Monday, July 26, 2010

Half Broke Horses

As my life is settling back down a little, I am falling back into my glorious routine of book reading. I think I have shared before, my love to read and snuggle up with a good book, far surpasses my love of the remote and reality TV. Despite a pretty steady love affair with the DVR and Housewives drama, I love to check out 4 or 5 books and read a chapter in each, decide on one, read until I feel like I can take a break, then choose a second to open and read until I need a break from the drama unfolding and then open a third and so on, taking breaks to nourish myself with meals in between.
Not long ago, I was in the library, the Ponce de Leon branch and a total stranger lady in a cardigan with glasses on a chain around her neck came up to me and said, "What is a really good book that you just LOVED that you have read lately"? At first I was a little surprised to have a stranger just come up and talk to me and then I just stood there with my mouth open as if she had asked me what is my favorite flavor of ice cream. Where do I begin? Then I started to blush a little as the last book I read was that kinda brainless one I bought in Publix- "Happens Every Day". If you want a morning of brainless, reality book reading, get it. But I could not tell the lady in the cardigan that I like brainless grocery store books. I tried to recall the last piece of true literary genius I had read, but by then she was handing me a stack of stuff off the New Books area and telling me what was good and how she didn't like smut. Oh well. So I withheld my suggestion of the new Emily Giffin book, which I have yet to read, and told her about Kaye Gibbons. But I felt so inept that I could not even think of a single book or title or anything good, and I wanted to ask if she had seen Bethenny Getting Married! or Top Chef, Washington, D.C., but I refrained.
I left her standing in front of the Fiction "G" and I left with her recommendation, Half Broke Horses. There is a second book by the author, Jeanette Walls, which is on my list The Glass Castle: A Memoir. But she insisted I read this one first. The book is a memoir of sorts. Written by Walls, but in first person, from her grandmother's perspective, based on stories her grandmother and mother verbally passed down. It is an interesting view into the world, about 100 years ago, set in the West. It reminded me a little of Granny Davis and her stories of riding bareback and life in the early 1900's and poverty and The Depression that came later on. It is all quite fascinating as it is all true and set in a day and place that I never knew. It makes me want to go out West and saddle up a horse and eat biscuits and jerky, even though I hate jerky. Walls grandmother is a fascinating, wild and crazy character, set in her ways and stubborn and a product of her upbringing. It is a very good read. Makes me want to write a similar "true-life novel", but not about me. That would be boring. Any volunteers?

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