Iceland to LA with a lot of ground in between

January 25- February 1

Hillbilly Elegy

A colleague lent me this book, which I was eager to read given the reviews suggesting it would provide insight into Trump voters’ perspectives. The author is a Yale-educated lawyer who was raised in Appalachia and Ohio. He takes us through his youth, and we begin to understand the history and life choices affecting his extended family in both places. Parts of it highlighted the brutality of living in poverty, and it highlights the real and difficult challenges facing families trying to move up in the world, no matter how far away they move, geographically, from their origins. There were tears in my eyes before I finished the Introduction—and the story and writing were gripping from the start. Well worth the read, although I still have a lot of questions about those voters.

Burial Rites

Set in historic Iceland, this novel tells the story of a servant woman accused of murder, and waiting for execution by beheading. It is as gruesome and sad as you might expect, winding the reader into her life story, and the lives of the farm family hosting her until the execution date. This story provided amazing insights into how life must have been in the rugged hills of Iceland where farms were far apart, travel was difficult, and days were cold and dark.

The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga

January 22nd was the day I finished my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course, so, better late than never, I started reading about how to create my own yoga business. It’ll start with me teaching friends at home, but at least I have some ideas about expansion in the future if I decide to go that route.

Angle of Investigation

Trapped on the train with my other book finished, I delved into the Kindle to find something that would suit my unsettled mood. I always love some Michael Connelly—intelligent crime fiction with compelling stories. This was three shorter stories in one e-book, and I think I had read it before, maybe 5 years ago. I enjoyed them all again, and it fit my reading needs.

Soul Mates: A novel

A very pragmatic friend of mine recommended this—I was surprised by her choice, and the recommendation, until I had read it all. She described it as a story about a married guy who falls in love with his yoga teacher. I was reading it on Kindle, so I got a lot of Romance recommendations on the home screen during the read, but the book was not at all what I expected. More like a detective story, it focuses on the journey of his ex-wife to find out what happened to him after he comes to a bad end. There is lots of yoga—with a really interesting (and maybe a tiny bit snarky, regarding the husband’s yoga experience) perspective. The ending surprised me, and I was pretty engaged in the story all the way through.

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