This will be brief … as I failed my goal of four books in April and only made two. The third book I read throughout the end of the month took me longer than expected, so my hope is to squeeze an extra book into May to make up for it. But we shall see!
1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde [A book that scares you],
[Back story to how I came to own this book … it was that afternoon after a long day of teaching when I had to stop by Barnes and Noble to look for a book for one of my students – and lo & behold, it was the day that I passed the handsome stranger with whom I exchanged a smile – that moment that turned my whole day around. Then, lest he should for some reason come back the way he had just come, I could not let him see me browsing the Minecraft section! So I therefore stopped in front of the Classics section right next to the Minecraft display, not intending to actually buy anything … but then I saw “The Picture of Dorian Gray” which has always intrigued me, and spontaneously decided to buy it. Hence, it was added to the book list. Thanks, handsome stranger, for your inspiration.]
Although this wasn’t a “horror” story bound to give me nightmares, it did scare me enough to give delicious chills down my spine as I closed the last page. In fact, the premise behind selling your soul in exchange for perpetual youth and beauty is an intriguing one in general, and the amazing insight that Oscar Wilde had into the human heart was incredible. He also wrote beautifully – and I took down quote after quote of his. I’ll spare you all of them and just share a few …
“But the world might guess it; and I will not bare my soul to their shallow, prying eyes. My heart shall never be put under their microscope.”
“He watched it with that strange interest in trivial things that we try to develop when things of high import make us afraid, or when we are stirred by some new emotion for which we cannot find expression …”
“… a perfect saint among women, but so dreadfully dowdy that she reminded one of a badly-bound hymn-book.”
“I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.”
“He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.”
“It was the living death of his own soul that troubled him.”
2. Last Dance, by Melody Carlson [A book you can finish in a day]
As this book takes place in a high school setting, I had originally intended it for that category … and then before I knew it, I had finished the whole thing in a day, putting it into that category. Talk about cotton candy fluff! There was no substance to this book … no depth to the characters, no insight into the heart. I was utterly unchanged by it. The only consolation to me was that if such authors can get published, then by George, there’d better be hope for me!
For the month of May … I’m about to finish the one I started mid-April & I have several more books in the mail on their way to me. Hopefully next month’s blog entry will be much longer!