What I’m reading

What I’m Reading. Or actually, some of what I’ve read this year. I had set a goal to read two books a month, and while I’m falling very short of that goal, I’m not doing terrible. I’m much better at reading than I am writing about what I’m reading. But here’s some of that anyway. Enjoy!

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

Dawnie Walton

Why I read it: This book was recommended in one of my Facebook Book Clubs. I always want to read along with others but I can never keep a schedule.

Synopsis: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev chronicles the lives of fictional band mates Opal Jewel and Nev Charles from their origin in the early 70’s to their final performance in 2016. 

Reaction: This was one of the most immersive novels I’ve ever read. It’s a whole experience. The story is told through an interview, with commentary included from recognizable musicians from the 70’s through today, which gives authenticity to the music duo. I actually googled them to see if they were real because I wanted to hear their music. This book challenged me and made me ask myself uncomfortable questions.  I love it when a book holds up a mirror and shows you an ugly truth about yourself. Am I truly willing to walk the talk of an ally? I have a lot of work to do.

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

Dave Grohl

Why I read it: I’m a Foo Fighters fan from way back. Not a superfan, I mean, I’ve never seen them live, but I do enjoy their music and what I’ve seen of Dave Grohl in the media, he just seems like a genuine great guy. That, and I had some credits on Audible so I got it for free.

Synopsis: Stories from the life of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

Reaction: Dave Grohl’s life is infinitely more interesting than my own. But to hear him tell his own story is like listening to one of your guy friends telling you about some incredible dream he is having. Like he can’t believe it either, and the whole time you’re both just like, “What? No way! You’re kidding! This really happened??” Such a fun listen. The part that stuck with me the most, I think, is how he knew who he was from the time he was a child, and his mother loved him enough to let him go and it made all the difference in the world to him. I was more interested in the parts about his mother than any of the rock and roll stories. I would love to read a book by Dave Grohl’s mother. Does she have a book? The Nirvana days were interesting as they were part of my high school soundtrack, and of course I remember where I was when I heard that Curt Cobain had died. And during the time I was listening to this book, Taylor Hawkins sadly and unexpectedly passed away, which added a deeper layer of heartbreak to the story. Overall, the thoughts I had throughout were, “Wow. What a life. What an amazing life.” I loved this book.

The School For Good Mothers

Jessamine Chan

Why I read it: ScaryMommy book club recommendation.

Synopsis: Frida Liu is a mother who had a “very bad” parenting day, leaving her toddler home alone for two hours, which results in calls to the police and CPS, and eventually lands Frida in a mothering reform school. 

Reaction: This book was dark and infuriating. At first I found it difficult to sympathize with Frida, because she did something very bad. But as the story developed I was surprised that she hadn’t flown into a murderous rage or jumped off a bridge. It really brought home the burdens women are asked to carry and how quick we are to punish women rather than support them. As I was reading the stories of the mothers in the reform school I was reminded of the times I left my kid in the car while I went in to pay for gas and hoped no one called the police on me. Or how I let my kids play outside unsupervised and I hope no one calls the police on me. Or I let my kid ride his bike to the store and I hope no one calls the police on me. Good grief, this world we live in.