A Tear Jerker

     Well, this past weekend I took the first steps in completing my “Imagine the Impossibilities" challenge! As a reminder, I have undertaken to write my family history, although, after further review of the book, I realized it’s not so much a family history journal, as it is a “Story of a Lifetime” book. Either way this project is bookish . . . sort of.  

      So far my biggest hurdle to overcome is that I have to do all of the legwork for this challenge from across the country. Most of my family is on the west coast, while my husband, who recently retired from the military as a United States Navy Dog Handler (so bad ass!), and myself have been stationed in Pennsylvania for the past 4 years. So while I would love to get together with my family and pick their brains, I have been reduced to sending emails. Thank goodness my grandma is tech savvy. Go G-ma!

      Luckily, the organization for this task has been pretty much done for me. The book is broken down into sections and, logically, I decided to start with the first section which is aptly titled “Family Background.” The section contains a wide array of questions, some of which are very factually based such as: “Where did your family immigrate from?” (Let’s hear it for Poland!) and others which are more emotionally based like “Have your grandmother share her favorite memory of you” or “Share your family traditions.”

      I have already received some answers from my grandma, and even though I knew some of the answers already it’s nice to hear about them from her perspective. For instance, I didn’t realize that my grandparents started the tradition of giving their kids pajamas on Christmas Eve, something that my mom used to do and now something that my husband and I do. Just hearing little tidbits about my family is interesting I’m excited to learn more.

      As for my latest book, I just finished Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain and I’m split on whether I liked it or not.

     For starters, this isn’t the type of book that normally interests me. Not that I know exactly what type of book this was exactly . . . but it’s been out for awhile and I didn’t feel drawn to it. Instead, I bought the book as a stocking stuffer for my husband, and I can’t not read a book that’s just sitting around my house. So I read it and now I’m torn.

     Most people are pulled into the story because it’s narrated by a dog, Enzo, and he is able to give us his unique doggie perspective on all things. Okay, so that’s kind of neat. Unfortunately, some of the things going on around him include an owner who is a race car driver, which means that I was bored silly with race car analogies throughout the book, and other incredibly sad events. The result was a good story (save most of the racing crud) which I enjoyed, but really dreaded reading because I knew it was going to pull a cloud of doom and gloom over me. This also meant it took me twice as long to read as any other book that size because I knew it was going to drag me down. Really this was the Debbie Downer of books, mostly because Stein makes you care about the characters and when their lives turn south you become distressed for them.

      On the bright side, this was a well written, unique, and beautiful story. It even had a happy ending but, for me, it didn’t make up for a mostly sad book. So I guess I would recommend the book to those who have a hankering to get all weepy eyed.

     And onto the next . . . I’m currently reading Dan Wells' I Am Not a Serial Killer.


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