Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vacation Reading

A week on the beach gave me plenty of time to do some reading. I actually finished three books during the week. A big thanks to Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida for their unorganized layout (have they ever heard of alphabetical order?) and exorbitantly priced selection. I'd recommend all three books I finished.

Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind The Legend by Casey Tefertiller - As someone who loves the Old West and also enjoys history, I was fascinated by this biography. The tendency to exaggerate tales of the Wild West, combined with Hollywood taking liberties in Western films, has pumped quite a bit of hot air into the legend of Wyatt Earp. However, this painstakingly researched biography shows that the actual events of Wyatt Earp's life are in many ways stranger than fiction.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I was the butt of a few jokes on vacation for reading this "girl's book". The Help is a powerful narrative that directly addresses the racist climate of Mississippi in the 1950's. The novel follows the lives of three women, one white and two black servants for white households, in their struggle to redefine the relationship between white homemakers and their black "help". The movie adaptation of this book will be released on August 10.

I Curse The River of Time by Per Petterson - I'd heard about this book a few months ago but could never track it down at the library. In the fading Norwegian autumn (Petterson's native land) Arvid, the main character, laments the inevitable march of time away from the days when his life had hope and purpose. Time, it seems, gets away from us when we aren't looking. It's a sad novel, but one that is beautifully written and which addresses themes common to all of us: aging, love, and our search for acceptance and approval.

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