Sunday, 18 August 2013
In 1998, she began a program called "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book"- a very wordy title,
but our area has copied that idea and organized "One Book One Community".
Nancy gave a lecture on the TED series (available on google)
and proposed a new way of finding a good book.
There are four experiential elements to a book:
She suggested that each book should come with a pie chart
to show the proportion of each of these elements in each book. "Looking at books the pie chart way".
A good idea, but not one that would help me.
The theme of the book is of most interest to me. The characters, plot, setting and language may be wonderful, but the themes and threads that weave through the story are most important to me.
My interest lies in the theme of relationship, particularly within a family. The role of women in all of its complexity can make a stellar novel for me. Relationship with husband, with children, with self. Some novels portray a woman attempting to keep her family united- making sure the children are connected to their father while trying to help the husband follow his dreams. My favourites in this line: "Poisonwood Bible", "The Sea Captain's Wife", "The Mosquito Coast", "The Secret River", "Angela's Ashes", "The Good Earth".
I also enjoy books about women learning about themselves, such as: "Gift From the Sea", "The Wife Tree", "All Passion Spent".
Another theme that fascinates me is slavery because these books juxtapose the worst of humanity with the best. The contrast between good and evil is so strong in these books that I cannot put them down: "Cane River", "The Book of Negroes", "Uncle Tom's Cabin", "The Known World".
So I leave the pie chart to Nancy and I will continue looking for good themes.