Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Two Great Books

I LOVE Spring Break! I spent all day finishing Oryx and Crake, no guilt even though I do have grading to do and my own class work to do. I got up this morning, turned the TV on for a while--reading during commercials, of course. When I realized that I had less than 100 pages to go, I turned the TV off and settled in for a day of reading. I finished about an hour ago. What a great day!

If you haven't read Oryx and Crake, I highly recommend it, especially if you like futuristic/apocalyptic stories. In this novel, Atwood has much to say about Western civilization. She takes on our desire for perpetual youth, our need for cure-alls, especially those that come in the form of drugs, our greed, our consumerism, the Internet, and a myriad of other things, good and bad. I am a big fan of all of Atwood's work. I am always amazed by her use of language, and in this novel, she doesn't disappoint. Her choices for the names of companies and products are perfect. I wish I could articulate how I feel about this book, but I think I have to let my ideas percolate for a while.

Last week, I finished reading Frankenstein for the first time, the reading of which put off my reading of O&C. Yes, my students couldn't believe that I had never read it or taught it. I think my reading of Frankenstein, which I really enjoyed, added to my enjoyment of Oryx and Crake. Both novels concern the creation of life as well as the creator's responsibility for the life created. They both also speak to the time in which they were written, and they both speak to a contemporary audience. I'm really glad that I decided to teach Frankenstein this year. Maybe I will pull my copy out of my work bag later and write about some specific passages, but for now, I'm off to enjoy a Spring Break evening and not thinking about work--the best part. :-)

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