Friday, July 31, 2009

Time, Love, and Free Will

Time is a defining factor in love… the time you meet, the time you fall in love, the good times, the bad times, the time spent together, the time spent apart, the time spent longing and waiting. In The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Clare’s life is marked by the time she spends longing and waiting for Henry while his life, on the other hand, is marked by an inability to control his own time. Clare’s life follows its chronological sequence as Henry lives out his life like a Quentin Tarantino movie. However, the one constant that they each have is each other and I feel that the love story that develops because of this is beautiful and enchanting.

Time traveling... As a child of the ‘80s, I associate time travel with a wacky scientist, the flux capacitor, and a really cool car. Not only that, but changing the past can create alternate futures and interacting with yourself while time traveling can have detrimental consequences. Unlike typical time travel genres which include some kind of time travel vehicle, Niffenegger has developed her own, unique mythology for time travel that not only seems plausible but also makes you question the role of free will within time travel. By describing Henry’s ability to time travel as a disease that he cannot control, his free will is stripped from him which at times can be exhilarating. But once the initial novelty wears off, it is all too perilous. He can interact with himself in different time periods and is privy to information about his own and others’ past and future. But, what is it all worth?

This book made me reflect on my own life. Would I want to know the details of my future before living and experiencing them myself? Would knowing the outcomes of certain events help me prevent them from happening? Would it even be possible to change the course of one’s life if it’s already happened or predetermined? For me, the idea of time travel has always been intriguing and it was exciting to see it described in a whole new way. But, the most important theme of this book for me is the romantic notion that love can transcend time and exist beyond death.

What about you? Would you want the ability to time travel in the way that Niffenegger describes it? What would you do? Where would you want to go? Would you want to know more about your own life or experience it as it happens?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Spark!

The idea of a blog had been floating in my head for several months now. There were many topics I considered but not too many I was fond of. Until, I had A SPARK! Seeing as how my favorite show, LOST, is soon coming to an end and all other broadcasting is depleting my brain cells, I decided to turn off the TV and pick up more books. So far, I've read about 7 books in the past few months. The idea finally came together after reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I experienced such a range of emotions during the reading with no outlet for expressing them that the idea finally came to fruition: Blog about the books!

To add, I've been wanting to join a book club for years, but I had a couple of issues - time, selection, meetings... Through this blog, I hope not only to share my feelings and experiences with the books but also entice other avid and not-so avid readers into colorful discussion. So, there is the flexibility: discuss any book, anytime, and anywhere. A little disclaimer: By no means do I consider myself a literature expert or critic. The Reading Rug is open to all opinions and all genres.

Now, the name... where did I get that name? The Reading Rug. I must admit I had some trouble coming up with a good name for this blog (at least one that wasn't already taken). So, my husband told me to develop a name that was meaningful to me. Voila! As an elementary teacher, books were given the utmost importance in my classroom and a reading rug was always present even when I only taught math and science. My students were always encouraged to kick off their shoes, sit on the rug, and pick up a book. So, I encourage you to pick up a book and curl up on The Reading Rug.

Happy Reading!

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