Inversion Week and Hey, Some Books.

Thanks to a lovely December temperature inversion, I’ve been spending most of the past week indoors. The air is so toxic and nasty, taking the dog for a 30 minute walk on Monday made my throat hurt for hours after. For both our health, we are putting walks on the shelf until this nastiness clears out.


When too much gunk and moisture get trapped in the valley,  dense fog forms, and as it is super cold as well, these lovely layers of hoar frost form on everything. I’d find it beautiful if it hadn’t been created by toxic air.

I’ve lived in the Salt Lake Valley most of my life, and this is the one thing that makes me wish I lived somewhere else. Sometimes these inversions last weeks, and along with the health risks, winter depression settles in. The hours of light are already fewer, and when you add gray skies, bad air, below freezing temperatures, warmer, sunnier days can seem far away indeed.

I usually enjoy winter. And more often than not, it is spectacular here in Utah. DSC_0015


I try to remember that beauty, but it is hard when I’m trapped indoors, experiencing the same day over and over.

So, in an attempt to keep my chin up and talk about more interesting things. I’m presenting this photo of five of my favorite reads from this past year, and—IMG_0176.jpg

hoping you fine readers will share your favorites with me.

I wouldn’t really call the following paragraphs reviews. Think of them as reasons I liked and recommend these titles.

I found it nearly impossible to pick a favorite this year, but My Absolute Darling came as close as any.  I almost hesitate to recommend it as the subject matter (emotional, physical and sexual abuse) are difficult topics for many, and this book does not shy away or hide the horror. That said, it is an important book, and Gabriel Tallent is a fantastic writer.

History of Wolves vexed me. It is a coming of age story that refuses to fit the mold. It took me several days of pondering to decide if liked the book. Months later I realized I loved it. I’m a sucker for flawed characters, and this book is full of them. The ending left many feeling confused and frustrated, but the ambiguity worked for me. I didn’t need to have everything explained, and the answers I was offered were satisfying.

Good Morning, Midnight is also atypical of its supposed genre. An post Apocalyptic novel that ignored many tropes. Themes of regret, loneliness, ambition, loss, redemption are beautifully explored. I highly recommend this one. Also, it made me cry three tears.

The Nix surprised me over and over. Nathan Hill weaves a very compelling story about a son trying to understand his estranged mother. I laughed out loud several times, felt disgust and sadness, and found myself completely wrapped up in events. Again, this book is filled with awesomely flawed characters who might get it right in the end, but maybe not.

American War offers a glimpse of a very likely future for the United States- A second civil war. Omar El Akkad gives striking insight into how someone becomes indoctrinated, and how quickly that indoctrination can lead to extremism and horrible acts of violence.

Don’t forget, I want to know your favorites as well.




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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

5 responses to “Inversion Week and Hey, Some Books.”

  1. Liesbet says :

    Those two last books seem most interesting to me. As I have said many times before: I wish I would have more time to read. But, that being said I do enjoy an hour-long walk with the dogs we are sitting in San Diego at the moment better than having to sit inside because of the weather.

    We all have the same amount of time and it is up to us to prioritize. But, now that I finally have a chance to catch up on the Big Bang Theory, it is hard to shift my attention to reading in the evenings. I know, I know… 🙂 OK. Maybe that should be one of my 2018 resolutions.

  2. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    I used to travel to SLC and work there quite a bit many years ago. It’s such a beautiful place. Shame to think about the inversions there and what causes them.

    Thanks for the book recommends. American War sounds interesting and also frighteningly possible in this day and age.

    • fenster says :

      That book was really good. Heartbreaking in many ways, and very possible. As for the inversion, it is snowing today, so bye bye bad air. I wish it would stay away, but I know better.

  3. jmh says :

    Wow, I’d never heard of these inversions. Sounds nasty. For a city that seems so clean and unpolluted, that’s pretty shocking.

    I haven’t read as much this year as I normally do. And not much really grabbed me. I had to look back at my Goodreads challenge (which I’m failing miserably this year) to remind myself what I’ve read. A Thousand Days in Venice was probably the most memorable.

    • fenster says :

      I’ll check that book out. And yes, the inversions are terrible here. It is so unfortunate, and a stain on our city, They can’t be eliminated, but they could be lessened.

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