Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Pattern to My Reading?

I may have beat this thread like a dead horse, but I must say I read a lot. A LOT. I've always loved to read and every school vacation found me at the library with the children in tow where I'd usually have books for me on hold so I didn't worry about them running crazy and tearing down the shelves while I perused the stacks as I am wont to do. Now, I've got my NookColor and Kindle and my life is set. Reading is not only at my fingertips, but most of it is free and I can get the library on my Nook as well. I gobble no less than three books a week - maybe more depending on what my weekend looks like and yes, I keep a spreadsheet. This last, however, is a recent habit since I found myself grabbing books at the library in a hurry only to realize I had already read them. I posted a few weeks ago about having read and been affected deeply by The Things They Carried. I still maintain this book as well as Heart of Darkness which I read in college will be two of the few books I'll carry with me throughout my life. When I finished The Things They Carried, my team teacher recommended a book that another of our colleagues recommended to him.

The full title is Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.

The writing wasn't as moving or as literary as The Things They Carried. The language was blunt, dry and lacking in symbolism, extended metaphors and other generically accepted literary elements, but it wasn't supposed to embody those devices. This is an autobiography and not fiction as the former is billed.

What it does is give you an unparalelled account of the training of a Navy SEAL and then the amazing parallel of how that training is called to action in the wilds of Afghanistan - a combat situation I'd never considered for Navy SEALs.

Whereas The Things They Carried was heart-wrenching and desperate to define and give meaning to a marginally forgotten war, Lone Survivor garnered some of my ire for the depreicating language used towards the enemy, but overwhelmingly inspired me to comprehend and acknowledge that failure is not an option, regarldess of circumstance, in a war that's of the here and now.

I've entered into a reading pattern that's far and away from my previous regiment of drivel with the occasional classic thrown in. I'm better for it.

Any recommendations?


  1. I think all of our SEALs have been to AFG for at least one tour now, amazing how things change. One of our friends is on his 3rd time there as a SEAL, and my brother flies for a unit that drops them from their aircraft over there, I might have to give this one a look!

    Check into 'The Men Who Sank the U.S. Navy'... a whole other side to things, covering Tailhook, the rash of CO firings, etc - I found it slightly amusing since I was in the Navy when many of these things happened, but to the civilian side, some of the things are unbelieveable that have happened or are always happening in the higher ranks.

  2. I'm goin out on a limb after that post, but if you haven't read it already (I'm betting you have) here goes: "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. It's about the discovery of a WWII sub off the coast of New Jersey and the divers quest to identify it. Excellent read. Let me know if you like it.

  3. Isn't technology great! I read more than enough for work, but I use my Ipod for audio books...makes my commute fly by. Plus I can get the books from the library. Isn't the library great too! Sorry, no recommendations. My tastes go to the totally non-fiction, and you'd probably hate my recommendations.

  4. Vic, Erin, I haven't read either! I'll see what I can do about picking those up this week.

    Cheryl, fiction, nonfiction - it's all good!

  5. I'm sold then. My library has it. I'll fetch it when I drop this last one I'm now reading for a kid is done.

  6. I heard today that Kindle now lends library books. Happy reading!

  7. Yes, they're planning on starting that as well. The nook has been doing that for some time. When the kindle starts - I won't come up for air.