hippie

Its Friday so its time to talk about the books we’ve read this week. And by ‘we’ I mean me. But feel free to comment and let me know what book you are reading!

Last week I finished reading Hippie Boy by Ingrid Ricks. It’s not actually about a boy. It’s about young Ingrid looking like what her father called a “Hippie Boy” with her long hair. I could totally imagine a barefoot girl with long messy hair, running around with a sassy attitude!

Growing up in a dysfunctional  home, Ingrid’s stepfather Earl, a Vietnam vet, was controlling and mean, her mother was so committed to her Mormon religion that she didn’t dare stand up to Earl. Her own father was  a traveling salesman who drove around the midwest selling tools. Ingrid’s best times seemed to be with her charming dad, on the open road and staying at Holidays Inns along the way. Her vagabond father wasn’t always terribly reliable and his business seemed a little shady. But you can certainly tell he loves his children.

My heart broke for Ingrid as she and her siblings suffered at the hand of Earl. Her mother was too focused on their eternal salvation to stand up to this man. The best times for Ingrid was when she hustled tools with her father and the way Ingrid writes, you feel like you are driving along on the highway with them.

What a great memoir, so well written! If you love a good coming of age story, this is perfect!

In the mood for a giant book that will take you several days of commitment to get through? I read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch this week too. It took me a long time to get through it, but her writing style is excellent. At first the story reminded me of a favorite book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Its nothing like that novel though!

The Goldfinch clocks in at a hefty 784 pages which came to about 2200 on ibooks (on the ipad).

The premise is a thirteen year old young boy, Theo is the victim of a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the explosion and confusion that follows, he takes a famous painting called The Goldfinch. Having this in his possession haunts him for years and he’s never quite sure how to return in without going to jail. With an absent father and a mother who died in the bombing, he is sent to live with friends, a wealthy family in NYC where he never feels terribly comfortable.

I really liked these pages and the story line.

As Theo gets older, he struggles with not only the painting, but the loss of his mother, the reappearance of his gambling father and he gets quite heavily involved in drugs.  Its here when I wanted the story to move quicker. However, the author is such a good writer that I really cared about Theo and wanted to know what  happened to him.

The painting is kind of forgotten for a while but it picks back up again and the later part of the book deals with the painting and Theo’s foray into dealing furniture and some questionable business decisions.

Like I said, I liked the author’s style, her descriptions of my beloved New York City put me right there. However, the book was so darn long, I felt like I had run a mental marathon when I finished.

Have you read Hippie Boy or The Goldfinch? What’s on your bookshelf?