Friday, October 3, 2008

My Dirt...

That title may be a little misleading....I don't have a lot of 'dirt' in my life. The phrase 'The Dirt' is not only the title to one of the best books I've ever read, but also could be the subtitle to some of my other favorites.
First of all - 'The Dirt' is the story behind the rock group Motley Crue. I'm not a Crue fan per se, but after having gotten glued to their 'Behind The Music' episode on VH1 years ago, I just had to read about the unbelieveable escapades of this band - they were wilder than any other band out there (in every way) and something about the totally gross & nutty things they did fascinated me.
I found out a long time ago that I enjoy knowing the gory details - the 'dirt', if you will - about people, events, etc. I believe what triggered my desire for the nitty-gritty was a book my brother lent me in my very early teens called 'The Want Ad Killer'. It was the true story of a serial killer and the more I read, the more I needed to know details.... If someone was 'mutilated' I needed to know what that meant - specifically. How were they mutilated? What exactly happened to them? I didn't enjoy knowing that innocent people were tortured - rather, my fascination came in wondering how in the hell could a person (the 'bad guy') do those things to people?! I also found I got satisfaction reading about people who were able to plod their way through and survive terribly adverse circumstances. I would be amazed at how strong a person could be - maybe, subconsciously, I wondered if I could ever be as strong as they'd been?
Anyhoo....all of this comes down to the fact that I am drawn to works of non-fiction that have an element of suffering in them. That's not to say I don't ever like a good 'knee-slapper' - laughing is always good - but again....I prefer non-fiction laughing. I find I can really only 'do' fiction if there's an air of truth throughout. All that said, I thought it would be fun to not only share my top fave books with you, but this will forever be my own little 'tribute' to these books that I so adored.
Iceman - Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer: This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is SO good! Following the life of Richard Kuklinski and his murderous temper, Kuklinski was a killing machine. He killed for the Mafia as well as himself - you did NOT want to piss this guy off.
A Fine Balance: Oprah's book choices do not influence me, but in this case, my mother's did (it just happened to be an 'Oprah book' too). This is a work of fiction that is so related to the write's life, it feels true - and it's wonderful. It takes place in India - I do love reading about other cultures - and author Rohinton Mistry put me right in the middle of it all.
The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star: This book spans a year in the life (through journal entries) of Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue (more Crue mayhem!), when he was so strung out on heroin it's surprising he lived through it...he actually died at one point - but ended up living to tell the tale! This book was raw and stinky and awesome! I could hardly put it down! If you like major grit...this is the book for you.
A Child Called It: OMG, you'll want to throttle the mother in this story! This is an absolutely heartbreaking account of a young boy whose mother turns on him in horrifying fashion. Yes, she calls him "It", but that's only the beginning - you will not believe the gut-wrenching life this little boy lived at the hands of his mother.
As I come across more great reads, I'll pass along my reccomendations (for those of you who also like grit). I'm currently reading "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" - the true story of Aron Ralston - an avid outdoorsman whose right wrist became trapped under a boulder while he was traversing through narrow canyons in Utah. He told his tale on TV after it happened so telling you he ends up having to amputate his own arm to survive is not spoiling the book.
Happy Reading!!!

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