It seems to me that the good lord in his infinate wisdom gave us three things to make life bearable- hope, jokes, and dogs. But the greatest of these was dogs.
― Robyn Davidson, Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback
I continue to remain in complete awe of Robyn Davidson. She is such an inspiration, in act and words.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Bought this on a whim somewhat foolishly after seeing that it was doing well in the charts and although I read it to the conclusion, I was disappointed.
The book follows two pretentious teenagers that seem to take great pleasure in the fact that they are so intelligent. The way that the characters interact with each other and the world merely stands to make them thoroughly unbelievable as characters as they simply do not behave like real life people do. It makes it seem as if the author is trying to show off how intelligent and brilliant he is by throwing in these deep meaningful and analytical conversations between the two main characters.
The book also deliberately throws in these ‘heart breaking’ occurrences that merely irritate the reader as oppose to cause them to well up with sadness. It actually eventually made me dislike both parties by the end of the novel. What was the most ‘throw up in your mouth’ cringeworthy was the sex scene where the author appears to have neglected to acknowledge that a string of chemo and radiotherapy is likely to have rendered both characters infertile and mentions ‘awkward condomy moments’ which feels like he is trying to keep parents happy as he promotes safe sex. It again, completely detracted from any realism with this book. The fact that she attempts to use the word ‘condomy’ is completely at odds with her usual poetic self.
My advice is to see that this book is aimed at a mainly female young teen audience and to avoid it if you do not fit into that category.
I am still in the midst of Cleopatra’s memoirs, actually I am 79% of the way through. But I have come to realise that this book is more than just a history tale, it has enlightened me to a new outlook on so many different aspects of my life, recently and tragically it has helped me through the passing of someone I held dear to me.
Everyone knows where they were and what they were doing when you are told the news that someone you knew and cared about has passed away. Whether it be a family member, a friend or even the guy you buy your mocha-locha grande latte from every morning, each person has affected you with their life brushing or colliding with yours. For me, last week I had a moment of reflection interrupted with a slice of information I hoped to God wasn’t true. Sitting pondering things as I often do, this particular day I was digesting my current read, The Memoirs of Cleopatra. I often find that when I am engrossed in a book it provokes lingering thoughts, especially if it is factual based as this one is. But it is through this book that I realised I could relate life’s unexpectancies to, where I could find solace to a crazy world. Just a few short hours after receiving the tragic news, I was attempting to flee reality and bury my sorrows during my lunch break by getting my head back in the book, the next page Cleopatra referenced her late lover Julius Ceaser, “Iacta alea est” the die is cast which he famously quoted on the battlefield with his acceptance of fate and for all that he can no longer do to alter his path. I know it may seem solemn to think that people part this life because it was written in fate, but in a way surely is it not comforting? Because if we knew we could alter our own pre-determined end, perhaps the human race wouldn’t be so fearless. We would sit tight twiddling our thumbs whilst watching the world go by and never grab anything that passes our way for fear of sealing our fate. I know that he lived each day to the fullest, went on the most amazing holidays, attended festivals and loved his kids with more than his big heart, and for want of a better phrase, simply enjoyed life!
It is reassuring to know that I don’t need to be influenced by celebs and popular culture of today, all I need do is pick up a book and be transported to a world of resilient women captured by Margaret George in The Memoirs of Cleopatra who can make me float away on her adjectives and keep Cleopatra alive within my head. It proves that no one ever really dies, they live forever in memories, and I will always remember his laugh and how every greeting was an ‘alright?!’.
Perhaps life isn’t so much about whom we leave behind, but rather how we continue to live?
Harry Potter has so many levels.