Good Lord, it’s been a long long long long long long long long long time since I discussed any of my literary pursuits. The last time was some distant date in August. And now it’s December. Wow.
So I will fill you all in. I have some good stuff.
#35 The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth by Alexa Robbins.
Basically this book gives a rundown of why high school and middle school aren’t the greatest environments – for anyone. And most kids just want to feel some sense of belonging – whether it be with a friend/friend group or in a club or whatever – and we’re bred to not accept people, really. But there was also a challenge within the book – a challenge to go outside of your norm and find people who you really cherish and like for who they are, not how well they fit in with a stereotype. It was set up interestingly – she appeared to follow all these kids around school – but I can’t imagine how she could have done that…Did she rely on their reporting skills for how their days went; did she follow them around (that probably would have influenced her results, though); or did she put a recording device on them? There were a lot of excellent points in the book that I went “YES!” at, so I would recommend this book to any high schooler. It may seem like it, but it wasn’t a “HATE SCHOOL” book, more like a “what you can do to make your experience better,” or “why this might be happening to you and you’re not alone.” Also, I read this before school started, so I can’t remember a whole lot of what I went “YES!” at.
#36 Brush Up Your Shakespeare by Michael Marone
I have harbored a new love for the genius that is Shakespeare since my first marking period Shakespeare class. It was an excellent class and inspired me to read this book. It is pretty much a dictionary for most of the common phrases we use that originate from Shakespeare, phrases we think are Shakespeare but are not, and words Shakespeare made up. Needless to say, it was excellent.
#37 Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
We read this in Shakespeare class. It was very cool. There are actually a lot of gaps in the story. I think Shakespeare is more thorough with his tragedies – this is a comedy – because this one was fun but left some holes. We also watched the movie version twice. And went to a renaissance fair. And my high school put on “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged.” If you have never seen that, you must. I was laughing even after I left the school. The original is from the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Whew, even if you don’t know a lot about Shakespeare it is still stinkin’ hilarious.
#38 Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
I was confused for a lot of this book, but it ended up being cool in the end. The author uses no punctuation except for capitalization, periods, question marks and exclamation points. He is also English, so maybe that is why I was confused for a while. I th
ink it was supposed to add to the dazed feel of the novel because the main kid just lost his dad. It was a tough story to get through, but it was quite intelligent in the end. And the main idea doesn’t really have to do with death at all. But I won’t ruin it for you. It ends with one of those “How the heck is he getting out of THAT one?”
#39 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Fantastic. It is a hilarious book that is actually intelligent and witty and scientific at the same time. I didn’t realize it was a series, but it is. It’s a “trilogy” of five books. Did you know that it began as a radio show, then it became a stage production, then books, then a movie. I saw the beginning of the movie before I read the book, thought it was funny, found out it was a book, then shielded my eyes and thought, “I won’t ruin another book for myself!!” and ran off. It is very very funny, and very very well-written. The funny thing is, it starts with Earth being blown up, and that is really, sincerely sad. But you don’t get that from the book. I wonder if it will sink in for the main Earthman, Arthur. Oh! and the characters are phenomenal. They are very developed and suit the story.
#40 The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
To be honest, I didn’t really “get” this book. I mean, there were DEFINITELY parts of it that were meaningful and I really liked the wording of and whatn
ot, but it was such a teenage angst drama. This kid who basically has enough problems to fill an apartment complex has no friends, someone died, then he meets this girl who he falls in love with, he reads a lot of books, he’s very anxious, he experiments with drugs, alcohol and sex, his new friends also fool around, then something very dramatic lies at the heart of all his problems and is revealed at the end. I don’t really understand what the “perks” really were. I mean, his good friends that he made loved certain things about him because he really listened to people and understood and cared for them, but in the end, he was walked on. He tried to make everyone happy and forgot about himself. (Of course.) Lastly, I kept trying to figure out the reason why the novel is written in letter-format to an anonymous person. I think it was to add to the main character’s despair – that the only person he can truly talk to is someone he doesn’t know and who doesn’t reply as far as we know – but it was just confusing because if you removed the date and “Dear friend,” at the beginning and the “Love always, Charlie” at the end of each letter, the novel would run in first person just fine. It just seemed like it was written to cater to all the mysterious things that draw teenagers in: reckless behavior, drugs, alcohol, sex and sexuality, really messed-up lives, and drama. About a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
There you have it! I’m all up to date!
I’m actually a little behind pace for my 300 book goal, but I’ve started a little book club at school, so I hope that will pick my game up.