A Book Worth Reading: The Hunger Games

I am not one for ‘fads‘, ‘trends‘, ‘reality TV‘ or mass hysteria. I just do my own thing.

But occasionally, I manage to pull myself onto the pop culture bandwagon and get wrapped up in the current obsession du jour:

Example One: Reading the first Harry Potter book when I was 11 and waiting whole-heartedly for my letter from Hogwarts.

Example Two: Believing when I was nine years old that once I turned fourteen, a purple cat would come and tell me I was Sailor Moon. Really bummed this one didn’t happen by the way…

Example Three: Going to see Lord of the Rings at midnight… three years in a row.

And now…

Example Four: I am eagerly waiting for the Hunger Games movie (with midnight showing and nail polish collection) ever since I finished the Hunger Games book earlier this week.

Firstly, what a fast read! I had the whole thing done in only a few days and I mostly read it on my 20 minute commute.

Secondly, despite the ‘young adult’ tag-line, I couldn’t help but enjoy the stories, the characters and the theme of survival.

If you havent read this book, give it a try. As someone who spurns bandwagons, I can tell you it is worth at least a majority of the hype.

My favorite quote:

“Destroying things is much easier than making them.”

And it is so true. This is actually something I have spent a lot of time ruminating on. Ian and I are working towards making our lives more sustainable (though my shopping habit inhibits this quite a bit) but it can be hard. It’s so much easier to destroy the world than to live in harmony with it. Secretly, Ian and I are planning to move off to a farm in a few years to start growing our own food and work towards our mutual goal of a zero-energy home. We are a ways off from that right now but last summer we started an indoor garden in our apartment and just this last week we started indoor composting (complete with 1,000 new red wiggling family members). I’ll be sure to post pictures soon.

What are your pop-culture indulgences?



A Book Worth Reading: Heinlein’s The Moon is A Harsh Mistress

Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Remember when I made a resolution to read in 2012? Well, last week I finished my first book of the year and it was, in a word, unforgettable. I read Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (and got to check it off my Bucket List).

I have long been a fan of Robert Heinlein. He has an incredible ability to write ‘science fiction’ that is a ‘genre-free’ (technical term I just made-up) social, philosophical and physical commentary on humanity. If you haven’t read Heinlein before, I would suggest starting with Stranger in a Strange Land (yes, the one that influenced the ‘hippie generation’). My father had really enjoyed the book and so I read it on his recommendation. Stranger also happens to be the book that really brought Ian and I together.

When Ian read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress he sold it to me as “even better than Stranger“. Hard for me to believe, but I took a leap of faith and put reading Harsh Mistress on my Bucket List. The story is one of revolution and bureaucracy: Remarkably appropriate considering all of the unrest and protests we’ve seen here in Chicago.

My favorite quote:

“Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow … was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them ‘for their own good’ — not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.”

Though I think Stranger is still my favorite Heinlein, Harsh Mistress comes in as a close second. If you are looking for a book to move you and to challenge the way you view society and intelligence, give Harsh Mistress a shot.

What life-changing books have you read recently?


Supplemental Reading:

Quotes from Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress