A humble little blog about books, information, and other things that are good to know.

Posts tagged ‘death’

In Honour of Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury, photographed with a black cat.

Image via The Alien Next Door.

The news has just traveled into my corner of the blogosphere: Ray Bradbury has died. I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely sure before this whether he was still living. But it hardly matters, because his writing is undying.

Ray Bradbury believed that whether we burned books didn’t matter; if we failed to read and share them, we might as well be burning them. In tribute to him, science-fiction fans all over the Internet are making plans to return to his short fiction, essays, novels, and poetry as a fitting farewell tribute. That’s not a bad idea. After all, the man himself would have wanted to see his words outlive him, encouraging people to think.

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Perfect

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Image via Library Thing.

Title: Perfect

Author: Natasha Friend

Year of Publication: 2004

Genre Keywords: appearance, bulimia, death, depression, eating disorders, family, friendship, grief, parents, popularity, psychology, sisters, teen, young adult.

Summary: When Isabelle gets caught making herself throw up, she gets sent to a therapy group for people with eating disorders – and to her overwhelming surprise she finds Ashley, the most beautiful and popular girl at her school, also in attendance. The two become friends, bonding over binges and purges and the relief of finding somebody else who understands what they’re going through. But Ashley can’t help Isabelle deal with what’s really wrong: the unhealed grief she still carries from the death of her father nearly two years ago. How can Isabelle heal if she and her sister have been taught to pretend it isn’t there?

Who’ll Love It: Often fun and light-hearted in tone for such heavy subject matter, this quick read will appeal to anybody interested in the emotional lives of teenagers. The rags-to-riches fantasy element of an unpopular girl invited to the “popular table” in the lunchroom is a fun exercise in fantasy, but the story really drives home the point that popularity, prettiness, and seeming perfection doesn’t guarantee happiness, and can conceal some pretty painful demons. It’s a very readable study on the difference between appearance and reality.

The Real Story: Isabelle may be a fictional character, but bulimia is more common than many of us might imagine, with between one and six of every hundred people affected, depending where you are and which study you take seriously. You can get a good general overview of the sickness here. Lots of people believe that bulimia happens primarily to young girls who think they’re too fat, but anybody can be bulimic, and the link between eating disorders and stress or emotional trauma (as with Isabelle’s grief or Ashley’s family issues) is very real in situations where people don’t feel they can deal with their problems directly.

Scary Library: Truly Weird Tales

Throughout the week I’ve mostly been focused on scary stories from the fiction world: after all, Hallowe’en is all about the scary stories we tell ourselves. But there’s a non-fiction side to the paranormal and spooky as well. Believe in it or don’t, people have written countless books about the folklore, spirituality, and science behind the things we see in horror films and in the Hallowe’en decorations aisle at your nearest Wal-Mart. Here’s a sampling.

A skeleton reading

Image via Monster Bash News.

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