In truth, I had never heard of Lois Lowry or The Giver until a few weeks ago when a friend of mine mentioned it as being a book that has a unique view of dystopia to share. As Into the Shining Sun also deals with a veiled dystopian future, The Giver was uniquely suitable reading.
What I found most interesting about The Giver is how the story manages to start off weaving a tale that seems utopian and idyllic, and only gradually reveals the more sinister problems of the world. The narration, told from the point of view of an 11-year-old (later a 12-year-old) boy, was easy to follow and engrossing. Lowry managed to infuse Jonas with a rich depth of character, while at the same time leaving him open enough for a reader to imprint themselves easily on to him. I am always impressed when an author manages to so successfully capture the spirit of childhood, and it's all the more impressive capturing the spirit of the childhood of the opposite gender.
Philosophically, I found the book quite enjoyable as well. The tension between uniqueness and sameness is one all people feel, especially as children wanting to fit in. To take that tension to a societal level was, I think, an excellent way to explore the point.
I really enjoyed The Giver and look forward to reading the other two (soon to be three) books in the trilogy (soon to be quartet). Meanwhile, I continue onward with my reading list!
Books: Reading "Slouching Toward Adulthood," and after that another volume of "Echoes from All Our Conversations," and then "A Feast of Crows." Which is exciting.
Bottles: Nothing lately, but next weekend opening several bottles for a tasting, trying to teach some of my friends to love wine.
Writing: Two-thirds done re-reading ITSS, so should be right on schedule for starting the rewrite. Whether I finish it in the time I want is another matter.
Guitar: "Bouree," "On an Island," and some exercises.