Book 2: Disaster Preparedness

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My stack of books for the read athon

That’s my stack for the Read-A-Thon.  I love the fact that I finally have an excuse to read all the hard copy books on my book shelf. I usually read a lot on my kindle so it feels good to be showing these books some love.

I just finished Heather Havrilesky’s Disaster Preparedness.  While it was well written, it was a tough book to finish in one (broken into many starts and stops) sittings.  I think that’s my own fault.  Next October, or even in this next hour, I’m breaking up my reading to keep me focused.  I met Heather at a Writing Pad retreat, and let me tell you, she is as much of a hoot in person as she is in writing.  By “hoot” I mean hilarious observer of life who tells it like it is even if that means swearing.  LOVE HER.

I enjoyed Heather’s musings on her life and the themes in all of our lives that truly require some disaster preparedness: parents getting divorced, first love, surviving middle school, our relationship (or lack thereof)with God, our relationship with our brothers and sisters, our parents, their relationships, parent’s death etc.  Don’t get me wrong, this did not read like a “how to guide to life” like my list of themes might suggest.  Those are just the themes of the chapters.  The narrative has a definite non linear quality to it though it feels like it starts when she’s younger and by the end more stories of her adult hood are included.

Heather does a great job of weaving together her experiences of the same theme and showing how she had grown because of that these experiences.  The narrator not only changes by the end of the book (which is the standard structure for memoir and most narratives) but also develops and changes with each chapter. This also makes sense because as an essayist, each chapter reads like a short delightful essay. It was fun and a funny read.  There were definitely moments that made me laugh out loud.

Book 3 and 3 are The Weird Sisters  by Eleanor Brown and From Capetown with Love by the actor Blaire Underwood. These two books couldn’t be more different. Don’t let Blair Underwood discourage you.  His book is cowritten by two other writers who are awesome, Tananvarie Due and Steven Barnes.  Apparently their past collaborations have been award winning.  I won a copy of the Weird Sisters in a random drawing from The Debutante Ball.  I love winning things. I’m going to be breaking up my reading to keep me going! I’m diving in. Happy reading.

Image credit:  me

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