Pages/book & Ranking
~Listed from favorite to least favorite~
All the Light We Cannot See: 530 → ★★★★★
The Metamorphosis: 102 → ★★★★
Miscellaneous (Poems, Non-Fiction Articles, Reading Comprehension Practice, etc): 206
Pages/day → 27.93
Pages/week → 209.5
This month, I am not happy with my reading rate. I usually read at least three novels in addition to the book club novel, but I was only able to read one. The Metamorphosis took much longer than expected for me to read because of the degree of difficulty the story possessed. For sure, next month, I will read “The Great Gadsby” as a challenging novel, finish “For Whom the Bell Tolls” for English, and read “Fahrenheit 451” for personal enjoyment. I want my reading rate to be in the thirty range.
One thing that I did well this month, however, is reading a variety of things. I usually stick to novels, but this month, I read more articles and poetry than before. This will enable me to become accustomed to many writing styles.
All the Light We Cannot See (★★★★★)
This novel is written by Anthony Doerr and is a story of two teenagers during World War II. Marie-Laure is a blind French girl living in Paris but is forced to move away to Saint-Malo, as the effects of the war come closer and closer to her home. On the other side of the frontlines, Werner grows up in an orphanage in Germany and is intrigued by the intricacy of the radio. Due to his intelligence and wit, the German officials send him to a boarding school, where he is trained to work for the army. These two contrasting lives merge into one, with an ending that hits the reader with a pang in the gut.
My favorite line in this story would have to be, “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.” This is a powerful statement that captures the mental and physical processes of the two main characters in this story. Marie-Laure is literally blind, her eyes failing her, but her mind wide awake, processing the war, and the secret radio messages she and her grandfather transmit in the attic – in other words, she knows what she is fighting for. Werner, however, has perfect vision, but his mind is clouded with the propaganda and deception of duty and honor. He fails to understand the greater consequences of his actions and acting dogmatically.
This novel is a close second to my favorite novel, “The Kite Runner”. I would read it again and again until I know the sequence of events by heart.
The Metamorphosis (★★★★)
This is a story by Franz Kafka about how a man by the name of Gregor Samsa, woke up one morning and found himself to be a large cockroach. Slowly, his family finds out of this, and Samsa becomes ostracized within his own home. His numerous attempts to fit in go in vain, and even his sister, who had supported him from the beginning, drifts away.
What I love the most about this story, is the indirect implications that are sprinkled throughout the writing. For example, “…which two days before, Gregor had declared unedible.” In context, his sister had brought him milk to drink, but he was unable to due to his bodily needs. However, when she brought rotten fruits, and cheese, among other things, he ate happily. This shows that an individual should not take their situation for granted, as they are always in a better place than something else.
My favorite line, however, is, “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” For the rest of the story, Samsa seems to accept this change in his life and adapts accordingly. For me, I saw this as human adaptation. We all experience change in our life, large or small, but our job is to shape ourselves to better fit within our circumstances. The first line shows that acceptance of the unprecedented change.