Though I read primarily mystery and science fiction-fantasy, I have other reading interests, including biographies/autobiographies. The book I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, is one such.
I’m not certain where I came across mention of the book, but I had it on my hold-for-later library shelf for several months before unfreezing it last week. It sounded interesting to me, and Finnegan has a varied history of writing, being a staff writer on The New Yorker magazine as well as author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction.
The book won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for biography.
In 1964-1966 I lived at the beach and knew many people who surfed, or worked in board shops, mostly in Laguna and Dana Point. I got a surfboard in 1964 and tried to learn, but mostly it was a series of falls and knocks, with very few waves ever actually ridden. Still, I loved the beach, the music and the idea of surfing, even if I was hopeless at it.
Finnegan’s book has a lot of surfing in it, but also winding through the book are observations on being a teen, parenting, nature, strength, friendship and loneliness, nature, the power of water, travel, cultures, poverty, and much more. The book is too long in places, has too many descriptions of tides, sets, breaks, waves and weather for the every day reader. But for me, Finnrgan’s around-the-world wanderings in search of great surf and perfect waves, insights into culture and life, always seeking and self-examining, were interesting.
Barbara finished A Wanted Man by Lee Child, a Reacher novel, and now she’s nearly finished with The Phantom by Jo Nesbo, which falls somewhere mid-to-late in the Harry Hole series. After that, she’ll start either another Reacher or one by John Stanford, the second Virgil Flowers novel.
How about you? What are you reading?