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Reading with Intention in 2015 (April)

Reading with Intention, April 2015 | www.thatwasvegan.com

So, one surprising and unintended byproduct of tracking my reading this way is that, each month, I’m saying to myself “Holy crap where did that last month go!?” It’s a little funny but also annoying. I don’t want to be reminded of how quickly time passes! 

Anyway, I’m much more settled into my new place now, and feel entitled to set aside more time for reading going forward. I read 4 books plus the Little House collection of 9 children’s books. So we can call it 5 I guess?

 Here’s what I read in March:

  • The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder … These books really are a comforting reminder of my childhood. And also of how much easier life is these days! When I decided to move across the country, I called some movers, I didn’t have to pack everything I owned into a covered wagon and fight off bandits and horse thieves and Native Americans along with the way. There are things about the books that, as an adult, I’m uncomfortable with. I’d say that Pa is controlling and bordering on some kind of personality disorder, and it’s almost abusive the way he’s constantly forcing his family to move against their will. And Ma is just racist, no two ways about it. I know, I know… “It was a different time!” It’s still awkward to read those passages. Overall though, these books still get 2 thumbs up. The Long Winter is my favorite one, hands down. 
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer …  I first read this book years and years ago. I can’t even remember when. Then in January I read Carine’s book The Wild Truth which documented the violent childhood she and Chris endured, which made me watch the movie and then re-read Into the Wild. Well. I still think it’s an amazing book and a great story, but it was SO FRUSTRATING reading the thoughts and opinions of his parents, who I now believe have zero right to have their views expressed. Bad, violent, abusive people. Granted, Carine was still attempting to repair her relationship with them at the time Krakauer was writing this book and it was at HER request that he represent their family in a positive light (I know this from reading her book), but knowing what I now know it all just rang so false and disappointing. It also makes me sad for Chris’ memory- that so many people don’t know the truth of his childhood and don’t understand the reason he (probably) did what he did, so they judge him and blame his death on stupidity and irresponsibility. Very frustrating. I’m still giving it 5 stars on Goodreads because it’s not the book (or Krakauer’s) fault that the whole story couldn’t be told at the time. I wish he could re-release the book with an updated story line…?
  • Talk Talk by TC Boyle … Loved it! I really enjoy his writing, and have loved every book of his that I’ve read. The main character, a young deaf woman named Dana, has her identity stolen and her life nearly ruined. In an attempt to clear her name, she and her boyfriend take off across country tracking the thief. It’s written from her pov, as well as those of her boyfriend and the thief himself. My favorite parts were those written by the thief, you really get to know him. I wish the ending had been different, but overall it was great. It did, however, make me a bit paranoid about having my identity stolen!!
  • The First Bad Man by Miranda July … I’m kind of at a loss, trying to describe this book. It’s insane. The main character is insane. But I sort of felt like I understood her, at least part of the time. The funny thing is though, I can’t think of a single person I would recommend this book to. It was so… odd. And kind of disturbing. I realize I’m not doing a very good job describing it, but I really don’t know what to say. If you’re curious, click through to goodreads and check out some of the reviews. Definitely the strangest book I’ve ever read. 
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel … Please don’t laugh at me for reading this. I loved (LOVED!) it when I was like 12. And the movie? Oh man. If I thought I would’ve made a good pioneer girl, well lets just say I would’ve been one badass Neanderthal 😉  Seriously though, great book. Simply written, but very touching. Now I want to look on Netflix for some documentaries about how neanderthals and cro magnon man interacted.


Books for April 2015

  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan … I’m a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, and of his love story with Mamah Borthwick Cheney. There’s just something about star-crossed lovers that always gets me! This one is actually a re-read, and I’m looking forward to it a lot.
  • Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer … Yes, another Krakauer book. For those of you who don’t remember, Pat Tillman was a highly paid NFL player who left the game to join the army following 9/11, and was later killed in Afghanistan. If it’s as well written as his others, I think I’m gonna love it. 
  • Stuffocation by James Wallman … This book takes a look at the value of stuff (accumulating posessions) vs. actual experiences… and is very highly recommended. 
  • The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon … Who knew there was so much drama behind the creation of my favorite childhood game??
  • Gray Mountain by John Grisham … Stop judging me!! I’m allowed to read mindless fiction once in a while, aren’t I? 😉

 Want more? Check out what I read in January and February!

And tell me what YOU’RE reading! 

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Cat April 1, 2015, 6:53 am

    I think it makes great sense to read with intention. I’ve been doing that for a while now and I find it really helps to get into a flow, with thoughts and ideas kind of converging around a theme.

    This month (well March/April), I’m reading books about travel and freedom, including a huge cookbook of traditional mexican dishes, which I plan to wave my magic vegan wand over!

    • Barb April 1, 2015, 7:33 am

      I have a couple books on travel that are in my queue, and I LOVE veganizing recipes 🙂

  • AnnMarie April 1, 2015, 7:21 am

    The Pat Tillman story is great, you’ll really like it. Did you know Krakauer has a new book coming out this year?

    • Barb April 1, 2015, 7:31 am

      I did, and I’m looking forward to it!

  • Callie April 2, 2015, 8:57 am

    At first I thought you were crazy, but after thinking about it, Ma is racist. And Pa is kind of twisted the way he keeps his family on the move like that…

    • Callie April 2, 2015, 8:57 am

      Oh, but my fave? Farmer Boy 🙂

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