Bookmarks have officially been placed into other books and now I am faced with three very different books rumbling around in my head…not to mention the two I am feverishly speeding through at the moment. Seriously…what has gotten into me? I am hoping this does not become a habit purely for the sake of this blog. While it is interesting to have all of these texts talking to each other in my head the dialogue is too convoluted and would reveal way too many plot points for any kind of hint-hint-read-this-book-post. Solution? Mini entries!?Many entries? BOTH! *oh man my wit kills me sometimes*
Tale of Desperaux by DiCamillo:
This is a direct result of a previous read that had me wondering why I was denying myself the world of DeCamillo. Unfortunately, this one left me with less of a sense of wonder and self-exploration than Edward. I found the read enjoyable, just less dimensional. Granted, it is rich storytelling with a perfectly darling main character (Desperaux would take offense I believe, but, dude, you are darling) who has as much resilience and compassion as the knights he so idealizes. And DeCamillo does cover the subject of the idealizing of a fictitious hero since Desperaux has to learn through his many trials that the self, as opposed to a false projection, is a more beneficial way to live.
The Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
I grew up as a HUGE fan of Pierce’s “Alanna” series and continued to follow her in her explorations of the characters that inhabit Tortall. I decided to branch out all thanks to a closeout sale at the Borders near my office where this little book was sitting on the shelf 50% off. And since I still own the library gobs of money I purchased a great number of books. Of course the total was more than what I owe the library…but trust me, I learned my lesson. It is books like these that are why I go to the library. Seeming so right on the shelf and yet so wrong by page 50. This was no page turner. In fact, I am tempted to blame the picking up of several books on this one. Yes it has Pierce’s strong female doing strong female things and not thinking about boys for even a second…but the plot! EEGAD!
Nation By Terry Pratchett
If this entry was, say, a science fair, this book would be leaving the auditorium with ribbons and trophies galore and the other books would be crying into their paper mache volcanos. The tale of two lone children, separated by differing languages and cultures, forced to survive alone on a small island sounds pretty darn dramatic while at the same time holds a lot of potential of being cliché and pretty much blowing up in one’s face. Luckily, Pratchett handles it with grace and leaves the reader with much to think about.
At first the children manage their differences on their own. What is particularly brilliant is the depiction of their limited understanding of their own cultures, their own personal questioning, and then having that wobbly perception slammed up against another that is so drastically different. Once that seems to be somewhat stable Pratchett brings in several other perspectives through the adult characters that seek refuge on the island, complicating things immensely. And this is just one concept battled in this book.