Friday, December 30, 2016

What My Mother Gave Me - Elizabeth Benedict

Many women writers share their memories of gifts from their mothers and the impact those gifts had on their lives.  I'd hoped for a wider range of experiences; it seems the majority of writers are from privileged backgrounds, East Coast dwellers, which makes the reading seem somewhat self-indulgent.  It could be that they were intended to be more light-hearted and brief than the title led me to believe.  I wouldn't recommend it.

Published:  2013  Read: December 2016  Genre: short story memoir

The Hours - Michael Cunningham

In 1925 Virginia Woolf published "Mrs Dalloway" and broke new literary ground by writing about a single day in the life of a middle-aged woman.  Cunningham piggybacks on the style of writing and story line to provide a parallel story using Woolf as a character in his tale of three women's lives intertwined for a day. Having read Mrs. Dalloway this summer, I relished the intricate way the author used Woolf's own life story with her own style to bring his characters to the end of their day.

Now to watch the movie!

Published: 1998  Read: December 2016  Genre: Fiction

Left for Dead - Beck Weathers

Sub-title: My Journey Home from Everest

Finishing up on my 2016 reading posts!  I picked this up at a Christmas book exchange.  It's the first person account of one of the hikers in an ascent on Mt Everest.  He suffered frostbite, was "left for dead" and lost almost both of his hands.  He shares how his obsession with mountain climbing almost ruined his family.  Not particularly good writing but a compelling tale and lessons even for those who don't go off climbing mountains.

Published: 2000 Read: December 2016  Genre: Non-fiction, memoir, Adventure