Saturday, July 4, 2015

Books: Some Walking Away Books

I love beach reads in the summer so I am on the hunt for fast reads that are interesting and different. I just finished reading Lynne Spreen's latest book, Dakota Blues. I think it has been out for a while but I am just a little late getting on board.

The book made me think of how many books I have read about leaving...some characters simply going out the door and finding a new life, others start walking and forget to stop and some being taken against their will. It is a very interesting scenario for a story. Here are some of the books that came to mind.
Latest Anne Tyler book:
A Spool of Blue Thread
  • Dakota Blues, Lynne Spreen. This is the story of a busy 50 year old unappreciated HR director finding a life after she is fired for being too old. Spreen has found a wonderful vehicle for telling the story in a 90 year old eccentric neighbor of her late mother and a very old RV. 
  • Earthly Possessions, Ann Tyler. The character, Charlotte Emery thought she had found a solution for what she saw as a dull life...she gave most of her earthly possessions away without her husband noticing. Then she wrote a note and left. She went to the bank to get some money and a bank robber took her hostage. This one was so funny in a way that only Tyler can be funny. Loved it!
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Nina George. If you are retired, thinking about retiring or just want to read a very good book, this is the one for you!
  • Last Day for Rob Rhino, Kathleen O'Donnell. I've told you about this one before but I keep coming back to the delicious disfunctionality of the characters in this book. Picture Shirley McClain as the Prada carrying bald woman and Danny Devito as Rob Rhino, porn star. It is so much fun.
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi (nonfiction). When I looked up "books about leaving" on Amazon, this one came up. I had forgotten what a wonderful book this was. I loved the story from beginning to end. It was the ultimate story of be careful what you wish for....
  • Magic  Fishing Panties, Kim Dalferes. New book out in August but available for preorder now.
I have a couple others on my kindle I think you  might like:
  • Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, Daniel Smith. This book is hilarious and poignant all at the same time. The author suffers from an anxiety disorder AND has a fabulous sense of humor. I suppose the humor is what helps him survive. Honestly, you will love it!
  • The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain. I love a good travel book but this one is so wonderful. I read the free version online but I will buy it one of these days. I could only think that not that much has changed since Mark Twain traveled from New England to the Holy Land...well apart from the mode of travel. People are still the same. I loved it and, yes I did laugh!
Now I want to read some of the books upon which some of my favorite Netflix shows are based. Anne Cleeve's Vera Stanhope Series and Henning Menkell's Wallander Series are on my list. 

I am currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt. It is the Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction in it soon. My only comment is that you should NOT read the flyleaf or the back of the paper back version. Just read and watch as the story unfolds. There is a very good reason why Pulitzer Prize winner are so widely read.

What are you reading these days? Leave a comment! :)


Be sure to check out Midlife Boulevard's summer list!


  1. Thank you for these recommendations! Several of the books are on my TBR list, and I only wish there were more hours in the day! Right now I've ventured into the first book in the Game of Thrones series, and though fantasy isn't my usual genre I'm really enjoying it.

    1. Even though we are retired I still do not read as much as I would like. As I get older my eyes do not last as long as my desire to read does. They get very tired of looking! :)

  2. Thanks so much for the shout out Barbara. "Last Day for Rob Rhino" is one I want to get to before Labor Day.

    1. You are going to love it. Veronica does a wonderful job of making the book entertaining.

  3. Anything by Elizabeth Berg. I've read her Tapestry of Fortunes twice. :)

  4. My most recent favorite is Boys in the Boat, a true story about farm boys in Washington state during the depression who joined the crew at UW and went to the Olympics. Wonderful story about grit, determination and survival.

    1. I think this one needs to be added to the list too. Thank you for the tip.


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