The Reading List in Flux

Rebecca West’s sentences are like architectural monuments.  They’re so heavy and self can’t make sense of some of the more ornate (literary) flourishes.  And because self doesn’t want to spend the next month or so reading a book whose contents she will probably forget as soon as she closes the covers, she might as well move to the next book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed, who is a professor of Law at New York Law School.

Have spent most of the winter reading non-fiction (In the Shadow of Man, How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa — both enthralling books)  The trend continues with The Hemingses of Monticello.

Next up are two books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth and Namesake.  To rest self’s weary brain, self is also reading concurrently: the YA novels Divergent and Catching Fire.

Still haven’t gotten past p 3 of Divergent  During this scene, the heroine is riding on a crowded bus with her brother, Caleb. And this is what ensues:

He also inherited my mother’s talent for selflessness.  He gave his seat to a surly Candor man on the bus without a second thought.

The Candor man wears a black suit with a white tie — Candor standard uniform.  Their faction values honesty and sees the truth as black and white, so that is what they wear.

Must say, self loves that description of the Candor man wearing “a black suit with a white tie” —  Very clever, Veronica Roth!

And now to Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  The two District 12 victors, Katniss and Peeta, must engage in combat again.  Katniss has formulated a rather weird plan that Peeta shoud live, not her:

The beauty of this idea was that my decision to keep Peeta alive at the expense of my own life is itself an act of defiance.  A refusal to play the Hunger Games by the Capitol’s rules.  My private agenda dogtails completely by my public one. And if I really could save Peeta . . .  in terms of a revolution, this would be ideal. Because I will be more valuable dead. They can turn me into some kind of martyr for the cause and paint my face on banners, and it will do more to rally the people than anything I could do  if I was leaving.  But Peeta woud be more valuable alive, and tragic, because he will be able to turn his pain into words that will transform people.

Methinks Katniss sounds a little “mental” in the above passage, but perhaps her 17-year-old-ness makes her susceptible to such large and fantastic notions as “Peeta would be more valuable alive, and tragic . . . ”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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