12 August 2010

Day 138: White Oleander

White Oleander by Janet Fitch.  ISBN: 9780788739705 (audiobook).

If you're thinking to yourselves, "hey, this has been done already on this blog."  You are correct.  However, it was done by the fabulous and infamous Dayna Ingram.  I thought maybe you would like to hear my thoughts on it.

First of all, let me say I had some issues with this.  No, no, not the content, that was fine.  See, I started listening to this way back in June.  I had planned to listen to it during the eight hour drive to ALA.  Sadly, at exactly halfway through my trip my CD player decided to eat the disc and not give it back.  This was of course after I had stopped for lunch and called my mother, only to have her ask if I had audiobooks to listen to.  Well, I did before you jinxed it, thanks mom.  In any case, I was eventually able to get the disc out and my CD player is working fine now, and I finally finished this monster (I don't do a lot of driving these days since no job=no reason to leave the house).

I liked the fact that Astrid found a book that became her handbook.  Hers was the "Art of Survival" and she used it for comfort and as a basic manual for her life.  I think humans pretty much require some kind of guide in their lives, and there's no reason why it can't be a book -- fiction, non-fiction, or religious text.  Religion is great, but I don't think it's for everyone and there needs to be a way for the rest of us to find solace and support.

I know I found a lot of comfort in Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower and it likely contained a lot of the same principles that Astrid's Art of Survival.  In fact, Parable is probably what pushed me towards being a librarian.  It contained the idea that no knowledge or skill is useless, just that you haven't yet found a way to use it.  I've kept this in mind through all of the jobs and experiences I've had, and have found a great deal of comfort that they will all aid me in leading a rich and fulfilling life.

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