Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Notes

The other day, I was discussing with my friend Kim about how I've noticed that when I read a lot, crafting tends to get pushed to the back burner, and if I'm in the middle of a creative spurt and sewing and crocheting, then it may be weeks before I pick up a book. Right now I'm definitely in "book mode." I'm plowing through one book after another while my crafting supplies sit in the corner gathering dust.

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 ultim
ately 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."

He adds:

"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?


just me said...

so glad you enjoyed the hunger games, thought you would! We are going to the movie tomorrow, everyone I know that has seen it says it is amazing. Even one of my friends husbands who refused to read the book loved the movie so much he went home after the midnight showing and started reading it! :) Have you read Alice in Deadland? It's one I got free on my kindle but a zombie alice in wonderland, interesting book.

Tammie said...

alice in deadland? yes please!!! must find that one.

Me said...

I've been reading a lot of Hop On Pop lately! You inspire me to read "real" books.

Not Hannah said...

I love Rachel Maddow and had no idea that she wrote this book, so now I am nerdishly excited! Huzzah!

Daphne said...

Loving your book selections! I think it might be time for me to read Kevin -- I think I'm up for it now. My book intake has been soooo sloooow but maybe I have a good excuse? I am curious about the Walking Dead -- haven't watched the show and had no idea it was based on a book! Loved the Hunger Games so much, and might go see the movie tonight if I can get my act together.

Tammie said...

carla: believe me, I've gone through the Hop on Pop phase. Twice! I'm pretty sure that i could recite that book word for word.

heather: glad i could get you excited. huzzah!

daphne: PLEASE read kevin! and yeah, you should give the walking dead a shot. being a graphic novel, you wouldn't be investing a lot of time if it turned out to not be your speed.

Run Lori Run said...

Good to see you liked Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and 13 Reasons Why. My daughter read both and said I'd like them too. More to add to my stack!

Visty said...

Okay, you have finally reached me with these book posts. I have been wanting to post about my latest finds, after reading yours.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, I wish I would have skipped the movie of Hunger Games. It was a big let down considering the quality of the book series. The characters in the movie were very one dimensional.

Liesl said...

It's official, I live under a rock. Although I know of its existence and that there is a movie out now, I have NO clue what The Hunger Games books are about! Seriously.

However, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is on my To-Read list.

Run Lori Run said...

I heard Rachel Maddow on the radio today and thought of you. I LOVE HER!