Wild Tales by Graham Nash (paperback)
I’m a huge lover of biographies and even though much of Wild Tales takes place before I was born (I know, that’s a long time ago), it reveals much of western culture in the sixties and seventies: sex, drugs and rock and roll. The book follows Nash’s life chronologically from Nash’s early days with The Hollies to the chaos and inspiration of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to present.
Nash’s music career begins in England in the 50’s. The Beatles were just starting out and so were The Hollies, Nash’s first band. Growing up in a poor family, Nash quit school at sixteen to live his dream with no repercussions from his parents.
The Hollies, to Nash’s surprise, become successful quite quickly, but Nash soon became dissatisfied. Frustrated with the constraints of The Hollies sound and a chance meeting with Dave Crosby, are the catalysts that propel Nash to the US and the formation of the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Much of the book recalls the tumultuous times the group went through, sprinkled with songs you know so well.
What comes through in this story is Nash’s own unique voice. His love of music, songwriting and his friends come through on every page. Keep your iTunes open so you can listen to the songs of your past. Marrakesh Express and Teach Your Children Well ran through my mind so often during my reading of this one.
Healthy After 55 by Julie Luedtke (ebook)
For many of us, our 50’s are time of change: our kids have left the house, we’re creeping up on retirement and deciding what we’ll do next. Healthy After 55 is full of practical tips and exercises to help women determine what the next chapter of their lives is going to be about. Whether it’s health, fitness or dreams that you’ve put on hold this book focuses on the future (and there’s a lot of future left to enjoy) and guides readers to take small but important steps on their journey. The author knows what she’s talking about. She’s in her seventies and runs marathons. She’s also a certified coach for this specific age group.
Iron Flower by Laurie Forest (paperback)
Book Club Read
Laurie Forest came on my radar with her first book The Black Witch, mostly for the uproar it caused on Twitter within the YA community. Anytime someone tells me not to read a book, you can bet I’m going to pick it up. Censure of books is high on my list of things I don’t tolerate.
My book club read The Black Witch last year and we were excited to read The Iron Flower this year. The story of Elloren continues as she gathers the most unlikely cohorts to battle the injustice that has prevailed for centuries within the fantasy world of the Eastern and Western Realms, at the same time struggling against the legacy and prophecy of her grandmother, The Black Witch.
Forest does an excellent job of immersing the reader in this fictional world. There are numerous parallels to Harry Potter (a drink similar to polyjuice potion) and the Hunger Games (Coriolanus Snow becomes Vogel, who also brings to mind, Voldemorte). While I tore through The Black Witch, The Iron Flower seemed to drag a bit in the middle and for all the danger the characters were in, their enemies seemed to be unnaturally absent. If you’re into fantasy this might be the next one to add to your TBR.