Leslie's Omnibus

Book Your Ticket

Over the weekend I read Life of Pi -- twice in a row. That's a rarity for me. Usually if I like a book, I'll come back to it again and again, but over time.

This book, however, rated an immediate re-read -- not because I didn't get it, but because the first time I was so caught up in the story line that I didn't pay as close attention to the richness of the writing as I felt it deserved.

[Confession here. I am a fast reader. In fact, my mom always said I never actually read a book -- I just open and inhale.]

"The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity--it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, leaving only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but a passing shadow of a cloud."

How can you not love a book where the main character, a Hindu by birth, in one breath asks his parents to be baptized as a Christian and for a Muslim prayer rug?

It is about joy and loss, the strong instinct for survival, creativity, overcoming prejudices and love.

Last night I started The Time Traveler's Wife. I've only got about 100 pages to go, so I should polish it off easily tonight.

Time travel has been used as a device in both fantasy fiction and bodice-ripping romantic fiction. I can't really pigeon-hole this book into either category. While it is about love, passion and relationships, it also mines the ethical issues of what should and should not be revealed of knowledge of events in the future.

The characters are richly drawn, and it's set in Chicago. The author clearly has intimate knowledge of the city, and doesn't make up streets and neighborhoods as some other Chicago authors have done. In fact, I could probably find every location mentioned in the book very easily. I like that. Niffenegger jumps back and forth in time, introducing the characters to each other again and again -- sometimes they recognize each other; sometimes they don't -- but the reader really has the sense of being pulled along with them.

Not fantasy fiction. Not romance. Just really good fiction.

Teed up next is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. At 782 pages, this should keep me busy for a couple of days. Based on recommendations from the Instapundit and others, I'm really looking forward to this one.

Finally, I'll be taking this to TMBCITW on Sunday. She currently has not one, but two, invisible friends -- Thomas and Percy. This should guarantee that she'll have at least one "Thomas" bedtime story a night until she's at least 21. Heh.


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