Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Reading

Summer is usually the time I get to read numerous books that have been on my waiting list for quite some time, but this summer between the house projects and a couple of other commitments I only managed to squeeze in three good reads.  The first book I read this summer was by my friend, Angie, who wrote about her journey of finding out her precious baby girl was "incompatible with life."  It's a moving story of the faithfulness of God and the miracle of life.  I highly recommend it!

Purchase here

After reading Poppies in December, I hadn't planned to pick anything else up, but then this was about to be in theaters.  So I decided to pick up Stephanie Meyer's mini-novel...


It only took a couple of afternoons by the pool to finish it and I really enjoyed reading the "other side of the story."  I'm glad I read it right before I saw Eclipse, since there were several scenes from the book that made it into the movie.  If you haven't read the Twilight series yet, read The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner after Eclipse and before Breaking Dawn. 

Since my previous experience with Meyer entailed reading four books cover to cover without delay, this 178 page book left me wanting more.  Which resulted in a trip to Borders to pick up her science-fiction novel that I had been eyeing for quite some time... 



And I loved it!  It was very intriguing in the beginning and then I got to that certain point, if you've read Meyer before you know exactly what I mean, that it was impossible to put down.  It wasn't as smothering as the Twilight series where you give up sleep and food to read pages.  It was a great story and I could go to bed at a reasonable hour and pick it up the next day.  I kept thinking, "This would be a great movie.  I hope they make it into a movie!"  And then when I read the bonus chapter, I was overjoyed to read Meyer is already working with producers for the film version of The Host.  I read online the filming is to start around early 2011; I'm guessing it will be out in 2012 after Breaking Dawn hits theaters in November 2011.

Due to the subject of yesterday's post I started to think of how Meyer's beliefs as a Mormon may have inspired parts of The Host.  I found it very interesting what the Mormons believe about the nature of man...

The Mormon church teaches that humans exist as spirit beings before their birth. At physical birth, bodies are given to these spirits. They are also given an opportunity for free-will choice. The physical world represents a period of probation. The status of a person in the afterlife is determined by the way that person lived his/her life on Earth. If the person lived by a satisfactory standard, (including the fulfillment of Mormon temple obligations) that person has the potential to become a god in the after-life. The person can also produce "spirit children" to populate a world of his own (like God did with the earth).
  - All About Cults

A Few Topics for Discussion:
1. Meyer describes the souls as beautiful, pure and innocent.  They described themselves as being above the violent humans.  What did you think of Meyer's portrayal of these spirits?  Do you think her belief system influenced her writing The Host?

2. Discuss the element of free-will in the characters Melanie and Jodi?  Would you say the humans had a choice in whether their mind was taken over or was it based on uncontrollable characteristics like physical strength and age?

3. How did Meyer compare Wanderer to others in her species?  Do you think there was a connection between the way she lived her life and her ability to be a Mother to other souls?

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