Topic: Stream of Consciousness
I posted a blog entry in my MySpace blog, and didn't think it was fair to those who don't have MySpace accounts, so I posted it here as well: (I wrote this as an alternative to filling out the "books" section of "my interests" on my MySpace profile.)
I don't know what was read to other kids as bedtime stories, but for me it was The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings by JRR Tolkien. I don't remember how old I was when my dad first started reading to me at bedtime, but I do know I wouldn't have wanted him to read anything else. It was a special time my dad and I shared, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the wonderful adventures Bilbo, then later Frodo, would have. It didn't hurt that my dad is blessed with an amazing voice, and talent for oral interpretation.
My dad read and reread those books to me every night at bedtime, until finally I began reading them for myself.
I loved any books having to do with scifi, and sword and sorcery (especially the sorcery!). I devoured Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, as well as Zenna Henderson's books (where I got my second middle name, if anyone's curious), and the Lensmen series, by EE Doc Smith.
The funny thing was, I was only in seventh or eighth grade at the time, and here I was reading fiction written for adults. It was kind of odd for me to go back and read things aimed more at my age group. I loved The Chronicles of Narnia (which incidentally, I read all out of order because of when the school library had the various books in), and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. There were two books that made a big impression on me, Veronica Ganz by Marilyn Sachs, and Fifth Grade Magic by Beatrice Gormley. (It's been so long since I've read them though, I'm not entirely sure why they've stuck with me.) Of course, I read all the Choose Your Own Adventure books, loving the ability to choose the outcome and alter the story.
In high school I had to read horrible things like Ethan Frome. I still had plenty of time for leisure reading though. I read a lot of sword and sorcery series, mostly.
Fast forward to the whole Harry Potter phenomenon. (You knew it was coming! :) ) I remember the first book, then movie coming out. Seemed a nerdy kid in round glasses was everywhere I looked (he kind of creeped me out, actually). I wondered what all the hubbub was about. At the time I was the kind of person who avoided popular things like the plague, so I steadfastly refused to read the books or watch the movies.
I don't know why, but sometime around the beginning of this year I caved. Like a fresh convert to a religion, I saw the light! :P Seriously, I began to see what the big deal was.
I'm not sure if I've explained this at some point in my Tripod blog or not. However, since things HP have popped up in my blog and conversation, I'd like to explain my current fascination with the Harry Potter books.
At the most fundamental level, it's just plain well-written. It's a classic story of good vs. evil, executed creatively and brilliantly. Of course, I love magic, so there's that as well. Beyond those things, is something very deep and primal I've only come to understand over the last two years: mother's love. In the story, Harry's mother's love for him saves his life. Love conquers evil. To me, that is so amazing and beautiful. It's a scary world we live in, and reading stories of love prevailing over evil is very uplifting.
Another theme of the books that is close to my heart is friendship. The friends in these books form an incredible bond, and would (but hopefully don't!) die for one another. To me, true friendship is something to be treasured, and unfortunately seems to be rare. (I count myself very fortunate to be able to say I have true friends.)
The icing on the cake is that there's a good, very well thought out plot, and it's a very entertaining read. It's so easy to fall into that world, because of all the work that went into creating it.
I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. I like all sorts of books. JoAnna and I read Not That Kind Of Girl by Catherine Alliot, and had a great time doing so! I've read The DaVinci Code and enjoyed it. I've discovered that books tend to find me, rather than vice versa. I'm looking forward to seeing what finds me next.
Posted by hkvlayman
at 4:21 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006 4:24 PM BST