I’m Still Hungry

Catch the FireOkay, I will admit it. I should have read this book long, long ago. I kept hearing stories and I just somehow did not pick up the novel. I cannot tell you how many times I looked at it – even picked it up – in stores and placed it back on the shelves, moving away toward my comforting disaster chronicles.

Who knew?

At first, when I began reading, I was transported back to about 1985 and a movie that probably no one saw called Dragonslayer. In this movie, a lottery is held annually for a young girl to appease the dragon that plagues a village. A lottery is never, ever good.

Then, I stayed in 1985 with The Running Man, the televised gladiatorial games put on for the entertainment of a futuristic crowd.

And then, and only then, did I meet Katniss. A strong woman. A survivor. A hero and a pawn, all at the same time. Somewhere amongst Dragonslayer and The Running Man and Survivor, there was a real story here.

No spoilers to dodge in my musings here. Only a question – what did I learn about myself from this book? I haven’t quite figured it out. It read quickly and the action was nothing if not fast paced. But I haven’t come to my lesson yet.

Therefore, I am still hungry.

On the heart scale – Right now it is 7 hearts. I don’t know how the next books will play into this. The whole story may yet fill my belly.

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A Fearfully Beautiful Voice

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thief-Markus-Zusak/dp/0375842209/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302987836&sr=1-1

I just finished The Book Thief.

Having read a handful of ordinary readers’ critiques, I am compelled to reject every one of them that in some way denies the greatness of this voice.

Oh, the voice. It is the voice I have not heard since Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five. immensely grave, with a hefty amount of sardonic wisdom that falls like jewels through the night. It is the voice of sheer originality – the fearlessness of nonconformity.  This is no book of wonder and awe. This is a simple story that, in the end, sheds light on the human condition – love, hate, war, peace, crime, punishment, loyalty, and fear.

The story of Liesel, her Papa and Mama, Max, Rudy, and all the incidental characters is simple, yet spellbinding. The human condition is explored in a thousand different ways. The depth and breadth of the human soul is exposed – carefully, so that only those with silver eyes can see it.

I think I am a better person for reading this story. Certainly, it is my intention to be so, before the narrator comes to scoop me into his arms. The great equalizer suffers too.

My rating:

I will return to this book over and over again, and each time, I will see a different sight.

I will buy 10 copies, just in case it ever goes out of print.

As far as my rating scale goes – 10 hearts – my highest rating. Not because I loved the book (which I surely did), but because it touched my heart in a way that very few books can.

In which I begin a book blog

Perhaps it is a self-serving endeavor. Perhaps it is a stab at validation. Perhaps it is just as if I, a bear of very little brain but a large amount of curiosity, wanted to be validated for a passtime that truly eats a lot of time.

I know some very good book bloggers. We read many of the same books. So sometimes Bookends will be about a book that has been blogged about a million times. But, now and again, I read a book that no one else is reading. At which time, sort of eleven-o’clock-ish, I might have something new and original to lend to the book blog genre.

My library consists largely of three categories – the books that one wants their friends to see –  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare in impressive red and gold binding – and those books that are largely packed away in the back of the house – The Shipping News, various and sundry romances, and those books that I read for comfort – Jane Eyre, Little Women, The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson.

This blog will feature all three categories and I catalog my reading for a year or so. Book after book, time after time.

To steal a phrase from Descartes, I think, therefore I read. That is what I do and, while I highly doubt anyone ever sees this blog, it will be an interesting adventure.

Just so long as I don’t get stuck in Rabbit’s front door, I expect I will do all right.

About the author

I have no claim to fame, except for that one year that I read every book in the tiny school library in Kassel American School, in Kassel, Germany.

A literature professor once described me as the “perfect ordinary reader” to whom Virginia Woolf was writing. I d0n’t know why, but that “ordinary reader” thing bothered me a lot.

I have an impressive degree in the study of literature. I never use it.

My dog is my best critic.

I am my worst.

But girls just want to have fun, so look out world. I am here.