Sunday, July 26, 2009

What I Read on Vacation

I bought four books last week for beach reading. With various things happening during the week, I read two of them.

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. That's right, I opened the page of a book most read in high school. Before reading the book, the only impression I ever had of Frankenstein was the infamous scene in the movie when the good doctor gave life to the beast by literally jump-starting his head. I remember it was a long scene. In the book, it took about a paragraph.

Shelley's work at such a young age made me regret not taking the course "Forbidden Knowledge" at BU. My friend Lauren D'Angelo, who was with me for part of the vacation, took the class. They read Frankenstein, because it touched on such issues as cloning, civic obligation, and life-long ambition versus the public good. I definitely didn't give enough attention to the book as one would in college. I did note that the doctor in the book is actually Frankenstein, not the beast itself.

The Innocent Man, by John Grisham. I used to read a lot of Grisham when I was a teenager. His books are action-packed even if they are not very deep. Many a lawyer criticizes Grisham for making the courtroom far more interesting than it actually is and the judicial process far more rapid than in real life. The Innocent Man was an ambitious project for Grisham, since it is actually non-fiction. Grisham definitely did his homework, for the tale of Ron Williamson and his conviction for a crime not committed was presented in detail. Moreover, one who reads the book certainly has a more negative feeling about the death penalty.

Back to work tomorrow!

As a footnote it's worth noting that my friend Kim recommended both books.

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