Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to reading

First off, WooHoo! Labor Day is come and gone. So today through New Years is my absolute favorite time of the year and not just because of the weather. There are so many great days and events, and not to mention I love the food and clothing of the season.

Now onto a completely different topic.
I must admit that it’s been really hard adjusting to reading after Harry Potter mania. I had read all seven books and Deathly Hallows I read twice, browsed back at sections occasionally before and after reading Deathly Hallows. I even broke down while waiting for book seven and read one of those what will happen books. (I know what the heck is the point in that but it didn’t spoil anything. They had a few of the events right but they were pretty off on everything.)
Anyway, the point is that for the last few months I read nothing but Harry Potter related novels. And when it was time to finally change pace I felt kind of lost. For some reason I felt that maybe a classic would be a drastic change and would help me let go. So in the classics section of the library I found Les Miserables which was on my reading list but was just too long. I ended up picking up Mrs. Dalloway because it was much shorter and it too was on my reading list. I loved the book The Hours, which was inspired by it so I figured I’d probably like it.
It didn’t hold my interest right away. And to be honest it probably didn't get all of a fair chance to impress me because I was reading it while I was waiting for my computer to take an hour just to do one simple task so needless to say it was read in frustration.
The book had an interesting way of going from one person's stream of consciousness to the next It was also interesting to see how scenes in The Hours were taken right from Mrs. Dalloway. Something that I think would be interesting to do with other stories. Parts of The Hours were modern day versions of things in Mrs. Dalloway, other parts were Virginia Woolf writing the book and how the book affected a housewife and her family.
As for Mrs. Dalloway, I didn't really find the title character all that interesting when her whole life seemed to revolve around socializing and throwing parties. I did like another character who wouldn't get out of bed because he was mentally ill. He thought he had been cursed with the inability to feel anything and didn't understand what the point of life was if he couldn't feel. In the end he thinks everyone is against him and throws himself out the window.
And of course I ended up liking Mrs. Dalloway less when she was worried someone talking about the suicide would ruin her party. I really couldn't understand why everyone was so fond of her.
So I liked it but didn't love it like I did The Hours.

The next book I picked up was Watership Down, which I had never heard of until I took a quiz that said I was most like that book.
I've been a little slow on the reading lately with so much going on but I finally finished Watership Down today. I thought it was a very good book. The rabbits' point-of-view is adorable and it was really well written from their point-of-view. They didn't understand everything that humans had made or did, they didn't know what things were that they would likely never have seen before, and the way they saw humans seemed sadly accurate.
I wrote a story from a dog's point-of-view and this actually brought up some things I had never thought of before.
Also, I fell so in love with the rabbits, some more than others, and I was glad it had a very happy ending. Except to find out that rabbits generally only live to be two to three years old, which made it all seem very sad in the end. They went through all of that for what?

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Often I try to read books that are similar to what I'm writing or planning on writing. They help with research and inspiration. I can't really think of a book that would work for Human Decency that I haven't already read so who knows.
My friend just gave me just about every book that JRR Tolkien ever wrote but I'm not sure if I really want to tackle one, some or all of those yet so I guess we'll see.
I need to seriously work on some more writing before I get distracted by another book.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Watership Down is such an excellent book. I'm glad you read it.

I'm in the middle of a huge tome by a Sci-Fi writer.

Ashley said...

Whim- I'm glad I read it too. At first I didn't think I would like it. A book about rabbits and wilderness didn't seem all that entertaining but what an amazing journey they went through. I was on the edge of my seat worry about those rabbits.