My baby brother Carl suggested I post relevant book reviews on my blog. He’s a smart boy.

I love to read. Mostly books that will help me in my consulting, speaking, writing, musing. But every once in a while I like to read something just for fun. 

Soooo here goes….

I just finished reading…

skateboardsWhen Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood

by Said Sayrafiezadeh

I was in high school in the late 1970s. I attended an all girls International Catholic boarding school. Several of my schoolmates had fled Iran because their families feared the Shah.

This book is a true story of an only child being raised in the US by an absent Iranian father and a profoundly depressed Jewish-American mother who was devoted to the Socialist’s Workers Party.

I picked it up because many are claiming we’re on our way to becoming a Socialist nation. I honestly have to admit that I don’t really understand Socialism and thought this book would be a great primer. I still don’t know enough about it to have intelligent dinner conversation…but this book was amazing.

Rather than being “political” it really was more about being an only child, and the loneliness and neglect he experienced watching parents LOVE a movement more than their own kid.

He describes a closet in their tiny apartment stacked so full of the publication the Militant that they cannot close the door. He hesitates inviting friends over because he’s afraid they’ll think he’s a communist. One boring afternoon he decides to put them in chronological order. He describes the musty smell and brittle covers and the weight of the stacks in such detail you just ache for him.

It’s a true story, and does not have a tidy little ending. Not to say I’m anti-happy-ending, I just like to keep it real sometimes. And this book is real.

I would give this book 9 flying pigs out of a possible 10.

 

The Little Book by Selden Edwards

51GLpwFMGIL._SS500_It’s not so little, 416 pages and weighing in at 1.2 pounds unless you download on your Kindle (like I did) then it weighs whatever IT weighs.

A complete stranger in a bar that thought my Kindle was a large cell phone for people who had trouble seeing – recommended this book. “It’ll change your life,” he said. 

Well, I don’t know about that, but it definitely was a read I had a tough time putting down. It’s kind of like Forrest Gump meets Back to the Future. But with a more historic, artistic bent rather than, romantic. Well, there was some romance, but it was more about Vienna in the late 1800′s. 

I learned a ton about the history in a fun way. The book goes elegantly back and forth between modern day and historic 1897 Vienna. My favorite part – when the “time traveler” meets Sigmund Freud. 

As one reviewer states: “Edwards moves through his chronology-scrambled fantasy with such earnestness and nostalgia that he smothers potential comedy.”

Put another way – each chapter made me say “Damn! I didn’t see that coming..” It was a wild ride. Loved it!

Thanks stranger in a bar.

I definitely give this 9 out of 10 possible flying pigs!