Reading rainbow

After my explosion of negativity at the world (well okay, just at Hungry Girl) yesterday, I thought a little feel-good post would be appropriate tonight.  And nothing says feel-good like a good book!

If you read Marley and Me and secretly enjoyed it (*raises hand!*), then you’ll love The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

The basic premise: The story of a guy, as narrated by his dog.  Seriously.  I know – it has so much potential to be bad. But it’s actually really good.  It’s heartwarming without being sappy and thought-provoking without being overly intellectual.  And it’s a super easy read – it would pair nicely with a lounge chair and a Pina Colada.

I actually think Stein does a superb job of walking a fine line with this novel.  Personally, I love books that make me think a little bit, but I don’t love trudging through thousands of pages of heavy prose.  Like, Anna Karenina was great, but I really had to force myself to stick with it.

And on the flip side, most books that are “easy reading” are kinda vapid and useless – I’m looking at you, Chick Lit.  Not that Chick Lit isn’t fun to read once in a while, but those books are so utterly forgettable.

Then there’s that sweet spot, right in the middle – the prose is simple and fluid, but not shallow.  I’d put Life of Pi by Yann Martel in this sweet-spot bucket as well.  And The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

The true test, though?  The hubs loved The Art of Racing in the Rain as well. Four thumbs up from the EDR household. 🙂

Today’s EAT: I give myself a D tonight in terms of healthy cooking/eating. D for delivery.

Sometimes it happens, though:

Patsy’s Pizza. NYC institution.  Those crispy pepperoni discs.  That sauce.  There are no words.

On a more interesting note, have you tried these Trader Joe’s Chili-Lime Cashews??

I’m sure I’m behind the ball on this one, but holy hell.  These are good.

To be honest, I usually don’t buy nut snacks because I tend to overdo it.  These TJ’s nuts, though, are so packed with flavor that it’s impossible to inhale them like I would regular cashews.  Majorly satisfying snack with just a few of these.  Major win.

Today’s DRINK: We’re pinkin’ it tonight with our pizza.

Umm…hmm.  I’m trying to think of something nice to say about this Mas de la Dame Rose, but I keep getting stuck on one word: Franzia.


Today’s RUN: Five miles in CP.  Coach TR is constantly reminding us of the importance of running on soft surfaces – which isn’t easy to do in downtown NYC.  But today I had to go up to the UES anyway, so I figured it was a good chance to get a nice bridle path run in.

Warm-up – 0.5 miles – 4:30 – 9:00 pace
Bridle Path long loop – 2.5 miles – 21:00 – 8:24 pace
Reservoir loop – 1.7 miles – 13:15 – 7:48 pace
Cool down – 0.5 miles – 4:15 – 8:40 pace
Total – 5.2 miles – 43:05 – 8:17 pace

Achilles was a little dicey.  Stiff and sore, as usual.  Mehhhhh.  Clearly this little issue isn’t over like I’d hoped it would be.

Planning some serious self-diagnostics while I’m at work tomorrow, resulting in a new pair of shoes that hopefully feel a little better. 😦

I’m bummed that these Ravennas aren’t working out, because I love they way they feel and fit.  Oh well.

Today’s QUESTION: What book have you recently read and loved? I liked The Art of Racing in the Rain so much that I’m gonna do a mini-giveaway.  I’ll pick a comment randomly and pop my gently-used copy in the mail to the “winner” – assuming you’re ok with sending me your mailing address.  (I won’t send telemarketers or Census workers to you door – I promise!)  Giveaway ends…let’s say, tomorrow night. 🙂

(Really, I am thrilled to pass this book on because it kind of killed me to pay $15 for it at a stupid airport bookstore and only have two people read it!)

(And speaking of giveaways – the Sweet Muse Brownie giveaway ends tomorrow too!  So get on that one if you haven’t yet.  Giveaway madness!)


28 responses to “Reading rainbow

  1. I love books that make me think just a little. Room for interpretation, if you will. I can’t remember the last time I read something along those lines. Lately, its been all about textbooks and blogs. 🙂

  2. I’m not done with it yet, but I’m reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingoslver and I LOVE it. I want to move to a farm right now!

  3. Yes, I like little easy reading classic stories that make me think…like ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Choelho, or ‘Siddhartha’ by Hermann Hesse…or ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, a classic by the real Dr. Seuss. 🙂

    Okay, here is the link to my ‘Favorite Summer Treats’ KartMe Kart.
    See…if this old man can do it, anyone can!
    Those brownies really do look delicious.

  4. I LOVED that book! I had borrowed it from the library and had to go out and buy it as soon as I was done b/c I knew it would be one of the rare ones I would want to read again. The only thing that kinda stunk was the fact that my dog seemed to want to cuddle up next to me every time I sat down to read it. Didn’t help me hold in the tears, but maybe I’m just a total sap:-).

  5. OOh! I would LOVE to read it! I too hate shelling out big bucks for books. My family used to swap books all the time which was great becuase I rarely had to pay for a good read. But then they all broke my heart and got Kindles. Sorry, I just don’t see the point…. Anyway, I’m now regulated to the public library for entertainment. As for the best book I’ve read lately? Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum definitely fits in that “sweet spot” category. It’s superb!

  6. I’ve heard really good things about that book! It sounds suspect (dog narrator? Like Fluke?), but I trust your judgement. I’m currently reading Girl w/the Dragon Tattoo (yeah, you heard of it?) which is good fun. I’m also reading some short stories by Michael Chabon, my fake boyfriend and fave author.

  7. Oh! The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time is one of my favorites! It really got my “sweet spot” like you say 🙂 My reading lately has been a mix of chick lit (beach reads!) and food books (Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan), but recently I was cajoled into the Twilight series (I know…) but I seriously can’t book the first book down. Ah!

    Now I really want to read The Art of Racing in the Rain 🙂

    Hope your Achilles feels better today!

  8. sorry i missed yesterday’s discussion on hungry girl! i agree that it’s unfair that she became “famous” and made lots of money promoting an extremely unhealthy lifestyle, but hey – she found a niche (hello america’s diet obsession) and went with it – kind of wish i could do that!

    i agree with you about those books just in between beach reads and “quality” literature, whatever that means. life of pi is definitely there. this book sounds like it is too – i wanna win! 🙂

    currently reading the bluest eye for school. toni morrison might fit into this genre too – easy read with many notable this-writing-ain’t-half-bad moments. looking forward to doing my own reading thang once summer semester is over!

  9. I think you are a reader after my own heart! I am actually in the middle of Anna Karenina as we speak, but it’s just not a very “summery” ready, and it’s tough to make time for summer reading in general. The Art of Racing in the Rain looks like it would be awesome – if I don’t win yours, I think I’ll look for a used copy on Amazon:) Hope you find some “Cinderella shoes” soon!

  10. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolve is a great. But, even though it might be a little hard to chug through for a summer read, one of my “life changers” is also by her: The Poisonwood Bible.

    Also, I like the Farmer John cookbook (or any cookbook for that matter – I read ’em like novels!). And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that whenever I start hankering for a sweet treat, Nigella Lawson can be relied upon to deliver a good (calorie-laden) recipe.

  11. I’m also in the middle of Anna Karenina, and I’m really loving it. I do agree that it’s not the easiest reading, and I don’t pick it up every day. I also read Sophie’s Choice recently. It was a great novel, but extremely depressing. And I read My Lobotomy at BN the other day — also a sad choice. Perhaps I should consider something a bit merrier for my next choice?

  12. I couldn’t agree more! Chick lit is fun for a lazy day at the beach but sometimes you want something with a little more depth.

    Speaking of which, I just finished reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and absolutely loved it! The novel, narrated by two black maids and a white cotton heiress, takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. The writing (in dialect, for the most part) is superb and yet, it’s a very easy – and thoughtful – read. Definitely check it out!

    Another recent read was “Open,” Andre Agassi’s memoir. It’s not exactly high literature, but again, I was completely enamored. You can feel the tension, compassion and raw emotion flowing through his life. Fascinating. I suppose it helps that I have an athlete crush on him…

    Hope all is well in NYC! I’ll be up there later this summer for a playdate with my Indians.

  13. These books are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but I love the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (the “True Blood” books). I’ve read all but the most recent release, which I think is book #10. The books are fun, easy to read, and a great escape. Anyone who loves True Blood will totally enjoy these books.

  14. I would love to read that book! I was just on vacation so it was the lazy easy beach reading for me. I read 1-5 of the Stephanie Plum series. I enjoyed them!

  15. I’m currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and starting to really get into it. It was slow going the first 200 or so pages but now it’s getting good!

    The Art of Racing in the Rain is actually on my Paperbackswap wish list and I’ve been wanting it for a while now. I’d love to receive it from you! 🙂

  16. Thanks for the recommendation on the book, and the dinner insipriation as usual!

  17. Water for Elephants is a great great book. I saw the book you read when it first came out at Starbucks and seriously thought about buying it but I balk at how expensive new release books are now. But I would love to read it!!

  18. I’ve heard others say that was a great book as well so I’d love to read it.

    I just starting to read The Help, which I’ve heard from a TON of people is a great, great book.

  19. Smile When You’re Lying – Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson is a fantastic travel/summer read. It’s hilarious (I actually laughed out loud several times – no doubt disturbing other beach goers with my snorts and stifled giggles) and will strike a chord with anyone who’s done any traveling.

  20. Sarah’s Key

    and a great site that i have found….
    (i’m sure authors/publishers/booksellers don’t love it, but it’s a great way to trade books. you only pay $2.50 (or so) to mail the book to someone else.

  21. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, a moving book about friends growing up, apart, and back together. Made me cherish my friendships more.

  22. I loved the Art of Racing in the Rain, more for the concept of writing from the dog’s perspective. And I heart dogs.

    I own the book so I don’t need a copy, but the latest summer read for me was The Piano Teacher. It was just ok. Worth a library rental, not to buy.

  23. New town, new library, and now a new book to read. Thanks for the suggestion.

    My favorite book of late is The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. This was the book that really got me thinking about the language of food — how we talk about it, how we write about it, how we share it … IMHO it a great story that was beautifully written.

  24. Thanks for the book suggestion, it sounds interesting. I used to read a few books a wk b/c my commute was so long on the bus but now it’s only 10 mins each way so haven’t been reading as much (plus haven’t been able to get into anything lately)

  25. I recently read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and loved it. It is truly an amazing novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

  26. I’m tardy for the party but I wanna throw out a recommendation for (I think that’s the name, google it) you sign up, list ur books, then the more you list the more credits you get. You only pay to ship your books, the ones you order come for free! The selection isn’t complete, or always very current, but its a great way to read books thatve been out for a while but you doubt you’d ever read them twice (no more airport bookstore guilt). If you end up loving/liking the book you don’t have to relist it, and can keep it forever. I highly recommend it 🙂

  27. Stacy Van Pelt

    I just finished Songs For The Missing which was pretty good. If you’re lucky, maybe I’ll bring it to Nashville!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s