Monday, July 23, 2012

Forty-one Shades of Grey...

You've heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, how about Forty-One shades of Gray? No, not the shades of gray in my hair, although I'm certain I have 41 strands. And frankly, gray in this case is much darker as in black. Black being typed words, shades being books, 41 being number of books read in the first part of 2012. And if you're wondering about the correct use of the word grey/gray, both are acceptable. You can look it up.

Filled with Woods, Stuart not Tiger, some Harlan Coben, James Patterson, a trip to New Orleans, literally and figuratively through the writing of James Lee Burke , some great non-fiction from Rebecca Skloot on cancer cells in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Tom Mueller on extra virgin olive oil in Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil and a reality, somewhat humorous,  check by Carrie Fisher in her two memoirs, the first six months of 2012 has been both fun and educational.

We went to Montreal, figuratively speaking, with Kathy Reichs in her first two books and her forensic anthropologist  character Temperance Brennan  and made a trip to Hawaii, both literally and figuratively through the books by Sarah Vowell in Unfamiliar Fishes and Susan Casey in The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean.

Sarah Vowell taught us the history of the islands and the fight against annexation  by the US, the historical sites still standing, leper colonies and cultural differences between the white man called Ha Ole and the polynesians.  A must read for anyone visiting the islands or wish to learn more about them.

Casey writes about catching a wave but her book was no Surfin' USA, more like Surfin' the World.  She takes us around the pacific ocean, including Maui, and Oahu and the ring of fire  (- circle of the ocean and it's coasts where the most dangerous waves perpetuate and occur) - to teach us about the ocean and it's ferocity of waves, a bit on climate change, shipwrecks and great bio's on those manic surfers, including Laird Hamilton, who live, eat and sleep the chance to surf the biggest waves the planet can produce. Read it and you'll never look at the ocean the same way again!

How many books the second half of the year? I'd like to finish the year over 100. Books that is, if it were age, well, I'm certain all my hair would be grey. Speaking of which, I've seen more people in airports and planes reading Shades of Gray that  I'd rather have the rest of my hair turn gray then read the next two volumes of EL James trilogy, so those two books won't be included but perhaps more non-fiction as I've started reading Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge, an insightful, eye opening account of New Orleans and Katrina, maybe more of James Lee Burke's Robicheaux series down on the Bayou, finish out Stuart Woods' Stone Barrington series, and pick up a new author, say Philip Margolin, whom I've read only one of, or Clive Cussler, whom I've read none of. I'm behind on reading David Baldacci and Kathy Reichs and have yet to read St. Paul boy Vince Flynn's latest, along with John Grisham, Jack Higgins, Tom Clancy and the ever entertaining tomes by Ken Follett.

What books are you reading or have been recommended?

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