Thursday, July 31, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Endings

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

I love C.S. Lewis' ending in The Problem of Pain. The visual of the whole universe playing a rousing game with a golden apple is breathtaking.

"The golden apple of selfhood, thrown among the false gods, became an apple of discord because they scrambled for it. They did not know the first rule of the holy game, which is that every player must by all means touch the ball and then immediately pass it on. To be found with it in your hands is a fault: to cling to it, death. But when it flies to and fro among the players too swift for eye to follow, and the great master Himself leads the revelry, giving Himself eternally to His creatures in the generation, and back to Himself in the sacrifice, of the Word, then indeed the eternal dance makes heaven drowsy with the harmony..."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

The title is pretty self-explanatory. A.J. Jacobs tries to follow the Biblical laws for a year. The first part of the book is dedicated to the Old Testament and Jacobs kind of half-heartedly follows some of the Biblical laws. He chooses a law to follow and then sort of attempts to follow it and then checks it off his list. The second part is supposed to be about Jacobs following the commandments in the New Testament. Instead, he interviews a few fundamentalist Christians and then his mind wanders and he begins talking about the Old Testament again. He interviews all sorts of people from varying brands of Christianity and Judaism during his experiment and even visits Israel.

I really struggled to get through this book. I finally put it down and just read it in bits and pieces in between reading other books. I was really hoping he would get something out of the experiment at the end. Maybe he would convert to Christianity or embrace his Judaic roots. I figured there would have to be some kind of spiritual payoff after going through all this trouble. Instead, he had a very nice moment at a Willy Wonka bar mitzvah where he just felt happy and loved everyone. Then, he cut off his beard and returned the Bible he had been using. And that's that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

30 books in 30 days!

I created a challenge blog to read 30 books in 30 days during the month of September.

If anyone is interested in joining me on this challenge, you can sign up at the 30 books in 30 days blog here:

If you don't want to join the challenge but you have ideas for books that can be read in a short time, you can also post your suggestions!
I love browsing book blogs almost as much as visiting bookstores. So here I am with one of my own! You can see on the sidebar a list of the books I have read in 2008. I'm not going to review all of those, but I will review the books I read from here on out.

Here are my top 10 favorites so far this year:

  1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  2. A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev
  3. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  4. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
  5. The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
  6. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  7. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  8. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
  9. The Coffee Trader by David Liss
  10. Life of Pi by Yann Martel