And through mere chance I happened to be reading
Lisa Crystal Caver's book Drugs Are Nice, as well as Cheryl Strayed's book Wild.
To be honest neither book really appealed to me at first.
I only bought Wild because I saw the movie that was made from it starring Reese Witherspoon, and I didn't get what some of the ambiguous scenes meant, and since I kind of liked the film, having done a bit of bush-walking myself, I thought the book would fill in a lot of the ambiguities, and to a point it did, although not satisfactorily for my liking.
Drugs Are Nice was a book I never would have read through free choice, but it was on a list of books that was recommended to me from another book I had read, so I bought a copy and read it.
Drugs Are Nice isn't really about about drugs.
The book is more or less named after a song by Lisa's band Suckdog with the same title as the book.
"In this eye-opening memoir, Lisa Crystal Carver recalls her extraordinary youth and charts the late-80s, early-90s punk subculture that she helped shape.
She recounts how her band Suckdog was born in 1987 and the wild events that followed: leaving small-town New Hampshire to tour Europe at 18, becoming a teen publisher of fanzines, a teen bride, and a teen prostitute.
Spin has called Suckdog's album Drugs Are Nice one of the best of the '90s, and the book includes photos of infamous European shows.
Yet the book also tells of how Lisa saw the need for change in 1994, when her baby was born with a chromosomal deletion and his father became violent.
With lasting lightness and surprising gravity, Drugs Are Nice is a definitive account of the generation that wanted to break every rule, but also a story of an artist and a mother becoming an adult on her own terms."
I have to say that I liked this book, but I am definitely not into Lisa's art, whether it be punk music, or the type of live theatre shows she was involved with (I would have been one of the ones leaving the theatre that she writes about in her book).
"Wild is Cheryl Strayed's first-person memoir of her 1,100-mile (1,800 km) hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to the border with Washington State, and contains flashbacks to prior life occurrences that led her to begin her mountain-climbing journey.
Strayed had been devastated by her mother's death when she was 22 years old.
Her stepfather disengaged from Strayed's family, and her brother and sister remained distant.
Strayed became involved in heroin use, and eventually she and her husband divorced.
Seeking self-discovery and resolution of her enduring grief and personal challenges, at age 26, Strayed set out alone, on her 1,100-mile journey, having no prior backpacking experience.
Wild intertwines the stories of Strayed's life before and during the journey, describing her physical challenges and spiritual realizations while on the trail",
Surprisingly Wild, was a similar story to Drugs Are Nice and even though Lisa never went hiking in her story, it was a similar life journey of a child with an absent father and the journey to maybe reconcile that lost relationship through various encounters with other men throughout their lives, although Cheryl's story is mainly centered on the loss of her mother.
If you enjoyed reading one of these two books, then I think you will enjoy reading the other, but I have to say that Lisa's is wilder. ;-)
I also thought Kate Holden's autobiography In My Skin tells a similar kind of story to the two novels above, although it is more about Kate's life experience of heroin addiction and prostitution.
Still, if you enjoyed (if that's the right word?) one of these novels, I'm sure you'll find the other two worth a read, as well.
Kate Holden and (Saint) Lucy