Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Burning of a history~

Oh wow, so it's been nearly a month since my last post? Man...okay, I really will do better, I swear. (Though, why am I so concerned, who's reading this anyways?)

An update on my life is that people are crazy, boys are stupid, and I turn 18 in less then two weeks. How freaky is that? I can help chose the next president. O_o Holy crap. Well, who knows where I'll be over the next few years.

I'm not sure if I really have anything important to write about, except that kids my age worry me. Actually, it's not just kids my age but those a little younger and a little older.

We had a sort of book report last week in Young Women's where we all brought a book we loved (excluding the Inheritance Cycle, the Twilight series, and Harry Potter), and talk about it. The writing, the setting, etc. Obviously not to give away the ending, but anything else goes.

Well, I was originally going to bring what probably equals my favorite book. Ender's Game. Ender's Game is just so powerful to me, I love it. You can enjoy it on so many different levels. It's definitely not a kid book but I read it when I was about 8. I understand it a lot more now, but my love for it began then. I happen to think that Orson Scott Card is brilliant and if anyone wants to be proud of a Mormon author, they should be proud of him, no Stephanie. I love Ender, I love Bean, I love Petra, I love Val, I even love Peter.

His stories are beautiful, even the ones he says he doesn't like. I read a series of short stories, some relating to his bigger works, like Magic Street, and others that were about things such as this strange aging and insanity disease or how the elephants are the gods. He creates such strange new worlds and you just get immersed in them. I find that amazing.

Anyways, to get back to the story, I was going to use Ender's Game for my book report but I couldn't find my copy. So two hours before I was supposed to go, I was scrambling around, trying to think of a good replacement. I love books and our tiny trailer is filled with ones I like, but none that I felt quite took place of something like Ender's Game.

And then I found it, stuffed in my bag, where it had resided for several weeks due to me wanting to read it and always forgetting. A stunning classic by an author I adore completely. A book that was more then worthy of my book report.

It's cover was worn and beaten from several siblings getting to it before me. The pages are brown and a book wrom has found it's way into some of the pages. It smells old. Yet all of these things make it just a little more special to me.

Fahrenheit 451.

The temperature at which books burn.

This was another book I read when I was only 8 or 9. I didn't understand it very well back then. I was confused at the plot, puzzled at events. It took me a few more years to really get a better grasp of things, or maybe I just needed to ask Jamie to explain it all to me. But the words, Ray Bradbury's writing, stuck in my mine. Especially the title, it's tag line, and the first two paragraphs, where Ray Bradbury likens Guy burning books to a conductor of the symphony of the burning of history, or something like that. My memory fails me. It's a gorgeous beginning and it just keeps on going.

I love Ray Bradbury's imagery in 451. It's something that is contained in all of his books. He's written several different styles in the various stories he's published, but they always still feel like him. I recommend his collection of short stories 'I Sing The Body Electric'. There's story in there about Abraham Lincoln assassination and it's absolutely fantastic.

So I brought a classic to my book report, right? I can't even tell you how many in there hadn't read either. Either! Ender's Game is considered one of the finest of modern literature and Farhenheit 451 is a classic. But I think there was only two people in the room besides me who had read either book. Jen and Ellie. Ellie is no surprise, she actually reads more then I do. But we have some other readers and Aubrey hadn't even heard of Ender's Game.

Let me put this out for you. Everyone in that room besides Laurie and maybe Ruth had read the Twilight books. I know kids my age (mostly girls, really) who think that these books are literature. That they're a classic! That they're the best books ever written!

...Isn't there something wrong with this picture here?

Okay, to be fair, it's perfectly okay to like a book that isn't a great classic. Take Harry Potter for example. It's definitely not literature, but I do love it to death.

However, like I said, I'm not calling it fine literature, I'm not calling it a great classic. It's a wonderful story but it's not genius. To think that things like Twilight or Harry Potter are works of fine art...just sort of means you don't even understand art.

Another thing that bothers me is how much kids don't care about these stories. How much more concerned they are about teen gossip, video game plots, and Twilight. They can't be bothered to read anymore.

Seriously, how is it possible? I don't know, I come from a family of book worms. Well, I'm not sure how book wormish my parents are, but all of my siblings are readers, their are just varying degrees. If I had to name the one who reads the most (even if it's not current) it's probably Jamie. I know Kim's near the bottom, but that doesn't really mean much, she still reads more then the average person.

I just can't quite imagine not having that love for books. I wasn't like Suki, I didn't teach myself how to read, but I did learn it quickly and I moved onto the big books early one. Before I was ten, I'd read the Lord Of the Rings, Narnia, the Screw Tape Letters, Farhenheit 451, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Ender's Game, and Harry Potter, just to name some major ones. Now, granted, I didn't have the best grasp on those books, but subsequent readings have cleared up a few things for me. But I have always, always loved books. I tell people who asked me, I didn't spend a lot of time playing with dolls or hop scotch, though I did both. My siblings and I grew up in the library. South High, I knew where all the good spots where. I'd just flop out in the aisle and read and read and read. Some of my favorite series when I was younger were things like the Saddle Club, the Magic Attic Club, and of course, manga (more on that later). Wasn't a huge fan of any of the American Girls. Molly annoyed me, Kit was a brat, Felicity made me want to stab my eyes out.

Since then, my tastes have changed. Favorite authors are like the two mentioned above as well as ones such as Eoin Colfer, Patricia C. Wrede, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffery, and the list goes on and on. Other books that reside in my top books are books like Brair Rose by Jane Yolan and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, both books about the Holocaust. Goose Girl by Shanon Hale (another author Mormons should be proud of) is another favorite.

There are plenty of others, but this post has gotten long! And spanned a whole day of writing. In any case...Uh. Yeah. Okay, bye.