Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We've Got Our Obsessions

You know what irritates me?
Book snobs.
People that ask what I've been reading. And then scoff and turn their nose up.
"Oh, so you read children literature?"
It makes me forever want to keep what I'm reading to myself.
Sometimes I just want to be entertained. To enter a world created by the author. To be enveloped in the characters presented to me. Thinking is great and all. But sometimes if a book makes me think too hard, I cant hardly read it. Because it starts to feel like work, rather than the break I needed. I know I'm not great at deep thinking. Pondering the underlying morale and message of the book. (Or even the hard topics in my everyday life.) An interesting story, well written is usually enough for me. I enjoy reading some books that are at easy reading levels. But then again, I enjoy reading lots of different types of books. And I hate being pigeon-holed. 
A good book is a good book.
Whatever its pomp and circumstance.

That being said - I do prefer some books over others. 

On a separate note, here's what I thought of the books I've read.

1. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
 As someone who supremely hated junior high, what appealed to me about this book (and the subsequent novels) were the titles. Eighth Grade Bites. Amen. Ninth Grade Slays. Why yes, yes it does. And the covers. That being said, it felt a little like the story was a non-story. It didnt contain nearly enough substance for my taste. It was like an outline to a story, waiting to be filled in. And yes, the reading level was easy. But even with that, I still might read the others. It was a quick read, and entertaining enough. I think I finished it in under four hours.

2. The Replacement
I have a preference for things that are a bit dark and twisty. So a story about a town where children are snatched from their beds and replaced with creepy look-a-like creatures? Ya, I'll read that. I liked the book. But it was just good. Not great, not bad. 

3. An Abundance of Katherines
I have a thing for any words that John Green writes. Or speaks for that matter. Thats the author, John Green. I watch his vlog, and well, he's pretty much brilliant. I've read two other John Green novels (Looking For Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and I loved what each of them had to say. 

Two of my favorite quotes from Looking For Alaska:

When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.

Because while John Green is an entertaining writer, he usually has a point - some truth he wants to share. And presenting truth in an entertaining way? Ya, I'm down with that. I'm not against being enlightened by the books I read. I just sometimes dont cause I get tired. This book though. I think I hated the main character. I just didnt bond with him. And mostly found him terribly annoying. Which is unfortunate, since the book is, ya know, about him. But it still wasnt a terrible book. Just not my favorite by any stretch of the word.

4. A Tale Dark and Grimm
This was just a really easy read, re-telling the Grimm fairy tales. The underlying message is that children are far more capable than we often give them credit, and dont need to be sheltered as much as people often do. Of course that would appeal to me, seeing as I still have some residual teenage angst and have always believed as a child that I was much more capable than adults gave me credit for. 

5. Stolen
I liked this book. Its about a teenage girl that is abducted and carted off to the outback desert. Its her letter to her captor. And I love how complicated it all is. I couldnt help but root a little for the kidnapper. It was a really well done book in my opinion. 

6. The Scarlet Letter
So sometimes when movies come out that reference books, I feel the need to then read the book. It actually was pretty good. Hester is a strong willed girl who, despite public humiliation, bears her burden with an attitude of fortitude and perseverance. So the story appealed to me. I also liked that it actually had an ending. Occasionally with classic literature, I find their endings a little too neatly wrapped up. (Like in Wuthering Heights when all the sudden everything goes right and rosy?) I read this at the gym and it was enthralling enough for me to not notice how tedious exercise can be sometimes.

7. Red Riding Hood
A book based on a screenplay. Thats a twist if ever there was one. The book totally ended in a huge cliff hanger... which I totally thought the movie would too, but I suppose I should of been smarter and realized they didnt want to spoil the ending of the movie. It was an alright read. The acting in the movie was kinda terrible but visually it was great. And I kept thinking that a simple way to discover the wolf would be to make everyone go into the church (since the wolf cant go on church property). But overall it was entertaining on both fronts. And apparently you can read the final chapters of the book online. I didnt even know there were going to be more chapters. Truthfully I dont know if I liked the book more than the movie or vice versa. 

8. I'm just about finished reading Peace Like A River which I like. I find that a lot of adult fiction, has a big focus on religion and faith. Which is kind of interesting. But this book is about family loyalty, and faith. And really well done. Even if it does make me think hard and get tired.  


Laura Beth said...

Hey, at least you read! I look at it this way.. its better to read something then not read at all... and I agree. A good book is a good book. Who cares if its meant for the younger crowd?!

Erika said...