My husband made an offhand comment in a trivia game last Thursday night that not only spoke volumes about my personality – but made clear a couple of other things about me as well. This was in reference to the 1997 Jon Krakauer book Into Thin Air, which chronicled the events pertaining to a 1996 disaster on Mount Everest that killed eight people:
She would not shut up about that book while she was reading it.
I really need to re-read this book!
It’s totally true! I was captivated by the book…not only did I devour the details about the disastrous mountain expedition – but I loved the matter-of-fact journalistic style in which it was written. Since I also read (and loved) another book by Jon Krakauer called Into the Wild – then maybe I’m kind of a fan of this writer! I’ll have to see what other titles my local library has by this writer.
It’s often been joked that Wednesday Addams is… my “spirit animal of sorts.” We’re both obsessed with death, tragedies, disasters, etc. Just a couple of days ago, I watched a documentary about the Heaven’s Gate cult. But when I worked as a journalist in 1997 when the events unfolded – I read EVERY SINGLE A.P. WIRE STORY about the cult. I was…mesmerized!
But let’s rewind just a bit, shall we? A couple of years ago or or so – my buddy Brad lent me a book he loved called My Life as a Pretender, written by Chrissie Hynde – former lead singer of The Pretenders. He SWORE up and down that I’d also love the book as much as he did. Keep in mind he has a bit of a “crush” on Chrissie Hynde!
Well, I did try reading the book. And at first, I actually enjoyed it! The book’s writer (whom I will assume was a ghost writer and not Ms. Hynde herself) went into great detail about Hynde growing up with a bunch of brothers in Akron, OH – and about her mother was a “beauty queen” kind of woman whom she would later kind of rebel against and become a tomboy. She used to go on long walks into town with her friends, reminisced about new highways being built, her dad having to change jobs and move to Cleveland (which exposed her more to the rock scene), and would eventually attend Kent State. She would be a student there when the 1970 shootings took place – which resulted in the deaths of four students.
All of that stuff was very interesting to me! And if the book had continued in that direction – and even given more details about the Kent State massacre, I would have probably read the whole thing. But then – after the book started getting into the details about Hynde’s rock ‘n roll lifestyle – sex, drugs, and (duh) – rock ‘n roll – I kind of lost interest. The book is still sitting in my bedroom (remind me to give it back to Brad already)!
Rewind a bit more recently to the summer of 2019. I had checked out the book Wonderful Tonight – which was about Pattie Boyd – former fashion model and wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
Similar story while reading this book. The beginning of the book about her childhood was very, very interesting to me! She had an emotionally distant father (and mother) – an abusive stepfather, attended Catholic school, even spent some time living in Africa. I loved reading the passages about living in Africa (having a wild animal…a leopard I think – get into the house – was quite exciting)!
When she was finally able to get out on her own, she was able to start a modeling career – and lived in London. She would eventually meet her first husband – George Harrison – and commented about how “oddly” the Liverpudlian talked (among other things).
Again, I would lose interest in the book. I just couldn’t relate to this…vapid person who enjoyed collecting shoes, dolling herself up in makeup and fancy clothes – and shopping. So I turned this book back in to the library having not even finished it.
Now, I would say these were the only two books I’d abandoned in the past three years or so…but that would be a lie! In the spring of 2018, I started reading My Autobiography about the life of Charlie Chaplin ⇓.
Chaplin’s childhood was very, very interesting! He spent some time in a London work house, his mother struggled with mental (and physical) illness, he lived in virtual squalor, his father was a raging alcoholic, his travels throughout England brought him into contact with some strange folks (some of whom would later inspire the gruesome episode of The X-Files titled “Home,” which was about inbreeders). But after he became and adult and started womanizing, getting involved with paternity suits, etc. – I tuned out. Even the 1992 movie Chaplin was not that interesting to me.
And… Some Books I Didn’t Abandon! ⇓
So…what about other books I’ve read and enjoyed – and didn’t abandon a quarter of the way through? Here are some others!
Richie Streicher, 7, of Ypsilanti, MI, was found murdered in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park in 1935. The murder was officially unsolved, though his mother was always considered a prime suspect.
Two Michigan hunters went missing without a trace in 1985. Even without having produced bodies – two men were eventually imprisoned for their murders after a very reluctant witness decided to talk.
Very riveting book about a family of circus freaks.
From now on, I’ll try to pick books I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy – not books others say I would enjoy- or books that I “think” I should enjoy!