Thursday, July 5, 2012

a happiness project update...

I've managed to knock off a few things lately (if the past couple months counts as lately), and I've enjoyed myself immensely while doing so. Which means this project is having the desired effect. :D

From Heather's list of fun/challenging/interesting things to do, I read Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky. Now Heather dear may be thinking, "Huh? What the heck is that crazy woman talking about?" But #18 on her list is "Read a Pulitzer Prize winner," and this was the Pulitzer Prize winner for history in 2006. She didn't specifically say that it had to be fiction, so I hope this was okay.

A medical story, a social history snapshot of the U.S., a story of clashing egos.

At times it reminded me of And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts (which is one of the best books I've ever read).

As I finished reading, I couldn't help but think, "I really do enjoy reading about history, so why the hell don't I do it more often?"

It really was an outstanding book.


I feel a little bad, but I didn't even remember that this was on my list of books from Rich until after I'd read the first chapter. I sort of wish I had all my lists memorized, but ummm, yeah, that's just not gonna happen. And actually, I guess I'm glad I don't because it gives me a good excuse to read over my lists on a regular basis. :)

So, the book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Was confident I would going into it. What can I say, I adore David Attenborough. Love watching him. Love reading him. But every time I read his books (not that I've read that many--I think this was only my third), it's *his* voice reading in my head...seriously, I simply can't change it and it gets to be a bit disconcerting.

But yes, good book. Lots of interesting, fascinating, and sometimes surprising tidbits about all manner of herps. Awesome photography. Gray read it, too, and of course, loved it. And after each chapter, we watched the corresponding episode of the companion series. Yep, much fun.


I've also listened to a handful of songs from Ana's list. But I've decided not to write about them. Not because I don't love the songs, but because I love them so much. And trying to make myself figure out how to talk about them was driving me crazy. I found that I was tarnishing an experience that meant so very much to me by having in the back of my mind the thought that I had to talk about them. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but me, but there you have it. I am keeping track of which songs I've immersed myself in, on my happiness project page. And I can honestly say that I have yet to come across one that doesn't speak to me in some special way. For this, Ana, I can't thank you enough. Really.


From Annie's list of books for me. I suspect she put this book on my list for a couple of different reasons--both because she really enjoyed it *and* because she knows about my morbid fascination with the whole Manson family story.

The dust jacket of this book says that it's "loosely based on the Manson Family murders"...hmmmm. Having read Helter Skelter multiple times, as well as a handful of other books, I'm going to have say it's more than "loosely based." Yes, the names are all changed and lots of details are changed, but there is NO mistaking what this story is about. And with that in mind, I have to imagine that the reading of this book would be a very different experience for someone who had little previous knowledge of the true events.

But what did I think? Well, it was definitely an odd reading experience. It wasn't the first book of historical fiction I've read that was written in free verse. It was the most disconcerting. Haunting. Frightening. And heart-wrenchingly sad on so very many levels.

And yes, in the end, I'm glad that Annie put in on her list for me to read.


There are a few others that are "in progress" (one from Chris's list of movies/TV shows, one from Heather's list of fun/interesting/challenging things to do, and one from Jean's list of creative endeavors), but they're all rather large projects and it may be a while before I finish any of them. I can definitely say that I am having a ball working on each one of them though. :)


DesLily said...

I know you don't believe me but you are incredible in all you do

Trish said...

I have a tough time writing about poetry and music as well BUT I would love to at least know which songs you're listening to and loving. ;) I know Kelly's been periodically listing some of Ana's favorites on her blog and I've enjoyed listening to a few of them as well.

Debi said...

You're right--I don't believe you.

Oops, I already responded via email. Oh, my silly addled brain...