Friday, September 4, 2009
I studied abroad in Vienna in the Spring of 2004. It was a wonderful experience, and it's not unusual for me to dream about my time there, especially January through May of each year. The NYT has an article today entitled "Reading Underground" which talks about the act of reading on the New York subways. In addition to just generally missing fast, clean, cheap mass transit in Europe, I miss the opportunity to read on trains. It's a great chunk of time to just devote to a book or magazine as the train does the driving for you. I hope I get to spend some quality time reading in transit soon.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Warning: the end of Catching Fire may cause you to obsess about your own mortality in an unhealthy way, because it would totally suck to never get to read the sequel. Which I now have to wait, what a year for? A YEAR. IT'S HARRY POTTER ALL OVER AGAIN. THE AGONY. YOU CAN TELL IT'S AGONY BECAUSE OF THE ALL CAPS OF PAIN.
So yeah. It rocked. It totally rocked. I want to insert a conjugation of the f word before rocked in the previous sentence but have not determined who I want my readership to be, so I'm holding back. But you get the idea. So so so good. Plot twist after plot twist - and I did not see them coming, and it was like riding a mental roller coaster, and it was amazing. After I read The Hunger Games, I read Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander series and honestly, I personally didn't like it much. After awhile it was sort of like The Red Badge of Courage, where you kind of want to main character to just go ahead and die, maybe by falling in a ravine, and stop the incessant boohooing and whining. Like yes, life sucks, yes, other people will try to use you for their gain, yadda yadda, this is why we need to teach great books young, you are not the first to be so treated and should sit down and eat your soup and shut up. (Wanted to put a different conjugation in that last sentence. You guess where!). Anyway.
The main character in The Hunger Games series (Trilogy? Tetrology? Did I just make that word up?) is not nearly as wonky as Gregor and I like her quite a bit. Katniss, despite her lame name, is pretty cool. And one thing that is similar to the Overlander series is that Collins' writes her main characters so that they're truly discovering things as we do - they're not all powerful and often not well-informed, and it makes the narrative very, very exciting. As mentioned above, both books in the Games series feel like riding a rollercoaster, only without the risk of a 12 year old vomiting on you.
This is perfect for someone who normally doesn't want to sit down and blast through a book (weirdos), and ideal for long plane rides, although it took me about 2 and a half hours - s0 maybe 4 hours of reading for most? You'll have to let me know.
5/5 Swallows for Catching Fire and the series thus far.