I’m home! As you can see from my last post, I have been gone for pretty much the last week and a half, taking my belated honeymoon in Alaska It was amazing. Alaska is so beautiful and we were lucky to have some really nice weather while we were there. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:
And, as my honeymoon was a cruise, there were a few days of only cruising (they were long days). So I did have a bit of time to read.
I finished The Odyssey by Homer on the cruise. I originally read it 9 years ago–when I was 14. It was required reading for my honors English class freshman year of high school. I didn’t really hate it at the time, I just thought it was long and the way it was written, as a poem, really threw me off. It’s probably one of the reasons I also don’t care for Shakespeare. With those odd breaks in the middle of sentences, my flow of reading gets disrupted. But this time around I was older, wiser, a stronger reader, and I had it on my Kindle, written in prose form. And I enjoyed it much better (4/5 stars from me). I also read it because I want to read The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, and I thought refreshing my mind of Homer’s tale would help when I get to it.
The biggest difference between my two readings of The Odyssey was probably how I viewed Odysseus (or Ulysses, as my edition called him ). Last time I found him to be a great warrior and hero, fighting so hard to get home to his family. This time around though, I sort of found him to be a jerk. I mean, how can someone try for 20 years to get home and always be thinking about his wife and child, but still allow himself to be seduced? True, I’ve never been scorned by a great Olympian god But it doesn’t seem like he was all that truthful.
On the plane home, I also finished listening to Push by Sapphire (or Precious as it might more commonly be known, after the movie). I LOVED IT! (5/5 from me!) I am so glad that I listened to it on audiobook, especially with Bahni Turpin as the narrator. While I love reading books written in dialect, I think the fact that Precious had the dialect and a strong African American female voice made the story that much more real.
Now, if you don’t like bluntness and a direct approach to a story focusing a lot on incest and abuse, this might not be the book for you. But I loved it. It gave Precious such a strong voice as a character, even if some might find it weakened her as a person. She had to say/write much of her thoughts in order to make sense of them, which might be seen as a weakness. But I felt it made her character strong in the story.
This story made me feel very lucky to have had the advantages I did and to have the basic necessities I had, such as a loving family, growing up. I feel sad that there are people out there who have lives similar to that of Precious and I hope that someday there is a better way to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks like that.