Tag Archives: books

So Much Excitement!

There is this author that I like, maybe you have heard me mention him before… his name is JOHN GREEN. And HE HAS A NEW BOOK OUT TOMORROW. It is called Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

I’ve been calling around to different stores trying to find out who is and is not carrying it. My friend Kelly and I wanted to purchase it from an independent store rather than a chain store, but none of them seem to be stocking it. Sad face. So I called Boarders, because they aren’t doing to well, and I thought it would be fun to give them my business. And then this conversation happened:

Lady: “Boarders, how can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me if you were carrying a new release book Will Grayson, Will Grayson? It comes out tomorrow.”

Lady: “Will Grayson?”

Me: “Yes,  Will Grayson, Will Grayson.”

Lady: “That is the title?”

Me: “Yes.”

Lady: “Who is the author?”

Me: “It is co-authored by John Green and David Levithan.”

Lady: “And that is W-I-L-L?”

Me: “Yes.”

Lady: “So Will Grayson?”

Me: “Yes. G-R-A-Y-S-O-N.”

Lady: “And then you repeat it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Lady: “So….*pause*…Will Grayson and then Will Grayson again?”

Me: “Yes.”

Lady: “Okaaaay…. well it says the street date is tomorrow, but I don’t know how many will be on the table.”

Me: “So you will be selling some?”

Lady: “I don’t know how many will be on the table.”

Me: “Okay, thank you!”

Don’t you just love people?!? After I hung up I laughed for a really long time. I think I might hit up my Barnes & Noble just in case. I mean, they only have four copies out, but I doubt many people in my town are reading John Green (though I wish this were not the case). I will say that this is supposedly the most mature book of his, and he has stated in the video I will post below that middleschoolers (and preschoolers) should not read it.

I can’t wait to buy it! If I didn’t have class it would be the FIRST thing I would do tomorrow morning. Sadly, I have no car and two classes I can’t miss. Oh well! Tomorrow afternoon I will have it, and probably post my review within the week! I’M SO EXCITED!

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Going through my nutrition book made me realize how much I’ve learned from watching Scrubs. And they say you don’t learn from TV.

Woah.

Have I really been gone that long?

I have?

You mean–No, no that can’t be right.

I haven’t (really) blogged since…DECEMBER 30TH?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I don’t believe it, I just don’t believe it. But alas, it is true. I am so ashamed Internet. Granted, I was out of the country for a month, but still. That is a very long time away from you. I think if I had to pin point the reason it would be this really weird thing I developed… I don’t know if you have ever heard of it, but recently I went out there and got myself a social life.

I know, I know. What am I doing with one of those? Well those crazy kids from New Zealand apparently liked me enough to keep hanging around me back here in the States. So I’ve been quite busy with all of that, plus school work. My goodness- the school work I have accumulated this semester! I still can’t believe how crazy it is. I’ve got papers (worth 30% freaking percent of my grade- YIKES) and tests and quizzes and projects and more papers and presentations and many, many, many books to read. I’ve been in class for…five weeks and I’ve already read six books and written papers on them. Such is the life of an English major. I’m not really complaining though– I like the books well enough. I’ve been reading: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid, Translations by Brian Friel, Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga and The Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers.

As you can see, that alone has kept me quite busy. Add to that lots of reading in text books and I basically have no free time to hang out with my new found friends (although I always manage to find time… interesting how that works). Also, for my Diversity in Education class, one of my assignments is to keep a weekly blog about our class. Difficult, I know, because I don’t have any experience in that sort of thing. Hardy-har I’m HILARIOUS. You can find the blog here, and you don’t have to be an Education major to comment on the posts- I would love your input!

I know this post is ridiculously short, but I have to study for a Nutrition exam (gross to the maxx) and go to a meeting for my French class (yes, I am still in French, no I do not have the same professor, yes I need to tell you that story some time. Remind me). At least I’m posting again, right? Yeah, let’s go with that.

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I’m sleeping with Darth Vader! It’s the scandal of the year.

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” – John Green, Looking for Alaska

So it is that time of the year again. I tend to do something one year and love it so much I find myself doing it the next year and the next year. The only problem is that list continues to increase while my free time continues to decrease. It is that time of the year to reread Looking for Alaska. If you have never read this book before, let me begin by saying you have no idea what you are missing. This book seriously changed me and my outlook on life. I am really not exaggerating when I say I look at people, situations, anything and everything differently because of the message of this book. In fact, it touched me so much that I find myself writing differently. John Green is an amazing writer and the imagery he creates has the power to make you weep from laughter and ten words later make you weep because WOAH! you didn’t see that event coming and you are quite sad. Don’t let the fact that this book is listed under “young adult” because that is not the case. I really, really hope I teach at a school where they allow me to teach this book to my students. It is very powerful, eloquent and very beautiful.

It is also that time of the year to make my way through the Lord of the Rings movies. These movies hold a very special place in my heart because it brought together all of my cousins and siblings and for once there was no screaming or yelling or fighting of any kind. We talked endlessly about the plot, who got to be who (I’m Sam which gives me reason to randomly shout “SHAAAARE THE LOAD!”) and we even dressed up for fun. (We had cloaks. Jealous? You should be.) Now, I am a bit apprehensive to start the movies because I am currently (although very, very slowly) making my way through the books. I feel as though I need to read these before going to New Zealand, because we will be going on a LOTR tour and even though the movies were filmed there and I’ve already been to the pub in which it was partly written/discussed, I still think I should read them. They are classics for a reason.

And of course it is time to go to NYC (although, when is it not?). So listen up mother! I want to go to central park and have tea at the Plaza just like Eloise. Oh how I love Eloise.

In other news, I get my sleep mask next Friday. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the thrilling story here.) I haven’t decided if I am going to post a picture of it on here when I get it; depends on the level of embarrassment I feel at the time. I do know that I have named it Darth Vader because, well, when wearing it I feel like ol’ Darth. Plus I can now (or at least next Friday) say “I’m totally sleeping with Darth Vader.” Can you imagine! Me! Sleeping with Darth Vader! The scandal! The shock! The horror! I know, I know. It is going to be totally awesome. Also if people want to come to visit it, and I’ve already had a few friends say they wanted to, the only requirement is that they bring a sticker to decorate it with. (This reminds me of the rule JD and Turk have… that you have to bring your own roll of toilet paper if you stay with them… no? anyone? just me?)

And lastly, I will answer this question that I was asked today by me lovely sister.

“If you were a boy for one day, what would you do?”

Hmmm, a very interesting question. I think whatever I did I would do it shirtless, because it is really unfair boys don’t have to wear shirts all the time. Then I think I would go to an old barber (like the kind with the red and white swirly thing in the front) because boys can just do that. They don’t have to entrust a random person with their precious hair and expect them to cut it EXACTLY like the picture looks. I would also burp a lot, because boys don’t (usually) get nasty looks when they burp. I would go to a sporting event and actually know what is going on (I’m assuming if there is magic for me to become a boy, there is magic for me to become a boy with a decent knowledge of sports). Oh then I would go smell a bunch of cologne because it all (mostly) smells so so good. And that would be my (somewhat boring) day as a boy.

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A Survey Between Classes.

1. What author do you own the most books by?

William Shakespeare.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
Hamlet. Paper Towns.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
No. When I talk, I end sentences with prepositions. When I write blogs I do the same. I only really take the rule into consideration when I am writing a paper for a class.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Hamlet. Ron Weasley. Q. Darcy.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
Hamlet. Jacob’s Rescue. George’s Marvelous Medicine.

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Jacob’s Rescue. George’s Marvelous Medicine.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
The Victim by Saul Bellow.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
I can’t choose. One of these: Me Talk Pretty One Day. Naked. Paper Towns. The Lovely Bones.

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?
Ant Farm.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Considering how people who turn books into movies virtually rape them of everything good and decent, I don’t know if I would wish that upon a book. That being said, I am anticipating what is going to happen with The Lovely Bones.

11. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
I have absolutely no idea. Ask again later.

12. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I had a dream that mixed John Green and Hamlet and Harry Potter (the golden trio) but I can’t remember the specific details. All I remember is that it was ODD.

13. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
Twilight.

14. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I didn’t even finish it. I didn’t even make it past the seventh chapter.

15. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
Timon of Athens was one seriously effed up play. Don’t read it. Don’t see it.

16. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I want to learn how to speak Russian. I would love, love to adopt a little girl from there. But I’ve been to France, and I will be devoting the rest of my academic life to learning the language. So I guess French.

17. Roth or Updike?
Roth. Go read Goodbye, Columbus right now.

18. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
SEDARIS. Sedaris. Sedaris. Sedaris allllllll the way.

19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare. Duh.
20. Austen or Eliot?
Austen. A thousand times Austen.

21. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Lord of the Rings. I WILL read these before I go to New Zealand. I promise.

22. What is your favorite novel?

I don’t know. I hate this question. I’m pretty fond of Looking for Alaska by John Green.

23. Play?
Hamlet. Keep up people.

24. Poem?
Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allan Poe.

25. Essay?
Civil Disobedience by Thoreau.

26. Work of nonfiction?
Me Talk Pretty One Day. Naked. Both are by David Sedaris. Without You by Anthony Rapp.

27. Who is your favorite writer?
I can’t choose a favorite. JKR and John are pretty awesome though.

28. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Stephanie Meyer.

29. What is your desert island book?
The Harry Potter series. Does that count as one book? Who cares, that is what I am choosing.

30. And… what are you reading right now?
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

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Book Club book #25: The Lovely Bones

Just an update: the last time we checked in I in the middle of reading book 19 which was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I finished that book, as well as the rest of the series and then immediately jumped into The Lovely Bones. I am not talking about the Harry Potter series as I plan to continue my book vs. movie discussion over on Bullshish. Now if you did the math you would realize I should be on book 23, but I forgot to include two books in my previous post. So now I should be between 28 and 32. Meh, I will catch up! And now, for the latest review. **Oh, and I tried my hardest not to include any sort of spoiler. I think I did a good job, but just sort of be warned there may come a piece or two of information that could be considered “spoiler” worthy.**

The Lovely Bones

Book: The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Number of Pages: 328

Plot, according to the back of the book:

“My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her—her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

Plot, in my own words:

Susie Salmon was just a normal girl who was brutally raped and murdered. She spends the entirety of the book narrating her story from Heaven as she watches down on her family, friends, and killer.

Thoughts, comments, questions, concerns:

One day I walked into a bookstore, picked up a copy of The Lovely Bones, paid for it, went home, sat on my bed and began to read the story of Susie Salmon. (A story that was rapidly becoming a much talked about topic among the literary world.) One chapter later I put down the book and did not pick it up again for at least five years.  There it sat, lonely (no pun intended) on my bookshelf just waiting to be read, but every time I looked at the thing I got the most horrible feeling in my stomach. Then I heard a rumor that it was being adapted into a movie. I thought about reading the book. Then I heard that the rumor proved to be true. I thought about reading the book. Then I went and saw a movie, and can you guess what one of the trailers was? Go on, I don’t think you will get it. IT WAS THE LOVELY BONES. I then went home, picked up the book, pushed myself through that darn first chapter and fell in love with the stupid thing.

As previously stated above, The Lovely Bones is the story of a young girl, told in first person narrative, who was raped and murdered by her neighbor. You find all of this out within the first two sentences of the book, so I don’t know what I was expecting, but by the end of the chapter it was as if you had witnessed Susie’s rape (which I believe was so realistic because of Sebold’s own rape that occurred during her college years). One of my biggest fears in life (as I am sure it is with a lot of women) is getting kidnapped and raped. I mean honestly, when I had to walk the streets of London alone to get groceries I was terrified. Not because I didn’t trust the city of London, but it is just this fear instilled inside of us. It has increasingly grown over the past few years and when I first picked up the book I couldn’t read past the first chapter. Now, I’d like to think that within the past five or so years I have grown up. Rereading the chapter wasn’t as bad as it was the first time; I was able to push through and read the entire novel, but Sebold is such an exceptional writer that no matter what point you are at in the book you are feeling some kind of emotion whether it be happiness, grief, fear, hatred, suspense, or even confused.

And that right there is what makes this book exceptional. You are seeing everything through the eyes of a girl sitting in Heaven, and yet you are able to sympathize with a grieving father, a heartbroken sister, a brother who is too young to fully grasp the situation, a mother who is on the slippery slope of severe depression, and a girl who can see her family, hear her family, but not talk to her family. Without giving anything away, all I can say is one minute you find yourself crying, the next SHOUTING at a character, then laughing, and maybe some more crying, and finally coming to grips with the ending. The characters are all lovable in their own unique way (with the exception of the killer who is one of the creepiest characters I have come across in a long, long time) and it has been a while since I have read a story of fictional characters set in the “real world” (as opposed to a wizard’s school) to which I have felt so connected.

The imagery and details Sebold uses to describe the events as well as the setting for such scenes is brilliant. You really do get a sense that you are there, alongside of Susie, watching this stuff unfold. Sebold has such a creative, unique style of writing as well. In the middle of a chapter when she finished a thought or a scene, she finishes it, skips a few lines, and then jumps to the next thought, scene, or flashback. There are no unnecessary fillers between the stories. She gives you the facts, slightly veiled by mystery, and then she sort of brilliantly strings them all together in the end. This is definitely a book that requires your full attention as things are often mentioned in one chapter, and then slightly (and sometimes quite sneakily) referred to in future chapters.

Bottom line:

Read this book. Read this book, read this book, read this book! I’m not going to lie and say it is happy all the time and everything ends up nice and pretty and perfect. It doesn’t. But sometimes books NEED to end this way to remind the reader that life doesn’t happen this way. People aren’t perfect; they make mistakes. You can’t bring people back from the dead but you can keep them alive in your memories. The final message of the book is about understanding, acceptance, and moving forward with your life. This book is a beautiful representation of how life really works. I absolutely recommend this to anyone and everyone.

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Book Club Update!

Oh dear, sweet Internet. Remember that time I said I was going to attempt to read 50 books in one year? And then I would write a review on each book? (Here is a link in case you don’t have the slightest idea to what I am talking about.) Well I don’t deny that I haven’t been keeping up with my book club like I said I would. I have been reading, of course, but I haven’t had the energy time to write on each and every book. But fear not! I really plan to before the end of the year. But for now, here is a list of the books I have been reading, in no particular order, in case anyone has slightly wondered where I’m at.

1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Read my review here.

2. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Read my review here.

3. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Ronald Dahl

Read my review here.

4. Broken Glass by Arther Miller

Read my review here.

5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Read my review here.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Read my review here.

Read my book vs. movie review here.

7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Read my book vs. movie review here.

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkiban by J.K. Rowling

9. The Victim by Saul Bellow

10. American and I by Anzia Yezierska

11. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

12. Goodbye Columbus by Phillip Roth

13. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

14. The Chosen by Chiam Patok

15. Lovingkindness by Anne Rophie

16. Looking for Alaska by John Green

17. Paper Towns by John Green

18. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

I figured at the beginning I could read four books a month and then six books in December or something. So right now I should be at book 28. This puts me at 10 books behind. JEEPERS! This is terrible! I have flown through the Harry Potter series, so I expect to be catching up sometime soon, where I will hopefully stay afloat! Golly. I need to get to reading!

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Book Covers I Find Intriguing

I have not read all of the following books, but while looking around on this awesome website I couldn’t help but take notice of particular book covers that really caught my eye. A lot of times I will get a book to read based solely on the cover (having no idea what it is about -besides what is on the back) and I often find myself going towards the unusual looking ones which turn out to be the most interesting (to say the least). Here are a few I would pick up:

1. Wet Apples, White Blood

Wet Apples White Blood

Book by Naomi Guttman

Cover by David Drummond

Based on the title alone, I am guessing this is supposed to be white blood dripping down an apple, which reminds me of rain dripping down the window, which makes me happy because I love thunderstorms.

2. Imprint

Imprint

Book by Daniel Eatock

Cover by Daniel Eatock

Who doesn’t love a good thumbprint made up of tiny text?

3. The Bug

The Bug

Book by Ellen Ullman

Cover by Jamie Keenan

Is the bug my computer? Is the bug my keyboard? Is the bug some sort of symbol? Only Ellen Ullman knows.

4. Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa Puffs

Sex Drugs And Cocoa Puffs

Book by Chuck Klosterman

Cover by Paul Sahre

Every time I hear “sex” and “drugs” I immediately think of a popular breakfast cereal targeted for children. Oh, is that just me?

5. Trauma

Trauma

Book by Patrick Mcgrath

Cover by Peter Mendelsund

Red background= blood= trauma= accurate book title.

6. Devil in the Details *

Devil in the Details

Book by Jennifer Traig

Cover by Kelly Blair

This cover is just mesmerizing.

7. When You Are Engulfed In Flames **

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

Book by David Sedaris

Cover by Chip Kidd

I can’t express how much I love David Sedaris.

8. No One Belongs Here More Than You ***

No One Belongs Here More Than You

Book by Miranda July

Cover by John Fulbrook III

Such a simple design. Sometimes I just like clean and simple books.

9. The Lie That Tells A Truth

The Lie That Tells A Truth

Book by John Dufresne

Cover by John Fulbrook III

This book cover is wicked awesome because how many times have I sat in class and rearranged my sentences? The answer is a lot.

10. Jane Eyre ****

Jane Eyre

Book by Charlotte Bronte

Cover by Megan Wilson

I don’t know why, but I have always loved a good silhouette.

11. American Nerd *****

American Nerd

Book by Benjamin Nugent

Cover by Jason J. Heuer

I wear glasses! I am American! I have also been called a nerd a lot, so this book appeals to me on many levels.

.

*Once when I was bored on a SEVEN hour flight from France to America, a friend let me borrow this. I got almost half way through, and it was very entertaining. I really recommend it. (Also, I just realized that may sound like it took me seven hours to read half a book. It didn’t. I borrowed it towards the end of the flight. Just clearing that up…)

**I’ve read two other books by David Sedaris and I must say he is one of the most entertaining authors out there. I really can’t say anything bad about him. If asked, I would tell you to put his books on the top of your list. His books are comprised of short stories (ranging from as little as four to fourteen or more pages) about his life. They are sometimes crude, sometimes sad, always hilarious at some point and always, always, always extremely entertaining. Expect a full review of this guy soon.

***I knew about this book from previously stumbling upon the author’s lovely blog. When you get a chance you should check it out.

****I know this was supposed to be primarily about books I have never heard before, and I know Jane Eyre is a classic, but I haven’t read it yet so I am counting it. Also, even if I had read it, this has got to be one of my favorite covers for some unkown reason. I really, really like it.

*****Nerds Rule.

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