Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why food on the floor could be LETHAL.

Anything on the floor is fair game for Fuzz to eat right now.  Plus, he spits out his food a lot, so the floor is sort of part of the digestion process.  There are various Cheerios, parts of pretzels, and a couple of sticky spots where he has dropped melons adorning my living room floor at the moment.  Obviously, I should do less reading and more sweeping!

It is a good thing that we don't live in San Lorenzo.  In Cat's Cradle, most of San Lorenzo's citizens were wiped out by simply touching a piece of ice-nine and then touching their mouths.  Not a good situation for busy toddlers!  (The rest of the world was wiped out, too, but that was due to the ice-nine wrecking the earth, not because they accidentally ate it.)

I really enjoyed this book.  I had not read any Kurt Vonnegut books before beginning this project.  What a fantastic writer he is. Cat's Cradle is an amazing, multi layered story about the end of the world  It moves so quickly with interesting characters, an original religion, and a mystery surrounding a famous scientist.  He manages to weave this incredible tale and also present a commentary on today's society without it being boring or preachy at all.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I read The Catcher in the Rye last week.  As I read, I kept thinking about Holden Caulfield, the misfit.  Holden Caulfield, from a privileged background, but doesn't think he fits in anywhere.  Holden Caulfield, kicked out of school.  Holden Caulfield, almost molested by a former teacher.  Holden Caulfield, wanders around New York and has numerous negative experiences.

I understand why people love this book.  People sympathize with Holden Caulfield, the boy who doesn't fit in.

I couldn't.

I kept thinking about Adam Lanza.

I should point out that I grew up near Newtown, Connecticut, and so the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have been incredibly difficult for me to process.  I still think of those tragic deaths daily.

And so, as I was reading about this classic literary hero, I couldn't get past the parallels between Holden Caulfield, the misfit, the boy who doesn't fit in, the boy who needs help, and Lanza.

Of course, unlike Lanza, Caulfield manages not to hurt anyone, winds up going home and at the end of the book, obtains the mental health care he desperately needs.

Maybe this analysis is too simplistic.  I understand why the book is viewed as such great literature.  Perhaps I simply read it at the wrong time.  In any case, I wish I could like Holden Caulfield more than I do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Books 141-150

Here are the next 10 books on the list!

141. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1963)
142. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (1988)
143. Caught by Henry Green (1943)
144. Cause for Alarm by Eric Ambler (1938)
145. Cecilia by Fanny Burney (1782)
146. Celestial Harmonies by Peter Esterhazy (2000)
147. The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (1978)
148. Chaireas and Kallirhoe by Chariton (1750)
149. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (1839)
150. The Charwoman's Daughter by James Stephens (1912)

I'm looking forward to reading more by Margaret Atwood and Fanny Burney this winter/spring!

Happy New Year and a slow read!

Happy New Year 2013!  Many things other than reading have captured my attention since my last entry in December.  I seemed to have lost whatever few minutes I have had to read in the past.  Hence, it took me nearly a full month to read Catch-22, a novel by Joseph Heller.

I was first introduced to Catch-22 when I was in high school and I selected it from the summer reading list.  The only thing I remembered from the book the first time around was Major Major.  Major Major is still one of the more entertaining aspects of the book, and will probably be what I remember from it years from now.  This book just wasn't entertaining, friends.  The critic on the back of the text says the book is "bitingly funny" and I just don't see it.  Perhaps I'm too far removed from the realities of a war to truly understand the humor.  I'll treat that as a blessing.