Oh, what a summer it has been...
When I was a kid, I really enjoyed fantasy literature. When the Harry Potter series came out, however, I never read them. When I moved into adult literature, I left my love of fantasy behind- it seemed like "grown-up" fantasies never made me believe the way the children's books did (Lord of the Rings was an exception). After a while, I began craving a good children's fantasy. This summer, I read the first Harry Potter satisfied that craving. My only regret is that I didn't read them when I was younger: then I could have grown up with the stories like so many other 20 somethings.
I read both of A.J Jacobs' books: The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All. I can't pick which is my favorite. All I know is that they are funny, informative and unique. I love non-fiction that gives you a smorgasborg of related facts, that twist and turn through a labyrinth of information- it's not everyone's cup of tea but it is my nirvana.
My least favorite book of the summer was The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant- I love The Red Tent and figured this would be as good. Instead, it seemed to me like nothing much happened. The characters were interesting, but I felt as if she did nothing with them, except move them around the town. Maybe I will come back to it later...
I am winding up the summer with a pile of biographies several books deep. I am reading The Autobiography of Miles Davis which was ghostwritten by Quincy Troupe and Robert Kennedy by Evan Thomas, but since I own those, I am reading them very slowly. Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera was part of the pile and I finished it last week- I learned quite a bit about the history of Mexico.
Now, I add On Writing by Stephen King (I picked it from the library shelf on a whim- far different from any writing book I have ever read and so good) and Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama which is also engaging- I think a good biography makes the people in it as engaging as characters in fiction would be. President Obama's Grandparents are funny people and truly normal. His mother is sweet, interesting, intelligent- she seems like a real heroine.
The best biography so far is Ron Powers biography of Mark Twain- I love Mark Twain anyway, but this book was the best biography I have ever read. At the bottom of my biography pile is Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein- which I can't wait to start.
Can anybody recommend a good biography?