Cruising Attitude is the third flight attendant memoir that I've read, if you count the classic, "Coffee, Tea or Me?" by two anonymous flight attendants who were later accused of making it all up. While Cruising Attitude is not as laugh-out-loud funny as the other two books I've read, I loved the fact that Heather Poole goes all the way back to her training and fills you in on what it's like to be a flight attendant -- how they're trained, what the lifestyle is like, the complexity of scheduling, which planes and cities a career flight attendant aspires to work in and why some attendants commute to their flight base rather than living there, why your flight attendant and pilot might be really, really hungry -- as well as the usual crazy passenger stories, a bit about her love life and stories of friendship with other flight attendants.
Recommended - Engrossing, entertaining and highly informative. I enjoyed Cruising Attitude immensely. While the sheer quantity of rude and crazy passenger stories may make you a little bit more nervous about flying, Poole's reassurance about turbulence and her obligation to put safety above all else offset the stories about the nuts very nicely. You'll also come out of the reading knowing what is expected of you as a passenger -- what can get you removed from a plane, what ticks off a flight attendant, why you should wait to take your drowsy meds till you get on the plane and the reason a flight attendant will awaken a passenger rather than allow him or her sleep through a meal service. The only thing I disliked about this book was the repeated use of the deliberately misspelled "Buh-bye". Annoying.
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen is a book that I'm relegating to mini status merely because it's been so long since I read it. T. S. Spivet is the story of a precocious 12-year-old, map-making genius who wins an award that leads him to set off from Montana on a journey to Washington, D.C.
The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet was the February selection for my face-to-face book group. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs and only 4 people showed up. The conversation was pretty much a dud. Our fearless leader said everyone who called to say, "I'm not coming," at the last minute loved the book. Most of the group members who showed up were a little iffy because they found the illustrations and notes distracting. I loved it.
Highly recommended - An adventurous, brilliantly-written, charming, funny, poignant and surprising story. Young T. S. is a delightful character, humble and lovable in spite of his brilliance. My thanks to SuziQ, whose enthusiastic review led to my purchase of the book as well as the suggestion that the book group read T. S. Spivet along with me. The meeting may have fallen flat, but the reading experience was awesome.
Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the books I removed from my closet, this past weekend, during the Cleaning That Made My House Even Scarier Than Normal. Subtitled, "The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life," it contains writings about how to become more "mindful," which I'm interpreting as "in the moment" -- aware of what you are doing, who you are speaking to, how you respond, your emotions, the life around you, etc. It's about living a peaceful, joyful life and turning the negatives of your life into positives.
I had a migraine that was really pissing me off, while I was reading this book, and loved the fact that he was telling me to be mindful of my pain so that I'd appreciate it more when I'm not hurting. I was also informed that my anger can be turned to compost to grow happier thoughts. There are lots of gardening metaphors.
Highly recommended - You don't have to be a Buddhist to learn and practice the kind of thought process Thich Nhat Hanh recommends. A wise, thought-provoking, wonderful little book.
In other news:
I'm going to upload my Fiona Friday post then take off a week to practice mindfully cleaning my house and peacefully reading. I moderate comments, so don't freak out if you try to comment and it takes a day or two to show up, okay?
This may end up being one of those months that I end up doing a lot of mini reviews and periodically disappearing for large stretches, especially given the fact that Kiddo will be home for Spring Break somewhere in the middle and I like to be present when he's around. The weather is fickle but on the good days the sun shines and a breeze blows. These are days that I need to spend my time outdoors, before the real heat descends. We broke a heat record, today, with a high of 83 degrees, so we're getting there quickly.