Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What I'm Reading Now

Last Saturday, I let you know that I would be reading Packing for Mars and The Things They Carried. I often have both an adult book and a children's/YA book on my night-table at the same time. I like it when they touch on the same, similar or, at least, consistent, themes. The 2 books I'm currently reading do not seem to fit the bill. In fact, if I was to recommend a mix of similarly-themed adult and children's/YA books on the subjects covered by these books,  I would recommend Brian Floca's Moonshot (great book about the flight of Apollo 11) as the younger reader companion to Packing for Mars and Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn (a brilliant and chillingly authentic account of the Vietnam War) as the adult companion to The Things They Carried. Part of what I love about reading, though, is the challenge of making connections between what you're reading and what you're living, what you've lived or what you've read. It's not so difficult to find the connection between Packing for Mars and The Things They Carried - maybe that's because books are often really about something more or different from that which they purport to be about. Packing for Mars is fascinating because it's about so much more than packing for Mars - some of the passages have made me think about the recent incredible story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days. And The Things They Carried is ultimately not about what soldiers carried in their hands, heads and hearts during the Vietnam War. Both books offer insight into what makes us tick as human beings - how we cope, how we survive. Storytelling plays a vital role.
Far be it from me to be a spoiler - read the books yourselves and draw your own conclusions.

Having mentioned the miners, though, allow me the indulgence of wishing the best of luck in tomorrow's NYC marathon to Chilean miner Edison Pena as well as to my wonderful husband Jeff, a hero in our home - we are eager to cheer him on and look forward to celebrating his accomplishment tomorrow night!

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