This month's selection for my book club is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I’m not much of a book reviewer. All I can say is that it was warm and funny and heart-wrenching and silly and sad… Go on, read the first few pages and see if you don’t want to read further. I think J sent his mom a copy before he even finished the first chapter.
Lamb tells the story of Christ that isn’t included in the Bible – from age 6 to age 30. Yes, of course it’s all made up. But it’s such a wonderful concept. I’ve read reviews that suggest Christians will be offended by this book. Well, I wasn’t offended (not that I’m the standard bearer for All Things Christian, but still). Nor was my husband. Nor our church’s rector, who recommended it in the first place. Who are these people who are offended at the idea that Jesus lived as a man, and had doubts and fears and desires like a man? That he would have been interested in, or even the master of, different spiritualities? Whoever they are, they need to get over it. One of the ladies in the book club told me she didn't like it and refused to finish it. She's a generation older than me, so I don't know if she was disturbed by the Christ aspect, or just the general bawdiness. Should make for an interesting meeting.
Now I'm reading The Fountainhead. When I bought the book for a quarter at the thrift shop, I thought I was re-reading it. After all, how does one get an English degree without reading The Fountainhead? Well, either I have a really bad memory, or this is the first time I've laid eyes on it (I must have read Atlas Shrugged instead, and this tells you how memorable it was.)
Anyway. It's hard to take this book as seriously as Ayn Rand intends it to be taken, because I simply can't get into the whole "architecture as religion" context. They're buildings, people. Get over it. It's hard to get into it at all, because the print is fiendishly tiny. And knowing that Rand considered protagonist Howard Roark (with his orange hair, "contemptuous mouth," gaunt cheeks, and serious case of Asperger Syndrome) as her ideal man, both physically and emotionally, just makes one say "eeew." An interesting comment from one website:
It is revealing that as Rand refined her idea of the heroic personality from the Howard Roark of The Fountainhead to John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, the type became steadily drained of, indeed, personality. Galt seems little better than a robotic mouthpiece of merciless ideology. Howard Roark was already peculiar enough, since he would just sit staring at the phone while waiting for work. He might at least have read magazines.
Magazines. Heh. That cracks me up. I'm less than a third of the way through, so it's too early to judge.
And, wrapping up our little book review column, Boo recently brought home a book from the school's library called Cats Have Kittens. J said "At least it doesn't come with a parent advisory." No, but maybe it should have. My first clue was when I saw it had won some kind of science award. We're not talking about the stork here, people. Instead, we're talking about the lovely Tabitha, who is in heat (and here's what she acts like when she's in heat! With pictures!) So she mates (no pictures there, thankfully). Either Boo already knows what heat and mate mean, or she didn't care enough to find out, because she was too eager to get to the part with the kittens. I'm betting on the latter.