What I’ve Read and What I’m (possibly) Reading Next

I just put five books on hold with the Dover Public Library.

Am I nuts?

One minor lull in the work schedule and I think that it’s going to be read, read, read all the time. Like it’s my hobby. Like I do it for fun. Like I wouldn’t rather be lazy and watch TV. Like what I read last wasn’t Anthony Bourdain’s latest memoir, Medium Raw, in which I skipped over the section about his favorite international meals because I didn’t want to expand my brain in any way whatsoever.

Admittedly, I was coming off of a bit of a mental workout, with two brain books back to back. I’ve been thinking about the brain so much that my amygdala hurts.

Brain book number one was the memoir/self-help book My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, suggested by me for my book club. My take on it: the author’s account of her stroke was at the same time chilling and informative, but I think her takeaway that we can all cultivate peace by retraining our thought patterns is idealistic (and easy for her to say, considering that the stroke brought her back to un-embittered square one).

Brain book number two was the phobia memoir/scientific exploration I Wish I Could Be There, by composer Allen Shawn (brother of the lisping actor/playwright Wallace Shawn of such films as The Princess Bride and My Dinner with Andre–admittedly the sibling connection being the book’s main draw for shallow me). My take on it: while I have never had to turn my car around because of severe travel-related panic attack symptoms, I have experienced said symptoms in other situations, and I am glad to know that I am not (a) the only one, (b) crazy, and (c) curable by means of Jill Bolte Taylor’s “Whistle a happy tune” philosophy of life.

So, next on the hit parade (if whatever my new book club selection doesn’t take up all my time) are:

1. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
2. The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
3. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, by Wes Moore
4. True Grit, by Charles Portis
5. Twin, a Memoir, by Allen Shawn

Not a brain in sight. Nice.


  1. RFW said,

    February 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Cutting for Stone got a little too technical for me (surgery), but The Imperfectionists is a great find. I’d skip to that one first.

    • scheirmad said,

      February 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks for chiming in, RFW! The Other Wes Moore came in at the library first so I’m working on that one right now. So interesting–about a Rhodes scholar and a convicted drug dealer/murderer who share the same name and a similar background. The Imperfectionists and True Grit are waiting for me at the circulation desk–with the holiday weekend coming up, I’ll be all set!


  2. Lorraine said,

    February 16, 2011 at 5:18 am

    It’s been worth the wait! This blog reader from Down Under while delighted for the up turn in your “real writing” is also unashamedly delighted for the occassional Blog to ponder, peruse, enjoy and even be inspired by! Cheers1:-)

    • Cheryl said,

      February 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Nice to hear from you, Lorraine! I was thinking of you while watching the Aussie Open. I hope you and Dieter are well.

      Catch you online!


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