Another year, more books to read. Yay!
I started this year off by reading Confession of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale. I was feeling nostalgic about my time in Arizona, when I had picked up and moved to a place I had never been, to start a new adventure of working on a ranch (something I had never done), and ended up living in the middle of nowhere. I picked up McCorkindale’s book and found that it is a funny, lighthearted memoir of a woman quitting her high-stress, six-figure magazine job and moving to rural Virginia to live on and manage a 500 acre cattle farm with her husband and boys. She takes the reader through her journey of adjusting to farm life and trying to charter unfamiliar territories – all the while seriously missing her Starbucks fix.
I read a few reviews on this book after I had finished it to see what others thought (like I said in the post below, If a book really intrigues me, I generally stay away from opinions of the book until after I have read it), and although I found some of their criticisms a bit too harsh, I had to agree that this isn’t the best book out there. Yes, it’s fine for a light, fluffy read, but nothing to really learn from or to gain any words of wisdom. Apparently the author started a blog to record her transition to farm life, and then it turned into a book. I think that I would have enjoyed this as a blog as time went on as opposed to her experiences all at once because it just didn’t really seem to go anywhere, although I did enjoy her humor.
Next, I read Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky. I actually started reading this book because I receive emails from the author every Thursday. He sends virtual classic short stories and just the comments in his emails alone made me want to run out and buy his book (or just order it on my Kindle since there aren’t really English bookstores here on the island – you get the point).
Fresh out of college, Tomsky started working at a Luxury hotel as a valet attendant, and he quickly moved through the ranks of the industry into other positions. This book gives you the ins and outs of the hotel business – the dirty, gritty things that go on behind the scenes that you, as a guest, will never see. The author tells you hilarious stories of his experiences with hotel guests and coworkers, as well as tips on how to get your room upgraded, watch movies for free, and eat everything in the mini bar without ever having to pay for it.
Warning: if you are easily offended by swearing, maybe this isn’t the author for you. I, personally, find him hilarious and think that his colorful words and wit add to his stories. This book actually reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s, Kitchen Confidential, in a sense as it speaks to people who work in the industry, as well as his use of foul language and sarcastic tone. I have never worked at a hotel specifically, but I have worked at coffee shops, clothing shops, country clubs, and a luxury guest ranch. If you have worked in the service industry before, it’s all pretty much the same: sex, drugs, parties, fights, hangovers, putting up with rude customers’ random sense of entitlement, and making that money. All in all, I recommend reading this book if you work in the industry. Actually, even if you don’t, I still recommend it.
My third book thus far into 2013 is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I have not yet seen the movie, and I was skeptical to read it at first. How could I relate to an introverted, fictional, high school boy? However, with an open mind and a big curiosity (am I the last person to read this book or see the movie?), I found it an easy and interesting read. I was surprised at the things the main character, Charlie, did, thought and experienced. This book, for me, wasn’t so much about relating to the story, but about sitting back and exploring someone else’s mind. The book is told through Charlie’s letters to someone, and the letters give this tale a really intimate and unique feel that maybe a regular narrative wouldn’t have been able to achieve.
I would recommend this book, especially for those still in high school. The issues that are discussed are real and relevant to teens throughout the decades, and it does not talk down to the younger generation readers or skim over circumstances that are sensitive, as some books tend to do when aimed at this age group.
I finished my third book at a coffee shop this past Sunday, and as I went to search in my notes to see which book to read next, I found that my list had been deleted. A year and a half worth of collecting titles and authors is just gone with a careless slip of a finger over the trash button – . Nnnnooooooo!!!!!! A little moment of panic, a moment of searching my entire iPod for the list, and then, finally, a moment of sadness and loss. Now I know to save it all on goodreads.com – won’t be making that mistake again.
Now that my list is gone, which book is your all time favorite? I need to rebuild!