Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reading and Knitting

Since finishing up a particularly tough semester, I was all ready to dive into reading what I want to read. I started off with Lois Lowry's The Giver, since Dude had been at me to read it. He's on a post-apocalyptic fiction kick. I love that he wants me to read the books he loves so we can talk about them together.

The Giver is one of those books that brings home to me that he's not little anymore. The themes Lowry tackles in the book, particularly infanticide, really got to me. The story takes place in a controlled society that has done away with color, feeling and emotion, and individuality. Each year of a child's life comes with a group milestone - the Nines, for instance, all receive sweatshirts with zippers in the front; at one age (I think it may be Tens), they all receive bicycles. At Twelve, the kids are given their professions; Jonas, the main character, is chosen to be the Receiver, the one person in the society who's the repsitory for public memory. The Receiver alone gets the memories of emotion and times before The Change. The Giver in this case is the former Receiver, who looks forward to being "released" - which, we learn, is given a lethal injection. I can't recommend the book enough. Dude and I have been having conversations about it here and there and we're both blown away by it.

When we first started Family Book Group, I tried to make it a formal thing; I'd print stuff up online about our books and try to have a sit-down discussion, but it felt so forced. Now, after I read a book he suggests, we just start talking about it whenever we want to. Sometimes, it's a 2-minute conversation, sometimes we come back to it somewhere else at another time. It's more organic and it works for both of us.

Now, I'm reading another review book, The Confession of Katherine Howard, which is yet another historical fiction novel involving one of Henry VIII's wives (the other one that he beheaded). I used to live for these types of books, but this one is yet another version of Another Boleyn Girl. It's maddening how these things go. One book will define the genre and every other book is a play off of it. Look at Twilight, and all the teen vampire novels that have followed. It happened to Bridget Jones. Sigh.

Once I finish the Katherine Howard book, I promised Dude and Cutie that I'd read the newest Wimpy Kid book, The Ugly Truth. I've read all the others and loved them. They're hilarious and well done. Cutie started reading them this year and loves them.

Knitting, knitting, knitting. I'm going through another bout of knitting ennui. I was working on a sweater vest for myself that was going well until I decided to knit while sick and managed to screw something up somewhere. I started the long and drawn out unknitting process but lost patience. I have to get back to it, but right now, I'm just letting it langish. Cutie wants a pair of yellow mittens, which I started but see the one I'm working on looks HUGE. I have to rip it out and start on smaller needles. Again, just not into it. So it languishes. Maybe I'll start them today, since we have a long trip out to the Island facing us.

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