A Few Thoughts on Recent Reads

I don’s usually have a stack of books on my bedside table–I like to finish one book before I start another. Usually that means I buy them one at a time according to my mood at the time. But after a particularly eclectic trip to the bookstore, I came home with Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins,  All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, The World According to Garp by John Irving, and The Professor’s House by Willa Cather. (Okay, I borrowed my husband’s copy of Garp, but it wound up in the same stack.)

It was a nice mini-study of why we buy the books we buy. I’d had two different people mention Cather to me because my next book deals with New Mexico archaeology, and so does The Professor’s House. John Irving wrote a very interesting foreward to my copy of Great Expectations, and I’d never read him before.  I LOVED The Road, then had my McCarthy phase stopped dead in its tracks when I tried to get through Blood Meridian. I’ve been meaning to pick up All the Pretty Horses for more than year. And I keep seeing Hunger Games EVERYWHERE. It seemed like it was time to figure out what the fuss was about.

Verdicts: Haven’t read Cather yet. I’m halfway through McCarthy and am really enjoying it, although not with as much flat-out awe and amazement as I felt with The Road. But he makes me want to sleep outdoors and stare at the sky and I love his long twisting sentences. They pull you in like a noose.

Garp had its moments. But I really adored Hunger Games. I passed it along to my stepson immediately. It’s fast-paced and troubling and very well-written. My favorite line was very early on, as Katniss describes her relationship with her sister’s cat, which Katniss at one time tried to drown. Now she feeds him the scraps as she cleans her kills. She explains: “Entrails. No hissing. This is the closest we will ever come to love.”

That’s a great summary of the whole book…and of the toughness of the heroine. Katniss could be in a McCarthy novel.

Leave a Comment