Monday, March 11, 2013

Book of the Week

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember.  My mother was an English teacher for many years, and I got this insatiable appetite for a good book from her. We haunted book stores together for many years. I will buy a book on Kindle, and then buy the hardback or paperback also. I have so many books at my house that I need a separate room for them. It is an obsession with me, and I spend way too much money on them. It is a sickness, or so my wife believes, but I can not help myself. I savor a good book, I don't want it to end. It puts me in a good mood, it makes me think, it makes my day.

I have been into hard boiled books lately, gritty urban or rural tales written by Donald Ray Pollock , Frank Bill, Scott C. Rogers, Larry Brown. Books that are about real folks, real men, struggling with drugs, relationships and usually a past that is unforgiving and is chasing them.  Many times there is a criminal element involved also.

I ran across this book the other day while searching in this genre, Pike by Benjamin Whitmer. What a book. It is so smartly written and makes me feel so much inside for the characters, that I find myself constantly rereading lines, saying to myself, that is a great line.  It is disturbing, haunting, and unrelenting.

Here is the summary on Amazon :

"Douglas Pike is no longer the murderous hustler he was in his youth, but reforming hasn't made him much kinder. He's just living out his life in his Appalachian hometown, working odd jobs with his partner, Rory, hemming in his demons the best he can. And his best seems just good enough until his estranged daughter overdoses, and he takes in his 12-year-old granddaughter, Wendy. Just as the two are beginning to forge a relationship, Derrick Kreiger, a dirty Cincinnati cop, starts to take an unhealthy interest in the girl. Pike and Rory head to Cincinnati to learn what they can about Derrick and the death of Pike’s daughter, and the three men circle, evenly matched predators in a human wilderness of junkie squats, roadhouse bars, and homeless Vietnam vet encampments."
And although that is a decent synopsis, it is the dialogue and the feelings of the characters that Whitmer brings to the reader that is the true essence of this book.  It is a wonderful read.
Buy it.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.