I’m so cute. Each holiday season I think that I’m going to have all this time to curl up with a good book, a hot toddy and dig in to the stack of books beside my bed. I think it’s a holdover from when I was a kid and would read “Little Women” during Christmas break, along with a huge stack of teenage romance books. My subconscious still thinks it’s reading season. Sigh. Clearly, (thanks in part to kids, a husband and tons of social obligations) that time has passed.
However, here are a few books I wish I were reading this season:
“Robopocalypse” by Daniel H. Wilson: This science fiction work has been written up like crazy in local media since Wilson lives in Portland. He’s a robotic engineer and a PhD! Wait it gets better, the book has been optioned by DreamWorks. Who’s directing? Spielberg. Which is all wonderful, but what really intrigues me is the fact that, this summer, while lazing on the beach, my husband picked it up and devoured it. I haven’t seen him that enthralled by a book since he first read Neal Stephenson. It was like the male version of “Twilight."
“It’s So Easy (and Other Lies)” by Duff McKagan: Seattle native and founding member of seminal rock band Guns n’ Roses, bassist Duff McKagan published his memoir this year. What could it possibly have in it aside from the typical rockstar story of excess and redemption? Well, I want to read it to find out. Plus, I want details, like how he ended up in LA after fleeing the rampant heroin overdoses of the 80’s Seattle punk scene, or what compelled him to join a monster rock band; and then why, at some point, did he return to Seattle to get his MBA from University of Washington. He now has a financial advice column. In Playboy. How does that happen? I want Duff to tell me.
“The Sliding Glass Door” by Scott Poole: Vancouver resident and poet Scott Poole released his third book of poetry this October. Poole is also the in-house poet for LiveWire Radio Show. How "Portland" is it to have an in-house poet? I find his poetry to be witty and complex, insightful and clever. It speaks to me and makes me think. Apparently it also speaks to Garrison Keillor who read Poole’s poem “The Bible” on the Writer’s Almanac in November. This is the book I’m going to pick up after particularly intense family events – I know Mr. Poole’s poetry will remind me I am not alone in this crazy life.
“The Chronology of Water” by Lidia Yuknavich: No list would be complete without a challenging read, and Pacific Northwest writer Lidia Yuknavich’s memoir is just that. Nothing says holiday quite like addiction, self-destruction and a woman’s journey to find herself. It kind of scared me when I first picked it up but now that I’ve read a few snippets, I’m hooked. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I hope to immerse myself fully very soon.
“Underneath the Ash” by Kate Dyer-Seeley: In the shameless plug category, I have to give a nod to my Broadsheet360 co-creator Kate Dyer-Seeley. Her heartbreakingly honest memoir takes readers into the world of young onset Alzheimer’s. The story conjoins the birth of Dyer-Seeley’s first child with the rapid decline of her mother. Not exactly a light holiday read, but a compelling tale of the struggles of new motherhood and mother loss. Am I biased? Of course. Having said that, I’m always up for a read that doesn’t try to tidy up the messiest parts of life.
That sums up my eclectic list of books I hope to get to during December. However, I do seem to be spending my time examining the cavalcade of holiday catalogs that have arrived and flipping through old “In Style” magazines. So, if you, by chance, pick these up for yourself, please shoot me a review, I’d love to hear what you think.