For some people reading helps them through the best and the worst days of their lives. I remember sitting with a book on the day Mike was born and on the day Beth was born. The words on the pages took me to a place far away from labor pains and fear of the next twenty-four hours. They were a major part of two of the happiest days of my life. I also remember sitting in the hospital when my mother was ill and turning the pages of a book I had been trying to get through for days. As I turned the pages I was transported to a different country and was able to spend some time in my happy place.
When a writer presents us with a book, he/she presents us with an opportunity to make it our own. The author's last words do not have to be the end for us. We can imagine any ending we desire. Many of my students didn't like poetry because they had trouble understanding what the poet was trying to say. I tried to show them that poems are left open to interpretation by the reader, and no poet will ever say "you are wrong" if you find your meaning in it. I agree with Johnson... as a reader, it is our job to finish what the author starts....and have a good time doing it.
With politics being in the forefront at this time, I decided to read Stephen Frey's new book, Jury Town. There were a great deal of times during my reading of this book that I had to ask myself whether certain things that he mentions could ever happen. The basic premise, of a "hired" jury of 200 people sequestered for two years is farfetched, but is the need for one a real possibility? How much jury tampering really does exist?
Of course after reading a novel with such an upsetting premise, I needed something light. Let Us Prey by Jamie Lee Scott was just what the doctor ordered. Heroine Mimi Capurro used to be a Secret Service agent but now spends her days as a private detective. She is cute and funny, even though it is difficult to imagine this somewhat flighty woman as a Secret Service agent. She and her friends ultimately get the job done, but I wondered how as I went along.
Both books are worth reading, and I do recommend them if you need a rest after the candy explosion that is Halloween. As always, a complete review of both books follow this blog.