Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Books, books and more books

I go through seasons of reading. Sometimes I hardly read anything, then I read a lot. I think I'm getting into a "reading a lot" mode right now, which is good because I'm looking forward to some books and I have some at home I want to read.

Last night I finished reading About a Boy, by Nick Hornby. I've been a fan of Hornby's nonfiction, and I love the movie of About a Boy, so I wanted to read the book. I enjoyed it, but it's different than the movie in some significant ways. The movie takes some of the edge off, which is understandable, I guess. Adapting a book for film is always a challenge, especially if you're hoping for mass appeal. Which is not to say I like the movie less after reading the book, or that I like the movie better (or the book better). In some ways, they're almost separate entities that just happen to have some of the same characters and incidents. Hornby is a very good writer -- sometimes even brilliant. The book has wonderfully drawn characters, snappy and witty dialogue, humor, and real insight into the human condition. A lot of people reading might even say it's uplifting in its outlook -- it does have a reasonably happy ending (though the movie did the ending much differently, but still happy). But to me, the book is also a perfect picture of what it means to live without Christ. I'm sure that was not Hornby's intent, but that's what struck me, and as such it's a bit depressing. Near the end, Will thinks he might have to try to talk Fiona out of committing suicide and realizes there's no point to life -- at least none that he can think of. He just goes along from day to day, waiting to see what happens next. For a lot of us, even Christians, I'm afraid that's how we live -- very passively. Anyway, I didn't mean to get all philosophical and deep here. I did enjoy About a Boy and I think I need my own copy (I had checked it out of the library) because Nick Hornby really is a very good writer and I want to reread the brilliant bits.

As implied by the title of this post, I have more books to talk about. Yesterday the mail carrier brought me a lovely book -- To Dance in the Desert, by Kathleen Popa. It really is a lovely book to look at and I'm looking forward to reading it. I read the first chapter quite a while ago and I've been anticipating the rest of it ever since. It's up for a blog tour soon, so I'll be telling more then.

Another book I'm looking forward to, and will be featuring in a blog tour this summer I think, is the new novel from T.L. Hines: The Dead Whisper On. I enjoyed immensely Tony's debut novel, Waking Lazarus, and I don't expect to be disappointed with this one. Here's a link to an excerpt. Tony has also been blogging about his present journey with lymphoma -- my prayers are with you, Tony.

There are a couple more books I'm looking forward to, but I think I'll save them for another day. That way I won't have trouble coming up with a blog topic. :)

1 comment:

Kathleen Popa said...

Thanks for the mention, Linda! And thanks for choosing my book to review. Jeff Barnes did the cover, and it still makes me happy just to look at it.