Monday, July 15, 2013

Savor the Flavor...of Books!

Certain books strike me as having different flavors.

Books and food. It's not a bad analogy really.  The reader ingests and then digests the material, retaining nourishment for the mind. To take the analogy further, sometimes a person doesn't digest the materiel very well and then just regurgitates it (typically this happens in school). With food, the eater ingests it and it is then digested in the body for nourishment. Sometimes it only makes it to the stomach; after summary digestion it is regurgitated. While some food is unhealthy "junk food,"  there are also unhealthy "junk books."

But, back to the flavors. Two of the first books that struck me as having a flavor were The Lord of the Rings and The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow. After those realizations, I pondered a bit and made comparisions between other books and food.

Here is a list below of different books and their flavors:

The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien - Ice cold lemon water. It's pure, refreshing, and wholesome. The flavor is magical yet with out an sugar added. I think I made this connection because the first time I had lemon water, it was at an outdoor dance. The atmosphere was almost magical. We were all dressed prettily in long elegant gowns we had sewn. We wore no shoes and felt the cool grass beneath our bare feet. Strands of lights illuminated the yard. Light, classy refreshments were served on a side table. And there in a clear dispenser was the ice cold lemon water, so rejuvenating on that summer night.

The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow, by Allen French - Cold Icelandic spring water. When I'd first read it, I'd likened it to fresh spring water, but now that I've been to Iceland and drank the water there, I insist that it is Icelandic spring water, like what comes right out of the tap over there!

The Complete Richard Hannay, by John Buchan - Espresso. Rich earthy flavor, strong and warm. It also has the same effects on me as too much caffeine in my system! I get hyper. When talking about Richard Hannay, I start talking really fast and excitedly (like when I drink too much coffee). Similarly, I also want to do some sort of physical activity, like ride a bike and feel the wind in my face, exercise, fight, lift weights, run around, jump over things or dive under them! These books get my blood pumping! 

Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand - This one I don't associate with a flavor, but rather a sound. Imagine the sound of a violin rising to the stars in a lonely crescendo in the night air under a full white moon. If I were to pick a flavor, I think it would be some sort of wine. Something that's not quite as sweet as rosé.

I asked my friends on facebook if they associate different books with flavors. Here is what they had to say:

A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin - "The milk at the end of a bowl of Honeycomb."

The Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder  - A bowl of stew. A second friend chimed in, agreeing with this description.

Sherlock Holmes series, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  - A cup of steaming of black tea. 

The Girl of the Limberlost, and The Harvester, both by Gene Stratton Porter- A thick mint milk shake. "Refreshing but something to let melt in your mouth a little."   

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen - An ice cream parfait in a fancy glass. She found the book to have different layers. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Hobbit, Would you have opened the door?

I often contemplate the beginning of The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. How would I have responded to an Unexpected Party, comprised of strangers? Frankly, it never would have happened.  Atleast, not in this age, at this location.

I always look before I open the door, even when I am expecting someone, and if an unknown person looking taller and stronger than me is out there, the last thing I'm going to do is open the door while I'm home alone. If they stand there waiting too long, then I'd call the police. No party for anyone. 

Now Bilbo had invited Gandalf to tea and when he heard the ring of the door bell he opened it expecting Gandalf but was surprised to find a dwarf (page 7) We are told, "as soon as the door opened, he pushed inside, just as if he had been expected" (page 7). How frightening! I'm not sure what I'd do if someone pushed into my house. I'm guessing I'd ask them what they wanted. By the time the second stranger entered, however, I'd be plotting my escape from the house so as not to be murdered. It's rather sad, to think about how dark the world is, living on the edge of a crime-infested city.

And now I pose the question to you: What would you have done? 

The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien. Ballentine Books, New York: 1982.