And now for another reading post.
I have, in fact, read, or perhaps I should say, slogged, through another 60 pages of Atlas Shrugged. While I appreciate many of the ideas that are in the book, I disagree with many others, particularly Ayn Rand's very strange beliefs about marriage. But the main reason it feels like a slog is it's so. stinkin'. ridiculously. long. And if I read one more introspective conversation between Dagny and herself I think I'm going to throw the book across the room.
Okay, now that that's out I feel much better.
Cate and I interrupted our current reading choices this week when, what else, but the book you've all been hearing about everywhere (at least I have) Go Set a Watchman came out. I am definitely a huge fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. I was extremely apprehensive about Watchman. I am not necessarily a Harper Lee fan, rather I believe Mockingbird to be very near a perfect book, down to the very last character, sentence, and word. I doubted Watchman would be able to hold a candle to it, and in my opinion, it really doesn't.
It is an interesting read, however, and surprisingly, Uncle Jack becomes sort of the central, respected figure in this novel, similar of the way Atticus was in Mockingbird. Atticus is hands down my favorite literary character in any book, ever. At least the Atticus in Mockingbird. Though I do understand why he was portrayed the way he was in Watchman. It was probably a realistic portrayal of a man like him in the south at that time. However, it was disappointing or him to not really be the hero in Watchman.
The way Harper Lee causes all the characters in Mockingbird grow, and change, and develop is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Watchman has some of the same character development, in the sense that they all seem very, very, real, and believable, but there is not a similar driving story line to really be able to sit back and watch them grow. The book takes place over a very short period of time, actually. Now that I think about it, perhaps as little as a weekend? I need to double check that, but the story happens over a period of only a few days, aside from the flash-backs that are scattered throughout, many of them very reminiscent of Mockingbird. I guess if you want another Mockingbird fix, these flashbacks will essentially do the job, in the glimpses we get of Scout, Jem and Dill playing together again as young children.
However, the entire book and story felt quite scattered to me and I'm a little puzzled about what each scene had to do with the others. Eager to find out what happens in the story, it was not a very close, careful reading on my part, but now that my curiosity has been satiated, I'd like to go through it again and pay closer attention to each scene, and hopefully get a better feel for what Lee was trying to convey. At any rate, it was a relief to finish a book over a weekend, since Atlas has really left me bogged down for months, now.
We've also been reading:
Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales
Betsy-Tacy (Maud Hart Lovelace)
Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
Treasure Hunters (James Patterson)
John Adams (David McCullough)
Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
Grace just finished Summer of the Monkeys, and really enjoyed it. Wilson Rawls, of course, is the author of the legendary Where the Red Fern Grows, famous for making even the most hard hearted children weep. Grace loved Monkeys, and while I won't give away the ending, happy or sad (I defaulted to assuming it would be sad: animal story, written by Rawls), she kept saying, while reading it, "It's so sweet, Mom. It's just so sweet." When she told me the ending, my eyes welled up just a bit with tears. So, while perhaps lesser known, it, too, sounds like a winner.