Today's prompt for the Blogtember Challenge didn't really inspire me, so I thought I'd take the free day to share a few of the books I've read recently. It wasn't until I gathered them together here that I realized they are all memoirs. I do that sometimes. I enjoy memoirs and biographies very much, but I tend to stick to those written by and about entertaining people. I have to force myself through political and historical biographies. I didn't have to slog through any of these.
Who I Am, by Pete Townshend
I'm not a huge Who fan, but even though I wasn't around in the 60s, I still love reading about the rock 'n roll legends of that time. Townsend is an artist, and he's a good writer as well. I got a bit bored at times with the technical talk - he could go on and on about amplifiers and sound equipment setups. He was also very careful whenever he named names - he seemed to go out of his way to be complimentary of everyone. That's not a bad thing, but it makes me wonder if he's being completely honest. Overall, I enjoyed this book.
"Miss Pamela" is the most famous groupie of all time, and the inspiration behind Penny Lane in Almost Famous. It's written around a lot of her old diary entries, and it therefore sounds just like a very immature teenage girl much of the time. The name-dropping and backstage stories are interesting and fun - Chris Hillman, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Waylon Jennings, Jim Morrison...and the list goes on and on. Overall, though, it felt a little sad to me. This was a girl who was so desperate to be a part of the scene, and she really wanted to do something creative, but she could never seem to find her way. In the meantime, she wasn't just having fun with these guys - she was falling in love, having fun, and then getting hurt by them over and over and over. I was happy, though, that she did eventually find her happy ending.
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, by Nora Ephron
This is a very lightweight book, and it actually reminds me a lot of reading a blog. Each little chapter reads like a blog post, and they are all funny and honest. A lot of them are topics that I can relate to - aging, and maintaining our looks, and love for New York city. But there were some parts that I simply couldn't - Nora lives in a richer world, and she has a love for handbags that I will not pretend to understand. It's a quick and fun read.
Ball Four, by Jim Bouton
I'm finishing this one up now, and I'm laughing on nearly every page. I can't believe I hadn't read this book before. It's one of the most famous baseball books of all time, and deservedly so. It's wonderful. You just can't help but laugh at the childish things that grown men do when they are together. It's also a really interesting perspective on what it's like to live playing baseball - the dreams and desire, the uncertainty, the impact on your family, the competition, the motivation, and again back to the dreams.