I just started reading Robert J Sawyer's Wake, the first in his "WakeWatchWonder" trilogy, and it's great! I'm not really a science fiction reader, but I find his books to be easily understood, accessible, yet thought-provoking. I've read others by him, Hominids/Human/Hybrids (trilogy), Frameshift, and Mindscan, and they all present situations where we must consider "what would happen if...?"
Wake tells the story of Caitlin, a 15 year old math genius who has been blind since birth. When she is approached by a Japanese scientist who offers her the chance to see by undergoing experimental surgery, she is thrilled. But what at first seems to be a failure ends up, after some modifications, to give Caitlin the ability to see into the WorldWideWeb, or what they term "websight". I know from reading the back cover of the book that she will encounter a predator lurking on the WWW, and that it will be "getting smarter" as the novel progresses. What the summary doesn't tell you is that Helen Keller is Caitlin's role model, that there is an outbreak of H5N1 flu in a small Chinese village and that controversial measures are taken to contain the disease and control communication with the rest of the world about it, and that there is a chimp named Hobo who can communicate using sign language with Virgil, the orangutan, and who has learned to create representational art. There is so much going on in this complex novel, I nearly did not take time to post about it because I want to be reading it instead! This novel, and others of his that I have read, take me out of my reading "comfort zone"; that is, they make me think about things that I would otherwise never encounter, and therefore never have to consider, in my own personal experience.
I have a "read anytime" favourites list, and some of the titles on this list are We Need to Talk About Kevin (soon to be released as a film), A Handmaid's Tale, and Never Let Me Go. These novels all take me out of my reading "comfort zone" and make me think about situations that I would never encounter in my own life. Perhaps I can read them again and again because each time I read them, I look for new clues as to what would be the best course of action in each situation. Although I know what the ending is for each novel, what the characters "choose" to do, I can still consider what "I" would do if I were there. Maybe this is a good thing... or maybe I just need to get out more!
Speaking of getting out more, I'll close now and sit outside to drink my tea, as it's the first of June, the sun is shining, and the wind is rustling through the leaves, making patterns of dappled sunlight and shadows on the blinds.
Bye for now!
PS I love my new mug - it's perfect!!!