Monday, July 20, 2015

It's Monday and I'm Not Prepared

So, here I thought I had a review all ready to post this morning.  And I do.  However, when I was trying to link it up and post a picture of the cover, it seems there is some confusion about the actual title of the book.  The book I read seems to have undergone a title change and since the publication date isn't until August, I'm going to wait and see what happens with that before posting  my review.

Which means that I can actually post about a book I finished this past weekend.

I'm still processing A Little Life which I finished last night and honestly just don't know what to say about it. 

But earlier this weekend I read Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola on my kindle and loved it.

I had already downloaded this to my kindle by the time my very favorite podcasters Ann and Michael (Books on the Nightstand) talked about it, but the tease Ann gave had me starting it right away after I was done listening to their weekly show.

Hepola's work background has given her the skill to be a master at the craft of memoir writing which is a real treat for readers. She is a wonderful writer and storyteller.

And what Hepola tells us is that she began drinking at a very young age. She wasn't the product of poor parenting or anything extremely tragic. She was a child who matured quickly physically and enjoyed alcohol.  She recalls her parents letting her take the last swig of beer from their cans (which must be a hallmark of growing up in the 70s and 80s because I have that same memory) and enjoying the taste of it.

The drinking and partying that accompany high school and college didn't end with her graduation. And with the drinking came blackouts.  Whole periods in time forgotten.  (Hepola explains that these are not truly forgotten periods of her life, but with the presence of alcohol the hippocampus, responsible for chronicling ones' memories, doesn't record them so there is nothing to retrieve).

Eventually waking up with someone in the morning with no idea how she got there becomes something that isn't funny.  

And so Hepola stops drinking.  

And stopping gives her a whole new perspective on who she was and who she is.

If you are someone who loves a good, well written memoir, then Blackout is definitely worth the time.  And, if you have already read Blackout and are looking for something similar, 

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood  by Koren Zailckas is another memoir of a woman who turns to alcohol.

If you know of other books that are similar, feel free to share them in the comments. And if you've read Blackout or Smashed, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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