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December 17, 2007

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Haven't read the Butler, but I will now - thanks! Here's a few others off the top of my head for your collapse series: Jean Hegland's Into the Forest, Margaret Atwood's Oryx & Crake, and Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker.

Glad to hear from you again. Your last photo glows with a radiant peace. Sending you light, love & courage daily.

Octavia Butler is a classic. You must read her. Her novel Kindred is also on many college curricula - a 20th century California woman keeps getting slammed back into the 19th century where she is a slave because she's African-American.

All my sci-fi MFA friends worship Octavia Butler, and were devastated when she died suddenly during our first year at grad school.

Also - Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale belongs on this list, too.

I haven't read Oryx and Crake. That book came to me recently as a pass-along and I put it in a booksale bound bag, because I thought it would be too depressing. Now I'm going to have to pull it out again (lucky I haven't offloaded all those extra books yet).

My reading group tackled _Oryx and Crake_. Atwood presents a rather standard dystopian vision although there is a touch of hope in the creation of a new race of innocents. I didn't find the book depressing at all.

I'm surprised that you want to read such dark fiction during your illness. Why not try a little lighter fare? I save up silly books to read on the occasional times when I'm sick. I highly recommend Ian Frazier or Fran Lebowitz for example.

I know, Alison, it's a weird quirk. I just happened to have Blindness and the Defoe (and the Lessing) and one thing led to another. I also have read "Our Mutual Friend" and Mrs. Dalloway - for similar reasons. It's on the shelf and I feel like reading it.

Your list of silly books would be much appreciated.

Lighter fare - I did try to read the Tariq Ali book about Saladin but that had a passage about barbarians roasting and eating children that echoed the Cormac McCarthy quote from the Road exactly. ???

I had turned up my nose at a new book titled "Girls of Riyadh" or some such, thinking it might be too silly, but in the state I'm in, silly might be just the right medicine. There were three copies at the Main Library. Maybe I ought to read some Saudi Chick Lit.

For silly with an enviro streak, try Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip &/or Nature Girl. For super silly, read the Artemis Fowl series with (or without) your boys. For silly with a dark side, try Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. And not silly, but highly recommended is Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills. I read that while recuperating recently and it was a great tonic.

OOOh, I read 10 Days in the Hills this summer, as a post-graduate-MFA break. It was lots of fun, and not even particularly silly. Just the right note in fact. Hints of Bocaccio, ominous musings on the Iraq war, Hollywood fabulousness. Highly recommended.

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