Monday, May 21, 2007

Intellectual Stimulation

I am so proud of myself...I've actually finished two books in the last month. Of course in the old days that would actually be kind of embarrassing, but since I don't have time to finish a magazine anymore I'm pretty happy with myself.

The first one I finished may not count since I had read it 10 years ago. I was interested to learn that Sean Penn directed an adaptation of INTO THE WILD starring a young actor named Emile Hirsch who I think is going to be pretty amazing one day. He's made some interesting choices and is very young so I'm keeping my eye on him. Anyway, I remembered that book as being pretty interesting and a quick read so I revisited it and in fact it was both interesting and a quick read. The odd thing is that now that I'm a parent I am reading it very differently then I was at 23. It was always heartbreaking but now I really had a hard time thinking of how it must have destroyed these poor parents' lives to learn that their son died such an awful death and that much of it was because of his anger towards them. I just hope Eric and I can learn to really communicate with Rory so that feelings don’t fester and eat away at the family like they did in this book.

After that uplifting experience I decided to go back to THE SECRET HISTORY, which I had started a few months ago only to abandon 80 pages in. I had heard about it after reading reviews of another novel I've recently finished, SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS. Apparently they have similar themes but HISTORY was published in the early 90s so is much older. I was surprised I hadn't heard of it before but once I started talking to people they all said the same thing...they liked it in the beginning but then got completely bored and put it down about half way through. It's the story of a group of college kids at a small liberal arts college in Vermont who take their studies in classic Greek to an extreme. It was a little too RULES OF ATTRACTION for me though it was clearly trying to be much more intellectual than that. It is long and sometimes very slow but not a bad book. I just wasn't all that entertained and in the end it was kind of like, eh. I could have spent the time reading something better. On top of it all was the fact that it's pretty depressing and solidifies my thoughts on why Rory will not be going to a small liberal arts college (those kids are all nuts!). I had thought that I would move on to WUTHERING HEIGHTS next but decided instead that I needed a little frivolity and have instead started on PERSUASION. I thought I had read it in college but realize that I had actually only seen a BBC movie of it and hadn't actually read the novel. So off I go to begin some Jane Austen and hopefully regain my faith in the strength of character that young people can posses. After the last two books I am truly fearing for Rory's future.

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