Tuesday, June 7, 2011

29 Gifts & The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Two more books read.

I finished listening to 29 Gifts by Cami Walker a few weeks ago now, it seems like. It was an interesting listen. It is written by a woman who was depressed, and inspired to start giving daily gifts for, you guessed it, 29 days. Her gifts could be as small as a compliment to a stranger, or as large as she wanted them to be. If she missed a day of giving, she'd have to go back to start at day one again.

When she started this "adventure", she was noticing how much her body was failing her due to the onset of MS. She could only work for a few hours a day, and a walk to the neighbourhood store was a big struggle. Through the twenty-nine days, I got to observe her becoming a stronger, happier person - in part because of the gifts she was giving.

I found this book interesting as I'd already heard of the concept, but hadn't realized it. When I read The Brightest Star in the Sky back in February, one of the characters (and his girlfriend) were participating in the gift challenge. There is a web site devoted to this concept in which people sign up and write about their gifting. It's quite interesting. It has made me think about it, just to get more involved with people on a day to day basis. I find I'm quite wrapped up in my own world a lot of the time and maybe this would be a way to get outside of it a bit. We'll see.

The second book I finished was The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paulo Giardano. As I just googled this to find out the author's name, I discovered that this was made into a movie in 2010 with Isabella Rosalini. Interesting. I won't be watching it as it is Italian. But back to the book...

The story follows two main characters - Alice and Mattia. Alice is an only child who is pushed into skiing by her father. She doesn't like skiing, and doesn't seem to fit in with the kids right from the start. She ends up in a bad accident that leaves her with scars and a permanent limp, all this before she even hit puberty. Mattia is a twin, and his sister is challenged. Because of her, he is not really included by the kids at school. One day, someone invites him and his sister to a party. He convinces her to wait on a bench for him while he goes to the party, and she is never seen again. Needless to say, this childhood event scars Mattia.

As teenagers, Alice and Mattia meet, and become, well, almost close friends. Neither is really at the point where they can be "friends" and trust each other, but they become a large part of each others' lives. The story continues on as they grow up and grow apart.

I really enjoyed the first chapters of this book, but as it went on, I didn't like it as much. I think it reminded me too much of how mean teens can be. It was a bit tough to read about it, especially since I have teenage nieces who have had struggles with the girls at school. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, even if it did bring up all those insecurities of high school again.

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