Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Few Books ~ Appreciation

Appreciation [n3] recognition of worth
admiration, aesthetic sense, affection, appraisal, assessment, attraction, awareness, cognizance, commendation, comprehension, enjoyment, esteem, estimation, grasp, high regard, knowledge, liking, love, perception, realization, recognition, regard, relish, respect, responsiveness, sensibility, sensitiveness, sensitivity, sympathy, understanding, valuation; SEE CONCEPTS 15, 409 (From Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus pg. 37).


I came across The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace. Being a visual person, of course, the book’s cover first drew me to its pages on the Barnes & Noble bookshelf, and the title was intriguing. I purchased the book back in January, but have been pecking away slowly. Soon, I will be done. It’s a book that can be read in one sitting, but I’ve carried it out, with other books in between. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am enjoying this story by this new author, this book said to be her debut novel. Wallace writes in a way that moves the story along making the images and setting come alive. Could it be that she was channeling the loss of sight of her protagonist to such a degree that it allowed her to blow life into this story as she has done and making me care about the characters? This has been a satisfying experience of the imagination, written beautifully and with care.

Next, I’ve finally experienced my fist John Grisham novel: The Summons. Even though there were many reviewers that did not enjoy this book, nor did they think it was his best, it suited me just fine. I appreciate how Grisham tells a well organized story in a straightforward way. There was enough suspense and curiosity to keep me going and it was easy to keep on going and finish quite fast. A good first experience with reading Grisham.

And last, a book that I learned about from “The Booklover’s Calendar” is The Man who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness and the Creation of ‘Roget’s Thesaurus’ by Joshua Kendall. I was surprised that this book hooked me. Later, I looked on Amazon to see how others reacted to this book and most had negative things to say about the writing style and the content—two aspects that I actually enjoyed. At times, the narrative of Roget’s life becomes much, but I was still was absorbed until the last page.

Most fascinating for me is that in order to deal with the tragedies in Roget’s life, at a young age he turned to making lists and this would continue until his death. I think the reason I connected with the book early on was feeling a sort-of kinship with how we deal with difficult life experiences early on and how they have the potential for transformation. The potential is always there, I suppose. It is just a matter of actually moving along in some way, whether big or small.

Reading this book gave me a greater appreciation for Peter Mark Roget and his journey, leading him to the Thesaurus that we have all come to know—and not the first—this comprehensive ordering of his world that now rests on many of our bookshelves and computers, to thumb through for that perfect word—for that perfect, ordered, word— toward self-expression.

No comments: