Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Main Difference Between Books and People
For me, the main difference between books and people is that I love when a book proves me wrong. That's happening with two books here currently. Perhaps I've mentioned that I am reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit aloud to my children in the evenings. When my daughter suggested it awhile back, I was all, Really? Dragons, goblins, elves, and swords with names? Must we? 184 pages in, I am so happy the kids persisted. They are questioning, laughing, and making predictions as I read. In other words, they are really engaged in the book, rooting for the hobbit on his adventure.
In my own reading, I am being proven wrong by Jonathan Safran Foer's 2005 novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I've resisted it for several years now despite its good reviews. I have a problem with fiction created from the terrorist attacks of September 11. I know that doesn't make sense as I have read other works of fiction based on major historical tragedies such as slavery and the Holocaust. Perhaps its the nearness of 9/11; I don't know, but I've finally started reading it. It is wonderful and different and quite moving. Eccentric nine year old Oskar Schell who lost his father in the World Trade Center owns my affection with his earnestness and sincerity, not to mention the enormity of his loss. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of those books I'm reading more slowly as I go in order to make it last longer.