06 January 2011

American Music: How differently Steve and I read

Anyone who knows me know how much I love to read.  I also very much enjoy reading people's recommendations to me.  I feel that it allows me to be exposed to new writers, genres, etc., but also gives me some insight into the person that is making the recommendation. 

My mother-in-law recommended American Music by Jane Mendelsohn to both me and Steve.  It's a short read and I jumped on it first since Steve was still working on Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail by Hunter S. Thompson.  Now that Steve has had a chance to read it, I've been able to process my thoughts on the book by bouncing them off of him.  I've realized that Steve and I have very different style of reading.  I'm a "big-picture" kind of person.  I like seeing how all the different parts of the story and characters are related and interact on a large scale.  Steve is more of a "detail-oriented" reader.  I've caught him reading the same paragraph and sometimes even the same phrase over and over because he likes how the phrase is worded or he's thinking about how that single thought or idea adds to the story.  Having said that, he's also always looking for the "lesson" being taught by the book.  Sometimes I just read to pass the time but he reads to learn.  I enjoy reading the same books because we can come together and between the both of us find the best parts and thoughts and ideas that the book has to offer. 

I enjoyed American Music because there are so many stories being told.  Various characters flow in and out of the general story in different time periods and places like Turkey in the 1600s and New York in the 1930s.  It was a great adventure to see how the stories related, what was similar or different, how individuals reacted to the situations they were faced in life.  It was interesting to think about how much of our past we carry within our bodies.  Every day we live and move forward shades how we see where we came from and our past. 

It's a short book but there is so much in it.  After talking to Steve about it the other night, I'll probably end up reading it again.  There were ideas he took away from his read that different so much from my own that I'm interested to see what I can pull from it on my second read.  I would definitely recommend this book.  Now I'm off to the next book Steve's mom recommended! 

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