Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What are you reading, Weili Lin?

I've never been into science fiction, but my cousin got Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game for me a few years ago as a gift. I found out it's one of the classics, like a Pride and Prejudice of science fiction. Now that I finally have some spare time I went to my bookshelf and rediscovered this book that I had never read.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much it moved me. I got a good perspective of the mental and emotional state of a person training and fighting in war, and I have taken away a fuller understanding of war's psychological brutality on the individual level. Moreover, it was well-written and definitely ahead of its time in regards to the futuristic depictions of technology. I can definitely see why this book is a classic.

I particularly liked how the author used children as the main characters in the story and wrote from their perspectives. The author created a poignant novel by putting children through adult experiences. Another concept of the book which I appreciated very much was the explanation that the war between the humans and unearthly beings existed because of their inability to communicate their true intentions with each other.

I would recommend this book to young and old because it has something for every age group. More specifically, it may be of interest to children who feel they are on the fringe due to their high intellect. The story would also connect well with current soldiers, veterans of war, and families of these groups.

I used to read a book every week, but now it's more like once every two months. I just got a Kindle, however, so I plan on reading more often. Normally, my favorite books are historically based fiction and psychological thrillers. Emma Donoghue's Room: A Novel sounds very interesting, and it might be next on my list. I believe it's about a boy who grew up confined to a room.

Weili Lin is the Director of International Student Programs (ISP) at Hope. Before that, she was the Academic Coordinator in the Institute for International Studies (IIS). She has taught ESL classes and worked behind the scenes programming and assessing the Intensive English Program and supporting ESL instructors in IIS.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Tor Science Fiction, 1994.

This book may be purchased at, Barnes and Noble, and Better World Books.

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