Monday, December 1, 2008

Classics and Twaddle

Last week I began reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book, like Brothers Karamozov, has dogged me all my adult life with my not having read it. In my youth these books were painted as either too much for my weak intellect to handle (B.K.) or a bourgeois, capitalistic diatribe (A.S.). As it turns out they were correct about Karamozov, which is why it took me almost a year to complete (this time around--I have tried it many times before). As for Atlas Shrugged I am finding it one of the easiest and most enjoyable books I have read in years.

I recently read
Twilight, the first in the popular series by Stephanie Meyer, which I liked a little bit. The story is about a 17 year-old girl who falls in love with a vampire who, with his three siblings, goes to her high school. The first part of the book is entirely teen-romance rated PG--which I don't at all consider a bad thing. But I had a difficult time seeing how, apart from the vampire-issue, the plot distinguished itself from anything else that goes on in modern teen romances loaded with teens who pity their father, baby their mother, and consider themselves intellectually superior to everyone except the cute guy (the vampire) in Biology class. I hear from a friend of mine that the whole series is, so far, unobjectionable so I don't mind introducing a little twaddle into Rose's pretty hefty reading list.

As far as
Atlas Shrugged goes I have gotten to page 177 in a book, the font of which is about four points smaller than this and has 1,069 pages total. I'm proud I have gotten this far without assistance, but I decided I needed reading glasses to progress any further. However, if I had spent a couple dollars more I could have bought an edition with larger print and might not have had to spend the extra money on the means to read it. But they are super-cute and stylish, Rose tells me.

*Update: After page 177 Atlas Shrugged ceases to be a PG book--cringe.