Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.
And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?
Wow, what a question. It is a day to remember those who lost their lives and cherish those we love. While this is a hard question to answer for some, I think for me it is relatively simple. Ok, maybe not. Yes some books I find much harder to read, ones that are really gruesome or tell way to many details about how war works (bombs being dropped, evacuations etc) IF they are fiction. Those books tend to get to me, but then on the other side, I can devour a book written about or by a soldier and how they survived. To me at least there are two sides. I want details, but if I have to read the really gruesome stuff, then I want it to be true. This probably makes absolutely no sense at all. I want to know how those soldiers are feeling, then and now but I am not into the Tom Clancy or Dale Brown books, (especially Dale Brown - his seem a little far fetched to me with his Delta Force or whatever it is!).
And I definately think the reality of it all has changed how we see villians. Many of us have become desensitized to the villians of the world. We can't and don't realize all the suffering many individuals are going through at the hands of the merciless killers. I think as a nation we have definately become desensitized to the horrors of war, and while we all cried on 9/11 7 years ago, many of us now don't think about it the horrors out there because it is not so close to home. I personally, unless I am reading a non-fiction, do not associate killers or villians in books with real life. It is a book and I know this, but I don't think that I am totally desensitized to the horrors around us. I think it also depends on the books. Stephen King, I have a hard time reading at night - just freaks me out to much, but others I can read with no problem. So I would have to say that yes, the horrors are real for me, but only to a certain extent, and depending on what I am reading.
Ok, now that I have babbled with no real thought here I am currently reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen for my LBC that is meeting Monday. We all know how much I love Jane Austen. I hope I can get through this one by Monday! Pride and Prejudice has definately been the easiest for me to read, and this one started out a bit on the slow side for me. If I can't hack though I will move on to something else and it will be the first time I have not read the entire book for my BC.


gautami tripathy said...

Desensitized? No way! A few have. Not all.

Villainy is not the right word

Anonymous said...

Real world absolutely has an effect on what I choose to read. I need my books to be an escape or a learning experience. If I want to be terrified I will watch the news. LOL That is not to say that I would avoid all books containing war and suffering, but I wouldn't choose a book specifically about terror/war/suffering, and certainly would never consider a book with gratuitous killing. Yuck.
Give me love, give me mystery, give me history...give me Jane Austen!!!!
Oh by the way this past spring PBS's Masterpiece Theater aired The Complete Jane Austen. It was delicious!!! I watched them all. Mansfield Park was one of the movies so if you can watch it before your meeting you may be able to skip a chapter or two until you have more time to read it later. I believe you can buy all of the DVD's. Here is a link

Have a super day!

Granny Lyn said...

My quality reading is always at night, in bed, so I can NOT read any thing violent, or crazy, I am like an 8 year old who has nightmares. I am definately not desinsitized!!!

I aim toward Nancy Turner, Sandra Dallas, Jennifer Chiaverini, Jane Austin, and I sleep better.

Anna M. said...

Reading Stephen King at night freaks me out too! Hope you all stay dry and out of the water! =)