I started with this one because it was one I'd never read before.
was it ever a good one, too. The novel is actually comprised of two
separate stories, each chapter alternating between them. The first, "The
Wild Palms," is about a young man and woman who fall in love and run off
together (she is married to someone else, which is why they have to run
off). But it's more a parody of sappy romance than an actual romance
itself. The man, Harry, is a weak dude (my word, not Faulkner's) who is
already in his late 20's and is still a complete child when it comes to
women and love. The woman, Charlotte, is a flaky, super-sexual animal who
happily gives up two children and a husband who loves her just so she can
suffer more for love (this is where the satire comes in). They spend a
lot of time being melodramatic and miserable but mad about each other.
And ultimately, you start to feel for them because everything pretty much
goes to hell by the end. Still, MAN were they stupid. Bah!
The second story, "Old Man," is about a convict who is sent out in a boat
during a flood to rescue a woman out of a tree (the convicts from the
local prison are all sent out to try to help people or sandbag levies).
When the guy in the boat with him falls out and is lost, the convict has
the perfect opportunity to escape. But he comes across the woman and
takes her in when he sees she is pregnant. Then he can't find his way
back and ends up paddling around for several days with her (meanwhile, she
has the baby, by the way) (in the boat!) (yikes!). Anyway, I won't give
away what happens, but I will say this was an absolutely WONDERFUL
Put the two together and what do you have? My opinion: a two-sides of
every coin kinda thing. You could even say the two women are the two
faces of Eve -- the temptress and the mother. The two men are the
two faces of Adam -- the foolishly tempted and the protector. Marvy.
(7/4) The New New Thing by Michael Lewis.
Jim Clark, the guy who started Silicon Graphics, then
Netscape, and is presently involved with Healtheon, a company poised to
turn the health-care industry upside down, is also at work on his boat --
Hyperion, the largest single-masted vessel in the world. The boat is
controlled by, what else, a computer, and its code could contain the seeds
of the next software coup. From there we begin our whirlwind ride through
Silicon Valley and its boardrooms on the one hand and the pitching deck
of the Hyperion in a furious North Sea on the other. A lot of fun!
(7/1) Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling.
If you're an adult like me (ha), you've probably heard all the
hoopla about Harry Potter and wondered a bit about it. Maybe you even
bought the first book and it's sitting on your shelf waiting to be read.
But you're not sure it's something you're REALLY going to like and besides
it's a kids' book and yadda yadda yadda. LISTEN UP. You need to read
this! Harry Potter and his world is WONDERFUL! In this, the first in the
series, Harry, who has been raised by his evil aunt after both his parents
died when he was young, gets called upon to attend a very prestigious
(and, to the common person, very WEIRD) school -- Hogwarts. Hogwarts is a
school for wizards and witches and Harry is surprised to hear he's not
only been chosen to attend, but is already a legend there. Turns out his
parents had been heroes in the wizardry-world and they were killed by an
extremely evil entity, whose name no one dare speak. But this bad guy was
unable to kill Harry -- something pretty significant. When Harry starts
his training, he quickly makes some serious friends and enemies at school.
But when he uncovers a plot to steal the Sorcerer's Stone, a very powerful
magical item, he has to sacrifice those friendships in order to do the
right thing. Excellent messages for children and so creative it's a joy
for everyone. I LOVED IT. And that's what all the hoopla is about!