Currently Reading: Daniel Dennett and JK Rowling

So… could you get any two different books?

I have finished The Archivist. Loved it. Amazing book. Go out and try to find it. But I did spend a bit of time choosing the next reads. At first I thought I’d pick back up The Drummer was the First to Die, then DNFd it again. Then I found a hard back copy of Sam Harris’s book The End of Faith, but ugh… good book, intelligent and thoughtful writing, but I just wasn’t ready for the polemic and aggressive nature of the argument. Maybe later.

So I chose to go with JK Rowling’s first non YA book, published in 2012, The Casual Vacancy. Very good writing also but I’m first finishing Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett. It’s an examination of religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Dennett is a philosopher and one of the Four Horsemen of the so-called New Atheist Movement. I’m looking forward to his thoughts and ideas.

**

So… Tell me what you’re reading these days? Have you read this book or the author? How about any Literary Historical Fiction? Let me know in the comments.

-mike

Advertisements

Sunday Morning Musings: No One is Lost

All are Found and Received

grabaspine says:

And no. I don’t believe anyone is ‘lost’ in the same way as you. If there is a God, and I believe there may be but we can’t prove or demonstrate it, I believe he is more willing to receive all than we are for others to be received without believing what we believe.
No one is Lost.

If our Beliefs are ultimately based on Faith Alone...

If there is a Creator God who receives us after we pass from this life, I choose to believe He receives All. Given our inability to demonstrate the actual existence of God, a place called Heaven or a place called Hell, we are all left with what we place our own personal Faith in… the Beliefs that define us and how we deal with the World/Reality and how we interact with Others.

I’d rather Believe that love and goodness and kindness win in the end, than to believe that others who believe differently or have different Holy Books, or No holy books at all… are destined and deserving of Eternal Torment and Torture by a “Loving God” in a place called Hell that hasn’t nor can be demonstrated to actually exist.

If our Beliefs about these things are ultimately based on Faith Alone, I’d rather have Faith in humanity and in the ‘Humanity’ of a truly Loving God who leaves no one behind.

-mike

Currently Reading: The Archivist

Having finished Divergent…

I have diverged back from my short side trip into Young Adult Fiction, with a very short stop again at mid 19th century India and London in the debut novel The Dummer was the First to Die by Liza Pennywitt Taylor (ended up DNFing because it was so F’ing boring for me), and now I’m returning to more enjoyable Literary Historical Fiction in the form of The Archivist by Martha Cooley.

Apparently inspired by the writings of T. S. Eliot with just a whiff of Nicholas Sparks The Notebook, the story intrigues me. My wife and I are avid readers and at least she has actually read Eliot, so I’m looking forward to reading this debut novel by Cooley. What is it these days with me reading debut/first novels? Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a review or at least how I felt about the book.

So… Tell me what you’re reading these days? Have you read this book or the author? How about any Literary Historical Fiction? Let me know in the comments.

-mike

Just Finished: The Divergent Series

Just a bit Divergent from Hunger Games

Yes… All four books in just 11 days!! Yuppers… they were that quick of reads. Not real challenging, but very enjoyable reads. I don’t really read YA fiction, otherwise known as Young Adult… Used to just be called Teen Fiction…, but as I said on a previous post I picked up both the Hunger Games and Divergent series at my local Savers Thrift for a song and a dance so why not, right? I finished the three books of the Hunger Games last year, and this year… apparently in just 11 days!!!… I finished all four installments of the Divergent series. Here’s a bit of what I picked up.

Not too Divergent after all… Just a few parallels

  • Both series take place in a Dystopic United States after some catastrophic events have rendered our own experience of the nation obsolete or irrelevant.
  • Both feature a strong Teenaged female protagonist ‘coming of age’ to who she is as a person and the inequities/injustice of the country or city she is living in.
  • Both feature initiation or training periods meant to challenge and transform our 16yr old school girl into a lean, mean, fighting machine.
  • Both feature ‘love interest’ fellow teen boyfriends who are both supportive and trusting of the Lead Female.
  • Both involve a struggle against an unjust government, and then other leaders and eventually an overthrow of those structures to ‘return’ their societies to a more just positions.
  • Both are written in the First Person Narrative of said Teen turned Warrior.

And this is the most important similarity…

  • Both have an outside force/leader who is an Ally, but then becomes an enemy and a tyrant to the same freedom that the allies were trying to regain in the first place.

This is just my opinion, but I think there are just too many similarities and parallels to think that Veronica Roth wasn’t just inspired by Suzanne Collins, but was actively trying to use the patterns in the Story arc of the Hunger Games trilogy to write her own version of dystopic/teen drama/fight to the death/revolutionary/self-sacrificial series. It’s the same story arc just with different characters and situations.

Not to say I didn’t enjoy the books. I did. They were quick reads, enjoyable reads, not challenging reads but good reads. Not sure I would read them again or even that I’m going to keep them on my shelf, but I’m not upset or disappointed that I read them. Only that they weren’t more original. Of the two series, I would say that Roth did a better job of writing than did Collins, but I’d venture that I enjoyed the Hunger Games as a series more.

***

So… Tell me what you’re reading these days? Have you read this book and series? Let me know in the comments.

-mike

Currently Reading: The Divergent Series

Don’t judge me… Lol

Happy Friday….FRIDAY!!!… to all you Readers, writers and fellow travellers in the Journey of books and bookish things. Today’s Currently Reading post is actually the Divergent series of books by Veronica Roth. I know, I know. “Not another YA book series… sheesh!!”

Well, you’d probably be right. I’m not much of a YA reader, and really not much of a Young Adult. But last year when I picked up The Hunger Games and the Divergent series at my local Savers Thrift, I decided to give it a go. I really enjoyed the former, I’m a sucker for dystopian novels and strong women… ask my wife… and I’m looking forward, after having finished 50 books last year, to make my first books this Reading New Year to be these books.

Divergent was the first book not only of the series but also of Roth’s writing career. She wrote it during the break of her senior year in college. Her debut novel, published when she was just 23yrs old, not only sold well and captured the hearts and minds of teens and Young Adults, but also led to the BiG screen in movies, followed by two more books and a companion book called Four.

I have all Four novels and have already finished the first namesake of the series, Divergent. My wife and I watched the movie when it came out so I can say the book followed very closely to the book’s narrative. I read the first book in less than a day after I finished A Good Year by Peter Mayle. The plan is to get thru all four books by the end of this month.

So… Tell me what you’re reading these days? Have you read this book and series? Let me know in the comments.

-mike