Thoughts on Commuting

I’ve started a new job. Don’t worry though. It’s a job that involves hours upon hours of researching and writing whatever it is that pleases me most. To get to said job, I’ve had to conquer a twice daily obstacle known as the commute.

Granted, I’m lucky that my commute is quite picturesque and involves a twenty-minute ferry ride across Lake Champlain. No kidding, I spend forty-minutes a day, at least, floating on water and watching the mountains beam in the sunlight. But, I also spend it reading. Sometimes napping.

This week, I’ve spent my commute with Paper Towns. It’s a sweet book but nothing particularly amazing. I bought it less out of interest for the plot and more out of interest for who wrote it – John Green. I don’t know what it is about this guy but he just keeps hitting gold in the YA genre.

I have about two ferry rides left until I’ve gotten through Paper Towns. I’ll update again then and after that, it’s on to the next boat book.

A Reading List

Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was to keep track of everything I read. When I first came up with the idea, I thought it was perfect. Why wouldn’t I want to keep tracking of what I’m reading? Well, because I read a lot. After about ten weeks, keeping track become too tedious of a process and I gave up.

I came close to attempting my last year’s resolution (or maybe it’s a goal really?) this year. Then, somewhere between moving and visiting family, I forgot. This is probably okay because even sitting here, I can hardly remember exactly every thing that I have read this year. There are some exceptional novels that I’ve come across and quite a few memorable long form articles that I’ve taken care to bookmark for rereading but for the most part, every thing is a blur.

So, maybe there’s a better way to do this. A way that allows me to keep track without having to think about it. Or, at least a way that allows me not to think about it as much. Which leads me to keeping track of it here. Yes, here. For all to see!

I’ve already admitted that I can’t remember all that I’ve read this year. It’s been a few months since January and there have been many trips to the bookstore and many packages delivered from Amazon! Not to mention my late night forays on to Longreads. Instead, just to get started (but let’s be honest I’ll probably do this every time), I’ll share what I’ve read and enjoyed most recently.

Here goes book wise:

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness: I got lucky with this one. In the used section of Barnes & Noble, I found this book, brand new, for less than $2.00. I decided that even if I wasn’t totally attracted to the back cover synopsis, I shouldn’t pass up the deal. A new book for $2.00? Heck yes. I’m glad I sucked it up and bought it too because I finished it in less than 48 hours and found the prose to be absolutely beautiful and thoroughly inspiring.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: I came across this book in the unlikeliest of places – Walmart. While I was picking up milk. While some of the book seemed to drag on – mostly about the technical aspects of planes – it was overall an amazing read. It’s hard to deny Louis Zamperini the title of ‘role model’. I just wish the movie had done both this book and his life justice.

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh: I’ve always been particularly interested in reading debut novels. I think they’re a great way to judge publishing trends and, if they do well, reading trends. I can’t remember where I came across My Sunshine Away but I’m glad that I did. There are so many lines in this book that just scream perfect prose. If I had any advice for M.O. Walsh though, it would be this: work on your endings. While a majority of the book was downright amazing, the ending left a lot to be desired.

And for those who enjoy long form:

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous by Gabrielle Glaser: I come from a long line of Alcoholics Anonymous Members so this article resonated with me very deeply. I’ve sat in AA meetings both in and outside rehabilitation facilities and each meeting, I always found myself wondering if AA was really helping its members. This question became especially prevalent when most users I knew started to relapse. If you’re familiar with the tenants of AA, this is a good read that will certainly challenge whether or not AA is the proper way to treat addiction in the states.

Fixed Menu by Kevin Pang: I spent a few brief months studying nutrition in hopes of sharing my newfound wealth of knowledge with others. Reading this piece made me wish that I had continued my studies so that I could have finished and become some sort of activist, rallying people around more nutritious and tasteful foods in prison. I understand the argument that prisoners are those who have been found guilty of committing crimes but does that mean that they deserve nothing more than a few pieces of toast and some unidentifiable mush?

The Fugitive Heir by Fred Zeman: Alright, this one isn’t new but you can thank HBO for its republication. Robert Durst is a fascinating, albeit frightening character and this piece will explain why. It shows you how much of an impact money can have on someone’s personality and actions. I mean, really, who gets away with murdering and dismembering a close friend?  A person who can afford not one but two very highly regarded and expensive criminal defense lawyers – that’s who.

Of course, I’ve read much more than this over the course of the last three months. These are all things that just happen to stick out when I decided to get going on this. But, there you have it. Naturally, now, I have to ask – what have you been reading?