I've been away from my computer for a while, hiking in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. It was a much-needed break to unplug and reconnect with nature. Though I didn't have internet and phone and Twitter, I couldn't, of course, do without books!
On the plane I read an ARC of an incredibly intriguing YA book called THE DARKEST MINDS, by Alexandra Bracken, that I'm sure will be a hit when it comes out in December. A bleak dystopian adventure, it didn't exactly match the "reconnect to nature" vibe of the trip, but I couldn't put it down, and couldn't stop thinking about it.
I was also lucky enough to read an ARC of Chris Howard's ROOTLESS, which I haven't quite finished yet. ROOTLESS is another dystopian, this one set in a future world where nothing can grow but engineered corn, and the main character builds trees out of metal and rubber scrap. Chris did an awesome guest post for my group blog Friday the Thirteeners where he wrote and performed a song about the book. It was so great to pair a book about a future without trees to hiking among the giant redwoods.
I also got the audiobook of Cheryl Strayed's WILD, a popular memoir about a woman finding herself on the Pacific Crest Trail. We ran into a lot of hikers on the trip who had read this or were reading it, and most loved it. Strayed is a great writer, and brave, and I love how emotionally honest the book is, but I'm starting to suspect memoirs aren't my favorite genre. I wasn't a huge fan of EAT, PRAY, LOVE either. I have so many friends who are going through divorce, or parents with cancer, or trying to discover or re-discover themselves, that I would rather spend my time listening to their stories and sympathizing with them than with a stranger. Memoirs that tell incredible tales of survival or mystery, like Jon Krakauer's INTO THIN AIR, are much more my style.