard look at their faltering marriage. But when the unthinkable happens, Grace is left to face a Navy wife’s worst nightmare — the cold truth that life’s biggest chances can slip away while you’re looking for guarantees.

I really enjoyed this book, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this is a must read for sure.

I read this one next, while it wasn’t terrible, it could have been made into a short story instead of a novel. Certain parts just went on and on.

Narrated in a bold, fearless, unforgettable voice and set against the lush, panoramic backdrop of Hawaii, The Descendants is a stunning debut novel about an unconventional family forced to come together and re-create its own legacy.

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive–one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. 

Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt’s charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them–and spurs them into surprising actions.

Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth.

I started this one today and I really wanted to like it, but after 100 pages, I gave up. I didn’t like the writer’s style. Every sentence. Was like. This. I just couldn’t get into it.

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.

Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

Let’s hope I have better luck with the next one! I’ll be starting this book tonight.

The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby’s death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

The couple’s children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely- perhaps courageously-idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others-to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.

Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.

And then I also brought one more, but I doubt I’ll be able to start it and since it’s almost 900 pages, I know I won’t finish it this weekend!!!

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