This is another book I came at via the movie, which I absolutely adored, even though I needed the assistance of multipleinfographics to sort out theThis is another book I came at via the movie, which I absolutely adored, even though I needed the assistance of multipleinfographics to sort out the characters and plot. The cinematography was spectacular, and the movie was full of absolutely unforgettable moments.
The book was more different from the movie than I expected. I think they are both brilliant in their different ways (see this review, with which I completely agree: 'Cloud Atlas' Is an Ecstatic Exploration of Humanity. If I had it to do over again, I would read the book first, because it would make the movie so much more comprehensible.
I really loved Mitchell's dramatization of some of the concepts in Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. The themes of individual choice, compassion, and human connection come through like golden threads. The organization of the novel is fascinating, and definitely contributes to the overall effect. I found all six of the nested novellas compelling. It must have been highly diverting for Mitchell to write in so many different styles.
Also, I have always found the idea of reincarnation utterly exhausting. But this book made me want to be born over and over again. I loved this beautiful quote: “Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” I consider Cloud Atlas a modern classic, and highly, highly recommend it....more
This book has been recommended to me multiple times, and I finally got around to reading it this Mother's Day.
It's definitely a book that needed to beThis book has been recommended to me multiple times, and I finally got around to reading it this Mother's Day.
It's definitely a book that needed to be written, and I gave it five stars because I don't know of another book that addresses this important subject as well as The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (If you do, please tell me, because I would love to read it). Kidd's description of her awakening to how male-centric her religion was really struck a chord with me. As a Mormon, I found it fascinating that many of the Christian doctrines she cites (such as the maligning of Eve, or the lack of a female divinity) are actually rectified in my own faith. But on a practical level, in spite of our more egalitarian doctrines, the attitudes of many church members toward women (and some of the things I hear from the pulpit) are the same as Kidd describes.
I didn't connect as much to the second half of the book, where she describes all the interesting things she did to connect with the Sacred Feminine. I don't really feel a need to do Jungian psychoanalysis or make string mazes through the forest. She also seemed to shift from wanting to connect with God to connecting with the divine within herself. They're certainly related, but I thought she conflated them, perhaps excessively. Still, many of her suggestions (e.g. meditation, sacred space, making a shift from living vicariously through others) are helpful. Also included in the Notes section is a sort of informal bibliography, which I will definitely be checking out for further reading.
The one bizarre thing is that Kidd appears to assume that every woman's journey will be virtually identical to hers. She is constantly extrapolating her own experience, even very specific bits of it, and prognosticating that every woman will go through a similar moment. I actually did find myself relating to her experience in many, many particulars, but I can see how someone might find her constant assumption that she is a sort of archetype for "everywoman" annoying.
All in all, an enlightening book, and definitely worth a read if you have any interest at all in the Sacred Feminine....more
This is my favorite Van Allsburg book. Beautiful, quirky and mysterious. I blogged about its use in my secret literary society here: http://casteluzzoThis is my favorite Van Allsburg book. Beautiful, quirky and mysterious. I blogged about its use in my secret literary society here: http://casteluzzo.com/2011/11/21/live......more
This is a beautiful book--tender, funny, heartbreaking, and wonderfully wise. White's development of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and all theThis is a beautiful book--tender, funny, heartbreaking, and wonderfully wise. White's development of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and all the rest of Malory's characters is fresh and believable. And his passionate treatment of the themes of power, justice, war, and individual moral responsibility really impressed me. This book has been on my to-read list for quite a while, partially because it is on the reading list for the homeschooling curriculum I use. It far surpassed my (rather high) expectations. I really cannot think of a better novel for teaching about government and the proper use and limitation of power (which is not at all to say that I view it primarily as a textbook. It is a novel of extraordinary pathos and depth, and a delightful read). As is immediately evident upon reading it, both Disney's The Sword and the Stone and Lerner and Lowe's musical Camelot are based on this version of the Arthur legends. All of the charm and beauty of the two adaptations are contained in The Once and Future King, but it surpasses them both....more