It’s been a snowy week in Arkansas. You’d think being stuck indoors would equal lots of reading time. But when you’re a mama to an almost-three-month-old and you haven’t seen your husband in weeks because he’s been out of town for work, all one wants to do is watch bad movies, sleep when the baby sleeps, and eat pizza. At least that’s all I’ve been doing…
However, I did finish The Hunger Games few weeks ago. It was the first full book I read on my Kindle that I received for Christmas. And you people weren’t lying – that book is amazing! I couldn’t put it down. In fact, while doing something mundane like the laundry or washing dishes, my head was still in The Game. I just had to finish that book!
While I was reading, I would occasionally stop and tell my husband what was going on in the book. At one point, when I described how the Gamemakers were throwing fireballs at the players in an effort to smoke them out, my husband looked at me with disgust and said, “That book is sick.” In a way, he’s right. But that didn’t stop me from eating it up.
Upon finishing the novel, I took a few minutes to reflect on what the book was truly about. War was my first inclination. Turns out, I was right. In the back of the book, the “About the Author” section indicates that The Hunger Games continues Collins’ exploration of “the effects of war and violence on those coming of age.” This immediately made me think of one of my favorite books of all time: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Note: If you ever get a chance to read that book, please do. It will change your life.
I’m not sure why it is, exactly, that I am drawn like a moth to a flame to books the depict wartime. Perhaps it is because I am married to a US Air Force pilot, who has been to Iraq three times and has seen first-hand the effects of war? Is it because my father was a war veteran? Is it because of my hard-core patriotism? Or is it simply because I have the fortune of never having to experience war myself? I’m opting for the latter.
Books like The Hunger Games and The Kite Runner are so alluring because their plots are so foreign to me. I can’t imagine having to fight to the death over food or be forced to follow a law that prohibited me from flying a kite with my daughter. These books captivate me as they tell a story of a life I will never know.
As I sit on my comfortable couch in my heated house, I look around and thank God for my life. In a world where there are so many less-fortunate, I am humbled that my life was spared the ravages of war or the pain of poverty. I am, quite simply, thankful.
Up next? My thoughts and comments on Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club. It is my book club’s choice for the month of February, but I’m not going to lie: The Hunger Games trilogy beckons to me from my nightstand. I may have to break one of my Book Rules and read both at the same time.
Until then, happy reading.