Remember last year, when I forgot how to read? Those were trying times. Fortunately, not having a job or an internet connection for most of the day has enabled me to get back in touch with reading, which I am overjoyed about. So overjoyed, in fact, that I demolished 6 books in the first 6 weeks of this trip. That is a massive achievement for me considering last year I struggled to focus attention for long enough to read a single page. My best time for finishing a novel is 24 hours, a record I’m not sure I can or want to beat.
The first two books I read were The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes and Courting Trouble by Kathy Lette. The Marian Keyes book was predictably farfetched but an easy and enjoyable read. I admire Kathy Lette hugely for her intelligence, wit and contributions to feminism but her prose just makes me cringe.
The next book I read was Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Like reading The Quiet American in Vietnam or The Beach in Thailand, reading Wild while practically driving the Pacific Crest Trail was delightful. I even insisted we visit the Ashland Co-op in Oregon because it was in the book. I also appreciated the frequent references to REI and the detail of her struggle to hike in the beginning.
I picked up The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing from the book exchange at our hostel in Eugene and finished it in two days. It was the exact kind of novel I love about
slightly mundane everyday existence and coming of age written so perfectly and eloquently.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was a thriller recommended from someone online (if it was you, thanks!) and was completely unlike what I would usually read and completely un-put-down-able. Read it before they make the movie version!
When we were in Portland, Andrew and I decided to read as many books from this list of 50 you should read before you die. So we bought 7 of the books from the list secondhand from Powell’s, a well known and loved bookstore in the city. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon was the book I polished off in 24 hours. I think this book would be pretty moving if you had never read a book from the point of view of a person living on the autism spectrum, but I have, so it reminded me a lot of The Rosie Project just with a younger protagonist.
At the moment I am reading Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event. And although reading about aviation disasters while travelling may be unwise, I am loving it. I devoured pretty much all of Blume’s back catalogue as a kid, so I’m really enjoying reading her work again.
Over to you now, what are you reading at the moment? What’s on your list? Do you have any recommendations for me?