Lab Cat

7 May 2006

April’s Books

Filed under: Books — Cat @ 5:51 pm

Bought

Terry Pratchett "The Color of Magic"

Neil Gaiman "American Gods"

Thomas L. Friedman "The World is Flat"

Borrowed

Daniel C. Dennett "Consciousness Explained"

Julie Wakefield "Halley's Quest"

Margaret Atwood "Penelopiad"

Joan Didion "The Year of Magical Thinking"

Geoffery Chaucer "Canterbury Tales" (book on tape)

Read

Terry Pratchett "The Color of Magic"

Joan Didion "The Year of Magical Thinking"

Margaret Atwood "Penelopiad"

Neil Gaiman "American Gods"

 

Comments
Joan Didion’s "The Year of Magical Thinking" is a great book, very brave. About the year after the death of her husband, John G. Dunne, and the serious illness of her daughter.

I find particularly interesting the idea of luck. Her daughter, in ninth grade, lost an uncle to suicide and in eleventh grade lost a favorite cousin who had been strangled (does this really happen? I've lived a charmed live).

"most people at Westlake [her school] don't even know anyone who died," she said, "and just since I've been there I've had a murder and a suicide in my family."

"it all evens out in the end," said John…

Didion doesn't get this answer – she thinks he means that those who have bad luck will have good luck in the end. Where really what he means is that eventually we will all know people who have died.

Didion also discusses the difference between grieving and mourning. While each persons reaction to death differs also depending on the person who has died.

"grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it"

For a while she is in denial – death doesn't mean he can't come back and she needs to leave the window open (my feeble idea from Peter Pan) just in case. So she is unable to give all his shoes away.

" I stopped at the door to the room.

I could not give away the rest of his shoes.

I stood there for a moment, the realized why: he would need shoes I'd he was to return.

The recognition of this thought by no means eradicated the thought.

I have still not tried to determine (say, by giving away the shoes) I'd the thought has lost its power"

Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad is Penelope's story of Odysseus told with a Greek chorus of murdered (by Odysseus) maids. P. comes across as more humorous and cynical about the whole thing than in Homer's Odyssey. Also Odysseus is much more than the adventurous male; more into the womanizing and adventuresome part of being full of himself. Very clever and highly entertaining, but would we expect anything less of Atwood?

I didn’t enjoy this Terry Pratchett as much as the others I read previously. It is probably important as it is the first DiscWorld book, but it doesn’t come across as so funny or pointed as his others. Mort was the first one that I read, I thought it was brilliant. I also couldn’t get into Neil Gaiman. Just not my style of book – too much thriller and death and murder. I just don’t get it. I hope I'm not off sci-fi as May has ended up being Sci-Fi month! I just got two more from the library. I let you know how I got on in June!

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