Friday, August 12, 2005


Better late than never

Now that the month is more than 1/4 over, I should probably talk a little bit about my choices for the books.

"It was love at first sight..." The first time I read Catch-22 by Joeseph Heller, I fell madly in love with it. It is one of the very few books that I actually enjoy re-reading. It has a very sharp, dark sense of humor that Heller uses extremely effectively not only for the entertainment value but also to enforce the themes of insanity and ethical subjectivity in wartime. Yossarrian Lives!

As for Harry Potter (go ahead and laugh all you want, I'm used to being a geek), I really have enjoyed the series. I am part of a lucky age group that read the more childish first 2 or 3 books when we were still young and have had the the books get more and more adult practically in pace with our maturation.

I also picked it, however, because of all the books so far published in our generation, this is most likely to be studied in literature classes 50 or more years from now. The series is turning into another great example of the classic epic, with Harry being a martyr's death away from true epic hero status. Plus, if all of a sudden we see a new generation of readers emerge, we will most like have J.K. Rowling to thank for it. (U.S. News and World Report)

Finally, and most importantly, the Harry Potter books give me a chance to read something for no better reason than they are good stories written very well. For a long time now, almost everything I read has a deep hidden theme or message or moral in it. Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over the cuckoo's Nest, Catch-22; all are excellent books, but all are similar in that one is constantly trying to analyze them while reading. Don't get me wrong, analytical reading is important and fun as well, but it is nice on occasion to be able to grab a book that is just a good imaginative enchanting story. The Harry Potter books let me go back to the reading for enjoyment I did as a kid. And that is something we all should do more of.

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