On New Year's Eve, we went to a party, well, several parties but one in particular where I hadn't seen many of the people in quite a long time. Since everyone knows I read, that seemed to be the topic of choice for conversations with me. Not that I'm complaining; I am always happy to talk about books, probably for far longer than the average person cares to discuss them. In any case, it turned out that many of the women had all recently read Cheryl Strayed's Wild and then gone to see the movie together. I have had the book sitting on my shelf unread since it was in hardback and couldn't really contribute anything to any conversations about it or the book versus the movie. So I resolved to go home and pull it off the shelf, especially if other friends of mine are interested in seeing the movie at some point. I read it and it led me to the next book I opened: Margaret Drabble's The Summer-Bird Cage, another book I had sitting on my shelf unread for years, literally years. The path from one to the other? Strayed reads Drabble's novel (among others, all the rest of whom I had already read) while hiking.
Do you ever read this way, meandering from book to book as things present themselves? My reading this past week has taken me all over the place. I took a look at the way we determine and classify mental illness in animals. I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail while facing my life and who I want to be. I was kidnapped in Haiti because of my economic class. I met up with the daughters of a group of women about whom I had previously read. And I am in England with the acerbic and yet funny younger sister whose older sister has just gotten married. Where have your reading travels taken you this past week?