I’ve recently finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the prequel to his epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings, halfway through Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and almost done with John Greene’s Paper Towns. Overlapping reads, eh? Not really. I’m thinking that I’m just using a lot of idle time to ~devour as much literature as I can before summer ends. That means that when May ends and June begins, I have to stop reading fiction for now and face the reality of serious reading materials, i.e. school stuff.
Anyhoo, I totally enjoyed Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I wasn’t sure of reading it before because I had figuratively bled my nose trying to begin LOTR. Dwarves, wizards, orcs and hobbits in a make-believe world speaking Old English is just a bit of an overload for me. The closest thing I had of LOTR-ish lit was George R.R. Martin’s first four installments of A Song of Ice and Fire (that’s HBO’s A Game of Thrones series, just so others get it). I felt that if I appreciated and understood Martin’s lit language, I’d be able to take on Tolkien. But lo and behold, I still wasn’t able to commence reading Fellowship. Ate Fina recommended The Hobbit. It was written as a storybook for children complete with inked illustrations, so I thought why not? I began reading it during LRT rides on my way to the office and home. When the holidays began, I sped off and in two days, I was done. Turned out I liked the whole thing.
The book was all about Bilbo Baggins’ amazing journey with thirteen dwarves who are set to defeat the dragon that destroyed their kingdom under the mountain and took hold of all of their treasures. It might be a bit scary for kids to listen to bedtime stories with terrible-looking goblins attacking Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves or even imagining Smaug the Dragon destroy the dwarf stronghold. But I felt that because it was written using light language, where the narrator was really just telling the whole story interlaced with witty puns and humor, the whole idea of leaving the comforts of your home and going on an unexpected journey became very much appealing to the readers, kids and adults alike. Tolkien just made himself understandable for both hardcore LOTR fans and regular bookworms who thirst for a nice read. A good book, I must say. I also felt that I could at least push through with my pending LOTR reading or I can always settle on the couch and watch the three movie installments along with the Director’s cuts. That might be better. Hehehe.
As for the second book, it was again Ate Fina who recommended Dostoevsky’s famous novel, Crime and Punishment. Ate Vi actually began reading the book but after a month or so, she managed to get until page 15 and then passed it on to me. She said she was totally bored by the winding descriptions of the plot’s settings plus she felt the story was too heavy for her. She decided to borrow my copy of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood mainly because she felt Naoko’s sexually liberated character was something she can at least relate to. I took Crime and Punishment with the promise that if I get past the 15-page mark Ate Vi made, I might as well continue reading it. After two weeks of reading it in several doses, I was already halfway! I made it! Wow. I thought that I could finish it, although I really have to take it in average doses or I might end up being swept away by Raskolnikov’s angst against the world. I wouldn’t want to overthink things really so yep, average reading.
After reaching halfway through Crime, I stopped for a few days and decided to try John Greene’s Paper Towns. The epub copy comes again from Ate Fina, the
black market ultimate ebook producer. So while inside the LRT again this week, I just happened to flip through the pages of my iBook. The next thing I know, I’m left with 90 pages until I find out what really happened to Margo Roth Spiegelman. The story telling technique was very much like any other young adult fiction/ coming-of-age tales I’ve read. There’s Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being A Wallflower or even Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. The speakers of the story were outlining the whole plot as if they’re just talking to someone over coffee or tea. It’s light but a lot of lines were also packed with substance and in-your-face realities—those lessons you’ve already heard or even known before, only they’re told with more drama and swag that’s why it felt like it punched your gut. Pretty cool and exciting, don’t you think? I might as well forgo a few hours of sleep tonight just so I can be done with the remaining pages.
I plan to post a few quotes I underlined/ highlighted while reading. Maybe on the next blog entry. Those lines that I felt were worth sharing and reflecting onto. And also, it might come handy should we need a bit of pop culture reference on inspirational messages or speeches I’d be drafting soon. Hehehe. By the way, I tried using Sam Gamgee’s nice statement on believing that Middle Earth’s still worth fighting for even if people are as wretched as Grima or the Orcs or Saruman. He was encouraging Frodo Baggins that time to continue with the battle. O but then, as much as it was a very powerful quote to use, the speaker and even the audience knew little about Tolkien’s fascinating Middle Earth, hence, it was scrapped. Better luck next time, I guess.
Anyhoo, phone batt’s quite full. I’d have to continue reading if I’m to post quotable quotes a la Good Reads tomorrow. I recommend these books for reading—there’s a children’s story (The Hobbit), and a young adult fic (Paper Towns) and even an adult reading material (Crime and Punishment). Or if you can’t, then just try. Nothing will be lost anyway.
Happy reading for the weekend everyone!
Labels: 2013, 22, books, free downloads, free ebooks, friday, midnight blabber, perks of being a wallflower, saturday, summer, weekends