just an obsurvashun

June 5, 2011

The end of the 48 hours

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 6:42 pm

After 26.7 total hours spent reading and blogging and reading other people’s blogs over the past couple days, I’ve been sleeping the sleep of the dead for several hours. Despite setting an alarm to give me another 90 minutes to read, I woke up with about 7 minutes left in my 48 hours. Instead of spending it reading, I’m just posting my final info. I finished the following books:

    Thirteen Reasons Why andGlass (Crank, #2)

Then I got through 248 pages of

and when I had to shower, drive, cook, or clean, I audiobooked through a bit of

The Glass Castle which I had started prior to the challenge and haven’t finished yet.

I liked most of the books, as my prior posts indicate. I’m not sure about The Glass Castle, yet, but I don’t think I like it–not because of the writing but because of the parents. And the cats. It all just makes me sad. The writing is hard to judge from the audio book because it’s read by the author and the way she reads it, she tells of these horrible experiences from the perspective of a child who doesn’t seem to think they’re as horrible as I do. So I like it and I don’t like it for that same reason. It’s uncomfortable but it’s her life. Many people have had similarly awful childhoods. Some have grown up and been successful and some haven’t. It’s very difficult to hear this story and not judge people, but I feel I have no right to judge. I thought I didn’t like the book at first, but I really think it’s the parents I don’t like. Take that as you will because, despite their faults and mental illness, they did raise some successful, self-sufficient children.

I chose a lot of depressing books for this weekend. I have my reasons for it and aparently I survived. I am exhausted and I have a paper to write this afternoon. Guess I shoulda done my homework before this started…

Thanks to MotherReader for the great idea. Thanks to FunMama for telling me about it. Perhaps I’ll see you all here again next year?

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Literary Methfest (48hbc)

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 1:13 am

I finished Ellen Hopkins’ Glass a couple hours ago and jumped right into Fallout. I like them both. I love the way she tells Kristina’s story from Kristina’s point of view. The way she describes her life and the people she meets is sort of tinged with hope and self-deceit. She falls in love with these guys and her descriptions of them can’t really be what they are. It’s heartbreaking and endearing at the same time. I love Kristina and I hope she makes the right decision next time and she never, ever does. Well, she does once. The monster is such an ugly thing.

Now, I’m 248 pages into Fallout and it is just as good as the first two in the series. Heartbreaking and endearing. It’s making the tragedy fest tolerable. Definitely making up for that horrible book I read earlier today…

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June 4, 2011

2:35 Saturday afternoon

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 1:49 pm

According to my handy dandy iPhone Hours Tracker app, I am almost 17 hours in to 48hbc (that’s 17 active hours, not counting sleeping, eating and taking breaks to rant at my husband about the book I just finished). That book is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I know a lot of people love this book. I know the topics are timely and important: teen suicide and bullying. And I can’t help but think that is why this book got published, received so many accolades, and is so loved by so many people. Or perhaps it simply didn’t appeal to me.

This book is written in a form that my ADD brain can’t keep up with. It’s about a girl, Hannah, who has committed suicide but before she killed herself, she recorded 6 1/2 cassette tapes with one side addressed to each of the thirteen people she blamed for her death. Apparently, the tapes were sent to the first person on the list who is required to send them to the next person and so on. The character listening to the tapes is both listening  and thinking and doing other things. Hannah’s recording is in italics, his thoughts and actions are not. I forget from tape to listener what was going on in the last section. Are you confused? Of course, because I can’t even adequately explain my problem here.

Also, I know that bullying is a problem. People need to be kinder and think about what they say and do. BUT we also need to be teaching our kids to overcome the nasty crap life often throws our way. Hannah’s snarky (bitchy) tone makes me really not like her. I think she’s trying to be tough, but if that’s the case why did she choose to die? I’m confused. Clay, the character through whose ears we hear Hannah’s accusations, blames himself for not saving her. I believe suicide is sometimes (not always) just a big, selfish “screw you” to the people left behind, both friends and enemies. Hannah has taken that one step further with these tapes and it really reduces my sympathy for her. She could have made different choices, so could the other people in her life. Where is the discussion about that? If I ever use this book in my classroom, that is the capacity in which I will do so. We will read some and discuss the options and choices and junctures where different steps could have been taken. That is much more useful to kids than reading a how-to book about killing yourself and pissing everyone else off in the process. Not that I have that strong an opinion or anything…

Share your love and shine your light. 🙂

June 3, 2011

Perhaps I should reconsider…

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 9:24 pm

I really made some gloomy choices for this 48hbc thing: Monster, The Things They Carried, Thirteen Reasons Why, then an Ellen Hopkins marathon with Glass, Fallout, and Tricks. My mental health may not survive the weekend. I don’t even know if I have any happy backups. I already read Beauty Queens.

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Vietnam and Qdoba

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 9:10 pm

I just finished The Things They Carried which is an emotionally difficult book about the Vietnam war (I suppose saying a book about Vietnam is emotionally difficult is actually pretty redundant). I cried a lot.

Then I placed an online order for Qdoba, which they failed to notice before I got to the store and then failed to notice me waiting to pick up the order so I had to get in line. When I got home I noticed they forgot my chips and queso. I realize that this is a first world problem and war is a lot more horrific than not getting your chips and queso at Qdoba, but I was already in a fragile state by the time I got there.

The book is great, by the way. I highly recommend it, even though it left me feeling like a sad little kid. I’ll get over that and sometimes feeling like a sad little kid is a good thing, just so long as you don’t stay there.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers #48hbc

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — smacky @ 10:05 am

I started the 48hbc earlier than I intended and finished a book I was already reading: Walter Dean Myers’ Monster. It is about a 16-year old defendant in a murder trial and is told partially in first person from his perspective as a journal he is keeping and partially in screenplay format for the movie he wishes these events were part of , rather than his suddenly very frightening real life.

There are things I really like about this book and things I really don’t like. My main complaint is just a matter of personal taste. I am not so interested in courtroom dramas. A great deal of this book is courtroom scenes and dialogue. I say meh to that.

However, I like the screenplay style of much of the book and the personal journal style of the rest of the book. The main character/narrator, Steve Harmon, is a sympathetic character, even though he is on trial for his alleged participation in a robbery/murder.

Definitely a readable book, though the courtroom scenes can be dry and difficult to get through, especially the closing arguments. But the picture of our justice system–the best arguer wins–is interesting. I think it’s a good introduction to that world for young adult readers.

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MotherReader’s Sixth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge (My First)

Filed under: Uncategorized — smacky @ 9:30 am

Because I have to read bunches of books anyway, I decided to participate in this challenge (suggested to me by a friend). I had intended to start at 3:00 today because I have some appointments, but I find myself with a couple hours now, so…here goes!

For contest info click here.

If you’d like to join me, click here.

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