Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Weekly Read: 3

This week: more from the Lost Lit List! :)

READ: A Brief History of Time | Stephen Hawking
A Brief History of Time took a surprisingly long time to read (5 days!), despite it's short length, but only because the subject matter is so complex. I'm still not sure I really understand particles, quarks, and all that stuff - I think I would need to re-read this 10 or more times for it really to sink in.  My favorite parts were the ones about time travel, worm holes, and black holes. It makes me wonder what sort of time travel exists in the Lost universe - one that they current have a theory for, or something completely different. It seems as though Daniel Faraday was at first operating under the consistent histories approach - if time travel into the past is possible, you could not go back in time unless history showed you had already been there, and while there, had not committed any acts that would conflict with your current situation in the present (aka, kill your grandfather). You also wouldn't be able to change recorded history. Although he changed his mind about that possibility, I don't think he meant that the alternate history hypothesis was true - that by going back in time, they entered a history that differed from recorded history - an altered history, ala Back to the Future. But maybe he did. Maybe when the bomb went off, all of those that were in the past will be suddenly transported to the 2009 time of an alternate history, where the plane never crashed on the island? :D  I could talk about Lost theories forever, though, so I'll stop that here. If you are a fan of science fiction, whether it be books, tv, or movies, you need to read this book. That is all.

READ: Everything That Rises Must Converge | Flannery O'Connor
Everything That Rises Must Converge is the newest addition to the Lost List. At the end of season 5, this is the book that you see Jacob reading right before Locke falls 8 stories at the hands of his father, the event that puts him in a wheelchair.  The dysfunction of family relationships is a major theme throughout Lost, in part demonstrated through Locke's perpetually disappointing relationship with his birth father.  This theme is echoed through all of the stories in this collection - what we expect from our family and what we get are often very different things.  Each story is beautifully written and compelling, full of sorrow and unexpectedly mundane despair. None of them felt truncated, probably because they all revolved around a specific theme, and therefore, you could feel the relationship between them as you turned the page.  In addition to family relations, each story also deals with the convergence of classes - racial, social, economical.  Normally, I don't like short stories, but clearly, I have been reading the wrong kind of short stories.  I can't wait to read more of O'Connor's work. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, not just fans of Lost.

STARTED: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass | Lewis Carroll
There are quite a few Alice references in Lost, and so this one is a must-read from the Lost List. Surprisingly enough, I never read this one as a child, so I am excited to finally read it, and see if it really is as strange as people say. :) Plus, I want to be all prepared for the new movie coming out this spring! :D

That is it for this week. Next week: finishing Alice, and then Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Watership Down by Richard Adams, both also from the Lost Lit List. Happy reading!

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