What Are You Reading (Offline, That Is)?

what are you reading

Today we're lucky enough to present the Anne Sage edition of our "What Are You Reading?" column. Anne writes the wildly popular blog, The City Sage, launched Rue Magazine (which she just recently left to pursue her other interests), and is an all-around Nice Person. Here, she tells us what she's reading, and pulls in two of her friends to join in the conversation. * * *

Anne Sage, The City Sage Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail  by Cheryl Strayed Author Cheryl Strayed recounts her mother's death from cancer, her own subsequent tumble into despair, drug abuse, and divorce, and her soul-restoring three-month solo hike through some of the country's most foreboding terrain. The fluid, forthright prose flies by, but the emotional strain of the narrative forced me to read this book in bite-sized pieces. Strayed's fear, her pain, her joy, it's all so very palpable, and like a verbal sorceress she summoned forth the same feelings within me. Wild is at once an individual story and a universal one. The latter is meant to plumb the depths and scale the heights of the human experience, the former is encapsulated when Strayed writes, "Of all the things that convinced me that I should not be afraid while on this journey . . . the death of my mother was the thing that made me believe the most deeply in my safety: nothing bad could happen to me. The worst thing already had."

East of Eden  by John Steinbeck This is the second time I'm reading this book. The first was in high school, when I simply enjoyed it as a near-mythic tale of love and tragedy. Now, as an adult living through difficult economic and personal times, and having driven thousands of miles around my home state of California where this book takes place and where my family is from, my appreciation for it is exponentially greater. It's one to digest slowly, to mull over, to serve as a reminder that though place and time may change, our basic needs do not. Earth, air, water: when our river dries up, so do we. East of Eden also dovetails beautifully with Wild in its exploration of personal relationships and the pressures that we place upon ourselves. Steinbeck was onto something when he wrote, “Now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”

Lacy Young, Health Coach and Creator of The Campaign for Confidence The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón The ultimate story-within-a-story, The Shadow of the Wind follows a young boy through his teen years as he investigates the mysterious back-story of a novel he finds in a lost cemetery of books. Set against the backdrop of mid-20th century Barcelona, this book is hauntingly beautiful. The writing is unparalleled, the setting idyllic, and the story is so intriguing you can't help but fall in love as you watch it all unfold. This is one of those books to which I wish I could forget the ending so I could experience the joy of reading it again!

Excuses Begone! by Dr. Wayne Dyer Reading this book is like coming home, only to the home I wish I was raised in. Excuses Be Gone is an easy-to-swallow dose of reminders on how to live in harmony with life. Dr. Dyer has a way of explaining mind-shifting concepts that leave me happily accepting them as truth. Of course the universe is abundant, of course life is way more fun if I let go of all my ridiculous rules for myself!

Kate Childs, Book Publicist, Random House Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Everyone kept recommending this novel to me—coworkers, authors, even the Random House building where a poster of the book jacket is plastered on the lobby window—so I finally started reading it, and now I know what all the fuss is about. If you’re looking for a book that will make you take detours on the subway and contemplate canceling social engagements to keep reading, pick up Gone Girl. It’s a sharp psychological thriller about a missing wife, a potentially guilty husband, and the secrets they keep.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin One of the benefits of being a book publicist is getting early access to upcoming books, and The Twelve manuscript is by far the biggest prize of all in-house right now. On paper, I’m not the type of reader who would be drawn to The Passage, the first book in this trilogy, but I absolutely couldn’t stop reading this epic novel. The characters, the post-apocalyptic world, the Virals—every part of it was captivating.The Twelve cleverly picks up where The Passage left off, and it won’t disappoint fans when it’s released in October.


We love to hear what our friends are reading when they step away from the computer. Drop us a line and let us know what’s blowing your mind.