I have been sick with some evil cold/sore throat/sinus virus for the past 5 days. So I stayed home from work and finished reading Grayson and started A Gift from the Sea, two of the books my mother gave me for my birthday. Grayson is a memoir of open water swimmer Lynne Cox. During her swimming exercises, Lynne finds a lost baby gray whale who was separated from his mother off the coast of Seal Beach California. Lynne and the gray whale, Grayson, swim together looking for his mother. A really nice story with a happy ending, but had a lot of unnecessary writing and wordy descriptions. This book would have worked better as a children’s story with pictures, because Lynne also swims with tuna, common dolphins, green sea turtles, giant sunfish, pacific white sided dolphins and bat rays. Those illustrations could be so neat in a children’s book.
I just started reading Gift From The Sea this morning. So far I’m not really digging it. My mom is a fan of self help/inspirational books, but myself – not so much. But apparently its a classic (its the 50th anniversary edition) so I’ll give it a chance.
I’ve been looking through other book blogs on wordpress and blogspot and found the Ravenous Reader to be really well-written and thought provoking. The Ravenous Reader asked,
Are we drawn to the books we need to read? Have I been shunning my favorite mysteries and biographies in favor of novels about motherhood and family relationships? Is my subconscious mind attracting me toward books that might reveal some insight I need to hear?
Interesting questions. I’ve never really viewed in reading like this. I think that I read mostly to learn. One summer during college I was spending a lot of time with some radical anarchists and I was disillusioned with the whole U.S. mainstream system and plowed through Howard Zinn’s A People’s History in a few days. My boyfriend is Mexican and I am not, so I find myself interested in a lot of Latin American literature and history, in an effort to learn about a culture that I know little about. Books I read reflect my interests and issues that are important to me: public health, nature, environment, urban planning, history, etc. But is my subconscious mind attracting me towards books that will reveal something I need to hear? I’m not sure. I think my conscious and subconscious mind are on the same page most of the time. I know that avoid certain books on heavy subjects when I’m not in the mood. For example, I cannot read Invisible Man after reading James Baldwin. I have to read some chick lit after reading In Cold Blood. I need to have a balance in what I read. When sucky things are happening I want to read fun entertaining books. When my grandmother died in November, I didn’t want to read at all.
These two books that my mother gave me I would have never picked myself. I know I would never read them if she had not given them to me. Will they reveal something to me, something I would not have realized if she didn’t pick them for me? We’ll see.