Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Post: Horns, Ender's Game, and Reflections on the Psalms


As much as I read, I don't read as much as my mother - she reported to me that she's already read 42 books this year - a very healthy start to her 14 x 14 challenge.

But I did get through three more books toward my own challenge:

Horns has been made into a movie, so it fits my "Books Made Into Movies" category.  Iggy Perrish wakes up one morning, about a year after his girlfriend was found brutally raped and murdered and he was the prime suspect, and he has horns.  People are confessing their sinful urges to him, and he has become a demon.  From there, the book goes on to uncover what really happened to his girlfriend and to wrestle with the question of why God lets bad things happen, and who/what the devil really is.  I thought it was good, even with a few awkward or heavy handed bits.  Actually, it reminds me of Stephen King's good stuff.  The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, and I can't wait to see it when it becomes available on netflix.

Another for my Books Into Movies category: Ender's Game.  Despite its status as a Sci-Fi classic, I had never read it.  The kids and I listened to it as our car audio book, and they loved it.  I thought it was OK, even though there was no way I was going to believe those characters were young children (even genius children).  Maybe if I had read it when I was younger, or if it was one of my first exposures to this type of science fiction, I would have loved it.  But when I was the right age and first reading sci-fi I read all of Robert Heinlein instead, and so coming to Ender's Game I was just reminded of Heinlein. Comparing notes with my husband, he noted that he read Orson Scott Card first, so when he got to Heinlein he thought "eh".  The first cut is the deepest, Cat Stevens told us.

But my kids - well for my kids this was their very first real grown-up science fiction book.  They loved it, and it has inspired my son to want to write science fiction.  Maybe I should introduce them to Heinlein next?

And then there is C.S. Lewis, best known for Narnia.  I am about to read the Psalms, and his Reflections on the Psalms popped up as one of the commentary books in my library search.  It was frustrating, as I wanted to like his ramblings.  I think I would have liked Lewis, and much of his writing here is charming and thought-provoking.  But he was also a product of his milieu, (Oxford, Anglican, mid-twentieth century) and that colors his writing in ways I found difficult to turn a blind eye to.  While his Christian apologetics are fine, his supersessionism (the idea that Christianity perfected/replaced Judaism - basically that Christianity is superior to Judaism) grated on me.  Sweeping characterizations of "The Jews" and "The Pagans" were more than a bit offensive-seeming.  So I wasn't able to really like this book, which disappointed me.

That's what I have been reading.  Next up, I'm starting The Old Man and the Sea and Frozen in Time.  Happy Reading!

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