Monday, September 27, 2010

Tinkers by Paul Harding

It took me a long time to write about this book. As a man lay dying he contemplated about his accumulated life. All parts of it. His grandson sitting next to his deathbed, the curtains he and his wife bought, the couch his relatives used to pass by him, the bocci balls used on the front lawn. At first it seemed to me to be a story about stuff. Appropo as it is, as I am living in my parents house sifting through years of their stuff. Meshed into the dying man is the story of his father who was a tinkerer, selling wares throughout the countryside in remote areas for pennies, literally. I thought about this at the first garage sale we had. "Will you take a quarter for these?" "No" I remember buying those charger plates for a Christmas dinner with Mom when ALL the family was coming to dinner. No, I will not take a quarter for those. That memory will cost you.
            And so it was with Tinkers, it was the story of the accumulation of a life and most importantly the memories associated with the "stuff" we drag into it. With each piece and part comes a memory of our lives, and this it was Paul Harding so eloquently put down on paper. This book took a while to sink in but when it did it's meaning was magical. The language in the book was beautiful as well. An important lesson to us all.

Books I've read since then:
Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man
Ape House
Cookbook Collector
Never Let Me GO
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Nothing Left to Burn
The Lovers
Time is A river

Have Started Guard of Honor.....Rough reading so far.....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Road

Cormac McCarthy, 2008 winner. I liked this book even though it was depressing and dreary. It was interesting to veer back and forth with the two characters ups and downs. How we as humans try to survive and keep those we love with us no matter what the situation. I was more engrossed in these two characters whose names I never knew than most I've met recently. Another motif that struck me was the good versus evil. "Are we the good ones, Papa?" Yes. If we're the good ones why aren't we helping those more unfortunate? If we're the good ones why are bad things happening to us? If we're the good ones things will turn out okay, right? Are the bads ones bad because they are doing what they need to do to survive? Are the good ones rationalizing what they do in order to survive. At that point who is making the determination as to who is good and who is bad? This book raised more questions for me than any I've read in a while. My husband and I watched the movie and interestingly enough he commented on the apocolypse. I never even thought about it. Of course it could happen but I think really that it can seem to happen to one person in the midst of life today. One person can feel that lonely and scared and have the weight of survival and survival with dependents without the world ending. Sometimes life is just that hard. In the meantime I've read:
A portrait of a Young Man as an Addict
A cure for Dreams
Never Let me Go
Outside of August
Next is Tinkers, 2010 winner. Happy reading!