I thought I'd take a few moments to discuss some of the books that have been on my mind lately, and what better way to do that than with a bulleted list?
*I can't write about books without discussing my thoughts on the movie for We Need to Talk About Kevin. The movie was good, not great. The acting was wonderful but ultimately it seemed like something was missing. I felt so many emotions while reading the book that I just didn't feel while watching the film version. I'm definitely glad I watched it, but even more glad that I read the book it was based on. My advice: Definitely read the book, rent the movie later. (Again, my review of the book is here.)
*The Walking Dead
Jay's been watching the HBO show based on these books since the beginning. It's taken me a bit longer to get into it, but this last season had me hooked. At first, I was like, Zombies? Really? It didn't appeal to me at all and I just thought it was some violent gore-fest, but the story line is much more character driven than I realized. In fact, in the introduction to the first book, the author writes this:
"Good zombie movies show us how messed up we are, they make us question our station in society.... and our society's station in the world."
"With The Walking Dead, I want to explore how people deal with extreme situations and how events change them."
So yeah, love the show and am loving the books. I've managed to buy the first three books fairly cheaply but may try to see if the library has the remainders. (As a side note: It amazes me how desensitized to violence I've become. I can calmly sit and watch a member of the undead slurp down bloody gut dinner and not flinch. But the sight of my daughter smacking on a marshmallow Peep makes me gag uncontrollably. Weird.)
*The Hunger Games
I was planning on reviewing this one here but I figured that unless you've been living under a rock, you know what it's about. The next two in the series are definitely on my TO BE READ VERY SOON list. It's an enthralling Young Adult book that doesn't feel like a YA book. (Note: I'm taking my own advice and renting the movie later.)
*Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
While we're on the topic of YA books, let's discuss Miss Peregrine. I almost bought this one at Powell's but ended up ordering it for myself after seeing it in one of the Scholastic Book Order fliers that my kids brought home. The story centers around Jacob, a teenage boy who is on a mission to find out more about the childhood of his recently deceased Grandfather. He travels to a remote island near Wales and finds some very peculiar children.
The book is filled with slightly bizarre old photos (much like the cover photo) and it seems as if the photos inspired the story. Unlike The Hunger Games, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a YA book that seems like a YA book. It's suspenseful and creepy but not too suspenseful and creepy. That being said, I enjoyed it nonetheless.
*Thirteen Reasons Why
This book was loaned to me by a co-worker. I read it in two short days and then passed it on to the boy who, after reading a few chapters, declared it "a really, really good book."
A quick synopsis:
Clay Jensen arrives home from school to find a package filled with cassette tapes on his front porch. As he begins to listen to them, he realizes they are from his classmate Hannah who recently committed suicide. Hannah says there are 13 reasons why she committed suicide and that Clay is one of them.
I expected this book to be filled with whiny teenagers complaining about their teenage problems, but it ended up being much more powerful. It's a quick read, but definitely worth your time.
Okay, technically I haven't read this one yet because it doesn't come out until the 27th, but I'm definitely geeked about it.
We're long time fans of Rachel around these parts. Before the girl was born way back when Monty was in elementary school (kindergarten? first grade?) Jay and I would drop him off at school and then drive around listening to the show Rachel had with Lizz Winstead and Chuck D. on Air America radio (Ha! Remember Air America? So sad.....)before he had to be to work.
Rachel is a total history and politics nerd and she's passionate and excited about both and even though I'm not half as smart as she is, I can't wait to read this book. Plus, I bought tickets for Jay and I to see her next month when she comes to Portland. So now my only dilemma is whether to buy the book and read it before the event, or wait and buy it at the event and possibly have Rachel sign it? (Such a very first world problem, I know.)
What have you been reading lately?