Sunday, March 1, 2009

(Another) 1% Well-Read Challenge

Take two! It's time for the 1% Well Read Challenge again, where we read 10 books from the list 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The authors of the book went and changed the list on us, so some books have been added and some scrapped from the original. That's why I'm opting to pick challenge variation #3, in which I am to read 13 books from both lists, between today (March 1, 2009) and March 31, 2010. A list is available here, or you can download a spreadsheet here. My personal list is here, but it has not yet been updated with the additions/subtractions.

Here is what I plan on reading for this challenge!

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein (11/4/09)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon (12/1/09)
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Once and Future King by T.H. White (3/27/09)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (10/26/09)
I, Robot by Issac Asimov
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (12/14/09)
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
Jazz by Toni Morrison

Cat's Eye--Margaret Atwood

Cat's Eye Year Published: 1988
Pages: 455
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4/5

"Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space."

I read this book yesterday. It was a last minute decision--I need to finish a book for the 1% Well Read challenge, so it had to be something I had on hand that I could read quickly. I chose wisely--Atwood always weaves a captivating story. This story has to do with girls, and what damages they can do to one another. It also has to do with the past, and how fluid it is--the past can always verge into the present.

Elaine is a painter, and she has returned to Toronto, the city of her youth, for an art showing. While there, her past surfaces as she recalls an old friend/enemy, Cordelia, whom she boths longs to and fears to see. She is forced to confront the hurts both to and from Cordelia, as well as her former failed marriage and the loss of her brother.

Time as a fluid entity is a running theme in this model, as is the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Perpetual Help/Hell), and how repressed memories surface (in this case, through the artist's paintings). But the main idea is that of girls and how they treat each other. Cordelia is both a villain and a tragic figure, and the symbol of both misery and triumph (and subsequent guilt) for Elaine. I'm sure many women could recount similar situations--girls just don't know how to be with one another, and their cattiness competes with their instinct to nurture and support one another.

All in all, another really good book by Atwood.

Book-a-week #: 13
Challenge/s: TBR (Alt), 1% Well Read, What's in a Name
Date Read: 2/28/09