Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Little Light Reading. . .

The gap between what I've read and what I've written about here grows alarmingly wider, even as my chance of lessening it becomes very slim with the return of classes, the numerous obligations of teaching. Let me quickly list the three absorbing Young Adult novels of Suzanne Collins' trilogy The Hunger Games as an attempt to pinch those two distant corners (1.Already Read and 2.Have Managed to Write About) slightly closer together:  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and The Mocking Jay are light enough reading to gallop through in a summer hammock, but they grapple with coming-of-age issues as well as those larger questions of how to respond to injustice, how to live with dignity, where are our limits of tolerance and our potential for nobility. Much of the ground covered in Tolkien's universe, then, as well as C.S. Lewis' and, recently, Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling. The novels are well written, the characters convincing, and the insight into politics and/of resistance worthwhile. They provided me several welcome hours of summer escape reading, and on that basis I would recommend them as very enjoyable.

Not as satisfying, but also falling into the category of genre fiction (although mystery rather than fantasy, adult rather than YA) was Jonathan Kellerman's Deception. This one relies too heavily on characters whose interactions I'm now very familiar with. I read the mystery two weeks ago and, quite honestly, I have a hard time conjuring the plot, so non-memorable was it. A corpse found in dry ice, I remember, but the intricacies of the mystery are gone leaving only the vaguest contours. Kellerman writes well enough that his prose doesn't distract or irritate, but this one offered me an escape for several hours with no memorable after-taste. I wouldn't bother with this one, if I were you, unless you come across a free copy and have time to kill.


  1. hey, mater! .. like the site .. and thanks for the ya titles .. am into reading such books myself this summer .. grandkids and all that .. also, just finished another book by richard bach (whom i've always enjoyed) .. this one called 'curious lives .. (the ferret chronicles' .. delightfull .. i'll be back ..

  2. I am in desperate need of light reading myself - that trilogy sounds like it might be just the ticket downloaded onto my Kindle!

  3. Hi Jane, Thanks for commenting and pleased to hear you like the site. Ah, the "animal" books. Haven't read Richard Bach, but I can think of many book worlds 'peopled' by critters, if one can say that, from younger days. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, a stellar example.
    Tiffany: Yes, the trilogy was a perfect use of the e-reader (Kobo in my case). It's not something I'm likely to read again but very enjoyable escape and on the Kobo I could disappear from a cranky public transit situation into a more absorbing world . . .