If I were to describe “The Veldt,” a short story in Ray Bradbury’s The Invisible Man, it would be “creepy.”
In this world, you can buy a house that’s practically alive. The house is at your service, and you never have to lift a finger. Gone are the days when you have to clean and maintain your house—it is programmed to be self-sufficient. It can even cook your meals that you might wonder: does the house have a mind of its own?
And then you have children spoiled like no other. These children are so used to getting everything that they want that you’re not sure how they would deal with adversity. Perhaps their behavior would be destructive? Well, whenever I read about mysterious children, I am reminded of horror movies, of children with eerily high-pitched voices and imperious auras. (Actually, I remembered Such Small Hands, which left me unsettled.)
At the end of the day, it all boils down to one question: are you really in control? If not, well, watch out.
My sister and I have this thing I like to call Books without Borders, in which I share books with her whenever I visit her. I’m taking a rather awkward stopover in Toronto for a few weeks before I fly back to Manila—let’s call 2019 a year of travel, a sabbatical—and I’ve rounded up another batch of books to share with her.
I usually limit the number of books I take with me because, well, they’re heavy. As I was packing and shipping all my other belongings away, I decided to hold on to five books that I’ll be reading and sharing this summer. (This is also going to be our last Books without Borders for a while, at least until I find my bearings.)
The first two books are nonfiction policy books that have been on my bookshelf for quite a while. Since I’ll have a lot of time (and brainpower, really) on my hands, I thought I’d get through them during this trip. I’m also bringing a Murakami book I’d been meaning to read for the past year. I love reading Haruki Murakami; my favorite book of his is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but I heard a lot of great things about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as well, so I am excited to finally have time to read this! (I normally do not read Murakami if I’m in a “busy season” at work.)
Dryer’s English is a book I picked up recently (using my used book trade from Green Apple Books). As the little perfectionist that I am, I’m excited to read this book to refresh my knowledge. I’ve always loved writing, and I take pride in my writing. I had an amazing English teacher during my freshman year of high school who made me fall in love with the technical aspects of writing (diagrams!!!), so my little nerdy self is quite happy about having found this book.
The last book, Suggestible You, was one I almost packed and shipped away in a box. As I posted about the books I was packing, one of my friends expressed interest in reading Suggestible You, so I lent it to her (I love sharing books and recommendations) as long as she returned it before I flew out. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time to read the book, so she returned it to me last week—after I sent out my box, so it’s coming with me on my trip!
I also placed holds on several library Kindle books, so I’ve lots to read!