Saturday, January 5, 2013
Reading Someone You Love
Books have the ability to do that in a way a movie or TV shows can't. They transport you, in part because you are an active participant and not a couch potato observer like the other mediums. It is more akin to listening to music. Some books like that for me are A Separate Peace by John Knowles. I was sure I understood Gene, always in the shadows of his far more outgoing roommate, quiet and studious and not sure he really belonged. It spoke to me of my High School experience and that is when I read it. I also had a secret fascination with the dark side of human nature and this book was so rich in that theme.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and I am not even sure why. There was something tough, fearless, and odd in Scout that reminded me of myself. I was a little in awe of my father like her, though he fell short of Atticus' unwavering commitment to equality and justice.
As an adult I read We We're the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates and that Irish Catholic family, too proud to admit mistakes, so they were compouned and caused permanent rifts and damage. Covering them up by drinking and running away rang a little too true. It was profoundly sad in its universal accuracy.
I would also say right now I am reading a book that was transformative for my husband and that is a different experience. I am reading A Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I was only a paragraph in and I could so clearly see my husband, as an adolescent, reading this book and thinking someone gets it. The irony, the tone, the wit, defiance and the privacy of Holden Caulfield so clearly aligns with who my husband is. I feel like I get to know him a little better by reading this book. I can almost pull out the passages that he would have been reading and laughed at or reread. I would encourage you to read a book that your loved one says was transformative for them. It is like a new way to get to know them all over again!