Beautiful Creatures

Gah.

So, I will freely admit that I frequently give myself a break from the “healthy diet” of classics and other good books that I read through some fluffy YA fiction.  It’s like the candy or dessert – hopefully, in small doses, it won’t rot my brain too much.  They tend to be absorbing and even if they aren’t great, they can still be a nice brain-break.

(Confession: I did actually enjoy the full Twilight series, though I will never argue that it was good fiction.  It was an engaging and fun series, but I also know I probably lost a few brain cells.)

Anyhow.

My friend gave me a couple of books a while back, and among them were Beautiful Darkness and Beautiful Chaos.  I had never heard of them but the covers looks neat and since they came from a friend, I figured it would be worth a try.  Then, realizing they were the second and third in a series, I realized that I needed to find Beautiful Creatures, which took some time.  I’m not sure why I am explaining all of this except to say that perhaps I had built up the series in my mind because of the long time it took me to get the first one.

Big mistake.

I started reading Beautiful Creatures and, while I was interested in the mythology built by the authors (this is apparently a team effort), I was quickly bored with the characters.  The narrator is supposed to be a sixteen year old boy but I came to think of him as a pathetic male version of Bella – overly interested in the strange paranormal female Edward who dresses in goth and keeps trying to warn what’s-his-name away for his own good, etc.  Honestly, I even skipped ahead to try to find something to keep me reading and there was nothing.

I hate to quit on a book but I have also learned that life is too short to keep reading a book you hate; therefore, Beautiful Creatures (and the two sequels) are going to the used bookstore to help buy something I might actually like.

Query which includes a bit of a SPOILER:

If any of you happen to know why the boy character can communicate with the Caster telepathically, which apparently isn’t supposed to be a thing, let me know.  I am curious to know if they answered that one.  Just not curious enough to keep reading.

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The Great Divorce

Well, the morning did not go the way I had planned and so it is only after hour 15 of the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon that I manage to finish a book.  But it is a great book – one of the best, in fact.

For those of you who haven’t read this masterpiece, Lewis presents himself as waking up in a cold, gray town full of unhappy people.  The narrator makes his way, along with several denizens of that town, to what can only be called Heaven, a place where Sunrise is approaching and things are far more real than the people he had traveled there with.  Indeed, the souls from the grey town are called “Ghosts” because they are not even real enough to bend the grass of this wondrous land.

Much of the book is taken with Lewis’s observation of the other souls as they determine whether or not they will stay in Heaven, or choose to return to the grey town, now identified as Hell.  Here is the meat of the text, as it provokes a great deal of thought and self-examination.

As I read, I found myself underlining nearly half of the lines (this may be hyperbole but not by much) as I read this one.  I should add that this is not the first time I have read this either – I always manage to find new insights and ideas as I ponder this book.  I feel like a person could write a dissertation on Lewis’s ideas in this brief book (and I would be surprised if it hasn’t already been done) because there is just so much here.

This is a book I will continue to return to year after year and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Hour 0

As part of the opening of today’ Read-a-Thon, participants have been asked to complete the following survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Today, I am reading in Texas.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I don’t really have a Read-a-Thon stack so much as my TBR shelf.  I’ll probably continue some books I’ve been working on, as well as pull something lighter from the shelf for the later hours.  The books I’ve already started are The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings and Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I bought all sorts of goodies, for both today and for my paper writing which will be continuing for the next week or so.  Mostly, I am excited about the Brie and crackers I bought yesterday.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am reading The Fellowship as a preparation for the C.S. Lewis conference that I am going to this summer!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This isn’t my first Read-a-Thon, though I didn’t get to participate in the last one.  In fact, its been several years since the last time I participated.  That said, I am participating with the full knowledge that I will still be leaving the books many times to do others things (gym time, laundry, paper writing, etc.) and that it is okay.

And now to the reading!  Up first, a bit of The Fellowship and some breakfast.

-Miss C

Greetings and salutations

Is it absolutely pathetic that I am starting a blog simply to have a place to post updates for the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon?  I hope not, but in my defense, I have been saying that I would start a blog like this for a couple years now and just never found the time or energy to do so.

It also helps that I should be writing a paper for a class right now.  Books (and book blogs) are a great way to avoid doing the work I ought to be doing, don’t you think?

Anyway, I suspect the first few entries here will be related to the book binge that is the Read-a-Thon, but I hope to continue posting on the books I am reading.  I tend to seek out the classics and “great works” of literature, but I also indulge in fluffy teeny-bopper stuff on occasion.  On the side, I am trying to catch up on the great children’s literature that I missed when I was a child.  I have high hopes that I will post thoughts on all of these here and I welcome anyone who wants to join me on the journey.

Till then, perhaps you should check out the Read-a-Thon.  Nothing like ignoring the world for an entire day to sink into a TBR pile!  Happy reading!

-Miss C