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Books - What I've Been Reading

The reading has been slowed down a bit as I tackled two LARGE books these last six weeks or so. The first was Espn_those_guys_hvae_all_the_fun_2011_a_pESPN: Those Guys Have All The Fun by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales. I have watched enough SportsCenter since being married to Kurt to appreciate the sports channel and was curious about its personalities and history.

I'll admit right here, I didn't finish it. I got about 2/3 of the way through (it's 784 pages) and was done. The story is fascinating, no doubt, but after a while it got kind of tiring to read. The style in which it's put together is different in that it is not a straight up narrative written by the two authors. Instead it is a collection of interviews that have been broken up to tell the cable channel's history from the beginning. So you read the different perspectives of all the significant players in chopped up form. It took a little getting used to and sometimes it's broken up by a comment by the authors to provide context or to set up the next series of quotes. I found this style a bit distracting and herky jerky. If you are at all interested in sports and are a fan of ESPN, then it's really for you. There are so many ups and downs, so many hilarious moments and many interesting dramatic moments. Just cuz I didn't finish it doesn't mean it's not worth getting.

Franzen100823_2_198Next up I read another long one (500 pages this time):  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. It wasn't something I was dying to read but a friend loaned it to me and I thought what the heck. I had read The Corrections years ago and found it well written, but for the life of me I can't tell you what it was about other than a family with issues. (hmmmm, how many novels does that describe?) I think I enjoyed this book more than The Corrections, but still felt quite distant from the characters and the action. I always looked forward to reading it, but not in a very passionate way. There were a few nights when I stayed up later than normal reading and found it hard to put down, but more because the "action" had more momentum, not because I was emotionally attached. The guy can write, there is no question, but in a few years will I remember what the story was about? Hard to tell.

I just finished reading Freedom last night, so I'm not sure what I'll open tonight. I might start The Wave by Susan Casey (about giant ocean waves and "the surfers and scientists who seek them out") or maybe find something else I bought a whle back and stashed on a shelf. I'll begin my search after dinner...