Friday, August 24, 2012

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen has returned home to District 12, after winning the Hunger Games with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Her life returns to normal, for the most part: she's living with her mother and sister, albeit in a big, fancy house in the Victor's Square; she hunts with Gale, although their relationship is newly awkward; and she doesn't see much of Peeta, and is not sure what to think of that. But as the Victor's Tour approaches, Katniss receives a terrifying visit from President Snow himself. He warns her that her feigned love for Peeta hasn't convinced the population of the districts, and that they now stand at the edge of revolt, emboldened by her own actions during the Hunger Games. She has to convince the people of the districts that she's truly in love with Peeta, or the people she does love will suffer the consequences.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Suggested book for August 2012

Cat's Eye
by Margaret Atwood

When a gallery in Toronto wants to do a retrospective of her work, Elaine Risley returns to the city of her youth and finds herself reliving important moments from her childhood and adolescence. She revisits her trio of childhood friends and their casual cruelties. She rediscovers her teenage years and the forces that help shape her into an artist. And she reexamines her first marriage and its implications on her present. Will what she learns free her from the ghosts of her past? Or will a part of her still remain prisoner?

I avoided reading Margaret Atwood for years because of all of the hype around her as "the best Canadian writer of our times." What if I didn't like her? Or worse, what if I really liked her and suddenly became compelled to spend my scant money on her complete works or start parroting lines from her books to my peers? Well, I'm afraid the worst happened. This book spoke to me. It moved me.  The politics of childhood stay with us all of our lives. Cat's Eye is a wonderful read because it's so vivid, and it reminds me that reminiscing on the simplicity of our childhoods can be misleading--everyday wasn't just running around on the playground and seeing your favourite teacher at school. Children can be cruel, even the kind ones. But you can't have the sour without the sweet in life, and I'd definitely categorize time spent reading this book as "sweet" time. You'll be happy to know, however, that I've kept my favourite lines to myself.

View my suggested books by Margaret Atwood