Mega reading list with memoir, fantasy, poetry

June 11 is Prime Day, so I thought I’d take a quick jaunt down memory lane then speed up to present day to share what I’m reading.


The year was 2011, I had got one of the earlier versions of the Kindle as a high school graduation present. At home, I’d owned more than 600 books, all of which had been meticulously alphabetized and entered into a spreadsheet with title, author and genre. But, those couldn’t all come to college with me.

My fall semester of college, I was still making friends and most of my classes were some sort of first-year seminar or review of high school material. So, any easy course load. I had a lot of time to read, and most was done on my first Kindle. Our freshman seminar book was Matched by Ally Condie. I then went on the finish the series with Reached and Crossed. That was the year I read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; then devoured Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

But my love was not long last.

Sophomore year, while moving in and hanging pictures around the room. I dropped a metal ruler from near the ceiling and it crashed, corner first, into my Kindle sitting on the desk, piercing the screen and rendering it unusable.

But – thanks to Amazon’s really great customer service – I was able to send back my now broken Kindle and for paying the different buy a nicer Kindle Fire, which I still use to this day.


So now on to my recent reads:


adriftAdrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan was this years Concord Reads selection. It’s an autobiographical account by the author of when he was shipwrecked during a race and bobbed across the ocean for more than two months, struggling to stay alive and stay sane.

It’s tough to imagine how anyone could have survived such an ordeal, but such as with being stranded with very little, there are moments that drag on in monotony.

It’s an interesting story, just not gripping.

The Hidden Twin

hiddentwinA living volcano. Humans and spirits. Religious fanatics intent on destroying the world. The Hidden Twin by Adi Rule delves into a fantasy world where the mixed children of humans and Others are identical but different. One is born human, one is born a demon-like creature called a Redwing.

This is a great young adult novel or beach read. It’s not hard to get through and has a pretty quick pace. It probably deserves a sequel though, the conflict at the end is resolved pretty quickly.


Hillbilly Elegy

hillbillyMore months since the election of our current president (and even before really), Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance has remained at the top of  bestsellers’ lists.

The story is part memoir of J.D. growing up in a dysfunctional family in the Rust Belt. It’s also part a dissection of how white working-class people think and how their life impacts their opinions and worldview.

J.D. says the reason he was able to escape poverty and make it through Yale Law School was due to the love and support from his grandparents. Many of his peers didn’t have that same support.

An insightful read and, in some ways, inspiring.

Scribbled in the Dark

scribbledPulitzer Prize winner, poet laureate, and University of New Hampshire professor Charles Simic has a new anthology of poetry, Scribbled in the Dark.

Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny. All insightful. The verses are short and easy to read.

There’s a poem here for everyone to relate to.


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