Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks: Where in the world have you been?

This week’s Weekly Geeks asks you to tell us about your globe trotting via books. Are you a global reader? How many countries have you “visited” in your reading? What are your favorite places or cultures to read about? Can you recommend particularly good books about certain regions, countries or continents? How do you find out about books from other countries? What countries would you like to read that you haven’t yet?

worldmap

It took me at least an hour to think of the many countries I’ve visited in books. Of course the United States was one of the easiest countries. To my surprise so was France, Chile, and Spain.  I  realized how little I’ve visited Asia and Africa. All together though I’ve been to 34 countries through my reading. A few of my favorite books from other countries are:

1trans

A Man, a Woman, and a Man by Savyon Liebrecht. Fiction. Israel. I found this book years ago at my local library. When I tried to find it again last year, I was dismayed to find that my library no longer has it. Hamutal and Saul meet at the nursing home that their parents reside. Soon they start an adulterous affair and both fall in love. From what I remember of this book, it was the plot and the beautiful language that kept me reading.

The Killer’s Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux. Fiction, young adult. France. I don’t remember how I found this book but I’m glad I did. Angel Allegria is a killer on the run from the police. When he encounters the Poloverdos’ farmhouse, he kills both parents but spare their son Paolo. This is the start of an unlikely friendship between the two. I love the first sentence, “No one ever arrived here by chance”.

Blindness by Jose Saramago. Fiction. Portugal. I read Blindness years ago and feel in love with Saramago’s writing. Blindness is Saramgo’s exploration in what would happened if people suddenly went blind with no reason behind it. Lyrical but yet haunting, Blindness is a book I still think about.

Any suggestions for Africa?

Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks and Bloggiesta

blogiesta

This week has gone by so fast. I can’t tell you what I’ve done or where I’ve been. I haven’t even read one adult read this week. Hopefully next week will be so much better for me. I signed up for Natasha’s Bloggiesta challenge that’s going on this weekend and starts tomorrow at 8 a.m. I plan on spending at least 20 hours working on 1330v.

  1. Writing my Nerds Heart YA decision post
  2. Writing my reviews for my Nerds Heart YA books
  3. Add tags to posts
  4. Write a Music Munday post for Kailana
  5. Write at least five reviews
  6. Create a Sunday Salon for the 21st
  7. Tally up my reviews and see how many I have
  8. Come up with a new regular weekly feature
  9. Write at least two short story reviews
  10. Consider writing a review policy
  11. Find out my blog’s grade at WebsiteGrader.com
  12. Re-write “About Me” page
  13. Get rid of both challenges pages
  14. Cleaned up my Google Reader

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment goes hand-in-hand with Bloggiesta. The assignment is to list any books  that need to be reviewed and asked readers to ask questions about them. Here are some of the books I need to review:

  1. Where I live by Eileen Spinelli
  2. My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
  3. Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers
  4. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  5. Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs
  6. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  7. The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson
  8. Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye
  9. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
  10. Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
  11. The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith

You guys will be doing me a huge favor by asking me questions about these books. Most are library reads and I’m trying to take back as many as I can read and reviewed.

Are you participating in either event this week? Do you have any books you want your readers to ask questions about?

Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks: Reviews

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment is on reviews and is hosted by Care.

1. Explain your review format-if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?

My review format always includes:

  • a picture of the cover of the book I read
  • the title, author’s name, number of pages, and the year the book was published
  • a summary of the book
  • my thoughts
  • a few of my favorite passages

I used to have a rating system but I dropped it. Having a rating system can be a tricky thing. I want readers to know what I liked about a book, what I didn’t like, and why. Sometimes a reviewer gushes about a book but only give the book three stars without saying why or giving enough detail. When a reviewer gives the reason for the rating, I can better tell whether or not I would like the book myself.

2. Highlight another book-blogger’s review format by linking to a favorite example- don’t forget to tell us why they’re a fave.

There are so many bloggers I look up to as blogging role models. These are bloggers who have been blogging longer than me and usually add new reads to my bookshelves. Their reviews make you want to go out and buy every book they loved or don’t give another glance to a book they didn’t care for. Their reviews are detailed, their tone is light, and I always end up wishing  I could write like them.

  1. Nymeth’s review of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee.
  2. Nymeth’s review of Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. When Nymeth loves a book you can tell in her reviews. She makes you want to go out and buy the book while you’re still reading the review. Both Tender Morsels and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop are on my shelves now because of her.
  3. Carl’s review of Exlibris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. I love Carl’s reviews. Carl has a passion for the sci-fi and fantasy books that have made me explore both genres. He’s also the host of two of my favorite reading challenges: Once Upon a Time and R.I.P.
  4. Dewey’s review of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This is one of my favorite reviews because a) I pressured asked Dewey to read it. It’s one of my favorite books. b) It’s a great book. c) Dewey had bloggers ask her questions about the book and she answered them. It wasn’t until Dewey that I had thought to have bloggers to ask questions about the books I read. Go to Dewey’s blog and check out any random review. You’ll leave her site with a long list of new books to read.
  5. Emily’s review of Locomotion and Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. Emily writes her reviews in haiku format. She uses just a few words to make you want to read a book. My hero.

3. Do a review in another book-blogger’s format of your latest read.

Will do later.

4. Highlight a past review that you’re particularly fond of and why the format and structure may have something to do with it.

The latest review that I’m really fond of is the one I wrote for The Hunger Games. I had a hard time writing this review because so many bloggers have read this book and reviewed it. I was trying to figure out if I had anything to add to the conversation. It turned out I did have something to add. I ended up really loving the way the review came out.

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Weekly Geeks: Your inner child and poetry

This week’s Weekly Geeks is the brainchild of Becky. I have to say this week’s assignment is tied with my absolute favorite assignment which is a quote a day.

Option A: Be a kid.

  • You could read a picture book (or two or three) and share what you read.
  • Write up a post sharing your favorite books from childhood.
    Write up a post about reading together with your child(ren).

Option B: Be a poet.

  • Write your own poem and share with us!
  • Write bookish ABC poems–ABC’s of favorite authors, favorite books, favorite characters, favorite book blogs, or any combination of the above. Maybe even an ABC’s of a bibliophile or book addict. (A is for…B is for…etc.)(For example, ABC’s of Dr. Seuss)
  • Review a book you’ve read recently in haiku. (It doesn’t need to be a poetry book you’re reviewing, any book will do.) See Emilyreads for an idea of what I mean.
  • Read a poetry book and review it.
  • Participate in Poetry Friday (This week’s host will be Carol’s Corner.)

Isn’t this a great assignment? I think throughout this week I’ll attempt to do every idea.

*****

About two years ago I came up with the idea to start a book club in my home. Mind you the only members are everyone who lives here but the kids loved the idea.  So we came up with a name and agreed or I decided that every night, right before bedtime, we would get together and share our favorite books and read to each other. Even the boys, who are the youngest, could pick out a book to share and read. I thought it would be nice to share with everyone our favorite picks of the week.

Van’s pick is Princess Peepers by Pam Calvcalvertert (2008). Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning. 40 pages.

Princes Peepers is a girl who knows who she is. She loves wearing glasses and has one for each of her favorite outfits. But when she starts a new school and gets laughed at, she throws every pair of glasses into her trunk and promises never to use them again.

The story started out great until the end when the princess meets Prince Peerless and go away with him. Van loved the book but I felt the end wasn’t necessary. Don’t we have enough books with princess riding off with princes? Princess Peepers didn’t find confidence with herself until she met the prince.  What really kills me is the fact that both prince and princess look like they are no older than ten. *sigh* This is one that won’t be added to our home collection.

spinelli-eVal’s pick is Someday by Eileen Spinelli (2007). Illustrated by Rosie Winstead. 32 pages.

Someday is about a little girl’s longing for more than what she has in her life presently. One of the things she longs for us to be a great artist who paints by the sea but instead she’s helping her dad paint the shed. At the end of the book, the little girl finally thinks it’s okay to be mindful of the present.

Av’s pick: Dinosaur vs Bedtime by Bob Shea (2008). At three sheayears old, Avi’s the baby of the family but don’t tell him that. He won’t believe you. For the last two weeks I have been reading Dinosaur vs. Bedtime every morning, noon, and night. Imagine my surprise when Avram read the book to me yesterday. I’m surprise I didn’t cry.

martin-claudia-and-mean-janinePip’s pick is The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine(2008). Written by Ann M. Martin. Illustrated by Raina Telgemeiser. 176 pages.

One of the funny things that never fails to surprise me is that motherhood makes you go full-circle in your life. I was the same age as Pip (7) when I discovered this series.  Claudia and Mean Janine is actually book seven in the original series.

Claudia and Janine are sisters who can’t get along. Janine is a genius who lives at her computer desk while Claudia is the artist with a passion for junk food. When their grandmother has a stroke after having an argument with Claudia, Claudia blames herself. The sisters come together to help their grandmother get better.

Oli (age 5) doesn’t have a favorite  pick. I think it might bepattou because he’s been going to sleep earlier than everyone this week, so I’ve been reading to him from my own reads. I read the first several chapters of East by Edith Pattou and several poems from various poets like Raymond Carver, Langston Hughes, and Christina Rossetti. I haven’t bored him yet so I’m calling it a success.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Judge a book by its cover

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment is to:

Pick a book–any book, really–and search out multiple book cover images for that book. They could span a decade or two (or more)…Or they could span several countries. Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?

I think this is a great assignment. I’m the type of person who loves looking at book covers. I would rather pay more for a hardcover edition of a book if the cover looks a lot better than the paperback version. Most of the time I buy a book primarily because of the cover and a few good reviews. I’m paying for that outlook now.

I picked Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief because it’s one of my favorite reads. This is the cover I have on my hardcover copy. I checked Amazon.ca and found the same cover for both hardcover and paperback.

I searched around and found this vastly different color at Amazon Denmark. It’s creepy and I like it better, but it does misrepresents Death. He’s not some creepy bloodthirsty creature. He’s pretty sweet with a hard job and no vacation from it.

This cover I found at Amazon.uk. It does not fit the theme of the book at all. Liesel, the main character, is not just reading books in the novel. She’s living her life and learning so much about loyalty and trust, the meaning of family, and how strong love is and how hard loss can be.


I’ve seen the French cover before but it’s creepier than the Denmark version. Liesel dancing with Death? Not exactly.

So which one do you prefer? Do you judge a book harshly by its cover?

Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks 2009-03: Classics

It feels so good to be back participating in Dewey’s Weekly Geeks! This week’s assignment:

1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don’t get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

3) Let’s say you’re vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don’t find her a book, she’ll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her?

I have to admit that it’s rare for me to read a classic for fun. Being an English major I get assigned to read them often and I usually hate assigned reading. Not because of the material but because it’s assigned, there’s a deadline and a several-hundred word required essay involved. . .

There are classics I love like To Kill A Mockingbird, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, The Bluest Eye, and The Tempest. I have little experience reading classics but being a blogger, you can’t help but want to read them after reading the great reviews of your blogging friends. So I have books by Austen, Bronte, Wells, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Eliot, and others on my TBR list and shelves.

My cousin wouldn’t be named Myrtle but probably something starting with a “T” because my mother and many aunts were going through a “T” phase in the 1970s and ’80s, so all seven or eight of us girls have names that sound alike. . . That’s another story I’ll tell you guys one day. But if my cousin wanted me to find her a book that I think have classical appeal it would be The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I read it two years ago and it is still the only book that had me talking to myself about the plot and characters when I wasn’t reading it.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Three of my favorite blogs

Dewey is hosting a great contest by giving away five copies of five different books. One of her requests is for participants to tell us what are three of their favorite blogs are. I have more than fifty blogs bookmarked on my list, so I’m not going to give you my top three but just three random blogs.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. On her blog Gretchen shares with her readers all the happiness techniques that she spent a year learning about and testing driving out. One of my favorite posts by Gretchen is a recent one about trying to come to terms with who you are and all the things you want to do and be but can’t.

37 Days. The generous, intelligent, and caring Patti Digh is the author of this blog. 37 Days comes from the title of her book, Life is a Verb: 37 days to wake up, be mindful, and live intentionally. Five years ago Patti’s stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed only 37 days later. Patti’s blog always makes my day so much brighter. Go and over and browse her archives. I found out about both the book and the blog through the blog Head Butler.

Head Butler is hosted by Jesse K. The purpose of this blog: to tell you about the great movies, music, and books that Jesse thinks you’ll probably enjoy. I am forever thankful to Jesse for blogging about Ann Hood’s eloquent memoir Comfort, about the death of Hood’s daughter.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Tuesday’s quote

I shall pass through
this world but once.
Any good therefore
that i can do or any
kindness that I can
show to any fellow
creature, let me do it now.
Let me not defer or
neglect it for I shall
not pass this way
again.

-Grellet

I think this will be my literary tattoo.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Monday’s Quote

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart…Try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

-MLK Jr.

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Sunday’s quote

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart…Try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books written in a very foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

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Weekly Geeks #23

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment is to repeat a previous w.g. assignment. I chose #17, which is posting a quote every day. I really enjoyed looking for new and old quotes during this assignment. I found today’s quote in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s memoir Living to Tell the Tale.

“From a very early age I’ve had to interrupt my education to go to school.”-George Bernard Shaw

Now I’m off to complete my daily word count for Nanowrimo.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks #19

This week’s Weekly Geeks we have to make a list of our favorite reads that were published in 2008. Sad to say, I didn’t like most of the books I read that were published this year. But my favorites:

1. The Book of Other People: short stories edited by Zadie Smith
2. The Geography of Love – Glenda Burges (memoir)
3. The Way back Home – Oliver Jeffers (children’s)
4. What now? – Ann Patchett
There are several 2008 books I expect to read this year:

1. Awesome – Jack Pendarvis
2. Just After Sunset – Stephen King
3. The Graveyard book – Neil Gaiman
4. Best American Short Stories 2008

5. A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing,
Housecleaning, and Life – Nancy Peacock
6. Death with Interruptions – Jose Saramago
7. The Entropy of Aaron Rosclatt – James Sandham
8. Fables Vol. 11 – Bill Willingham

Did you see that? After giving up so many challenges this year, I went and made a list. It’s a very flexible list but still, it’s a list.

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Weekly Geeks #18

I really should be studying but I have just too much energy. So I’ve been doing everything else: taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, daydreaming . . . I’ll get to studying soon. I think the kids feel the same way because I asked them to take a nap hours ago and they’re still up. I give up.

This week’s Weekly Geeks is about catching up. Catch up on whatever it is you need to catch up on: book reviews, TBR pile, library books . . .
So this week I will be catching up on a number of things.
At last count I was signed up for about thirty challenges. Now with school and everything else in my life, I think I will cut my challenges down to about five total for the rest of the year. I have a challenges notebook that I use so I can remember what challenge deadlines are coming up and what books to read but it still feels like a chore. So I am going to go through my notebook and my five favorite ones I will keep.

I also need to update my TBR pile. I am so tired of looking at my TBR bookcase. I need to start reading the books now and give them away. I will definitely be giving some away for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon in October. If you haven’t heard of this great challenge already, go on over to The Hidden Side of the Leaf and read all about it.

I also need to catch up on my homework. I have a ton of classes and for the last two weeks on and off I have been sick. It’s crazy having the flu and it’s about 80 degrees today in California. If I haven’t been the sick one then it’s been one of the kids. So “catch up” will be my new name for the next week.

Wish me luck.

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Weekly Geeks #18

I really should be studying but I have just too much energy. So I’ve been doing everything else: taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, daydreaming . . . I’ll get to studying soon. I think the kids feel the same way because I asked them to take a nap hours ago and they’re still up. I give up.

This week’s Weekly Geeks is about catching up. Catch up on whatever it is you need to catch up on: book reviews, TBR pile, library books . . .
So this week I will be catching up on a number of things.
At last count I was signed up for about thirty challenges. Now with school and everything else in my life, I think I will cut my challenges down to about five total for the rest of the year. I have a challenges notebook that I use so I can remember what challenge deadlines are coming up and what books to read but it still feels like a chore. So I am going to go through my notebook and my five favorite ones I will keep.

I also need to update my TBR pile. I am so tired of looking at my TBR bookcase. I need to start reading the books now and give them away. I will definitely be giving some away for Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon in October. If you haven’t heard of this great challenge already, go on over to The Hidden Side of the Leaf and read all about it.

I also need to catch up on my homework. I have a ton of classes and for the last two weeks on and off I have been sick. It’s crazy having the flu and it’s about 80 degrees today in California. If I haven’t been the sick one then it’s been one of the kids. So “catch up” will be my new name for the next week.

Wish me luck.

Dewey's weekly geeks

Saturday’s Quote

“When you sell a man a book you don’t sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue-you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night-there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book.”
-Christopher Morley
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Weekly Geeks #17

Dewey came up with the great idea for this week’s Weekly Geeks assignment to be a quote a day. I am two days behind because of studying so I will be posting quotes until next Sunday.

“There are some people. . . who constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. they wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.”

-H.L. Mencken
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Weekly Geeks 16: Interview with Dewey

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment was to interview fellow geekers about books they’ve read but haven’t blogged about. I interviewed Dewey from The Hidden Side of the Leaf about Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl and she interviewed me about my longtime favorite, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Because of this interview, I started reading Dewey’s favorite The Grapes of Wrath. Here is Dewey’s interview with me.

Have you read any other Steinbeck? The Grapes of Wrath is one of my favoirte books ever, and I wonder if you’ve read that, for example. But mostly I wonder if you think this is Steinbeck’s best novel, as many seem to have felt, including, allegedly, Steinbeck himself.
I’ve read Of Mice and Men, which is another one of my favorite books, The Pearl, Travels with Charley in Seach of America, and Journey of a Novel. The Grapes of Wrath along with The Winter of Our Discontent are on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I love Steinbeck so much that I’m thinking about re-reading East of Eden and reading only one book of his every year. That way I have something new of Steinbeck’s to read for the next 24 years.

I think not only is East of Eden the best book of Steinbeck’s, but also the best book I have ever read. It gives the reader so many huge themes that affects every one’s life: evil, goodness, having faith vs having none, love, friendship, the development of our own identities: whether they are given to use or we create them, and whether we have a choice in our lives or is it all up to chance or destiny?
What’s the connection between this book and the story of Cain and Abel?

The connection between this book and the story of Cain and Abel is that the story is about Adam Trask who falls in love with a woman named Cathy. They move to Salinas Valley, California a place, depending on where you live, that can be paradise or barren land. Cathy gives birth to twins named Aron and Caleb. Crowing up, Caleb is fascinated with plants while Aron loves animals. The boys are fraternal twins and Caleb (Cal) is described as being “darker” looking. Throughout the book, biblical connections are frequently brought up: Adam loves Aron more than he loves Cal, Cal is jealous of Aron, and much more.

Who was your favorite character in this novel?

I can’t name just one character as my favorite. Samuel Hamilton, a close friend of the Trasks and also Steinbeck’s real-life grandfather, is such a powerful character. Samuel lives with his wife and nine children in a barren part of Salinas. Just like in the Bible, he’s a person to listen to, a prophet who tells you honestly what his thinks about G-d and life.
My other favorite character is the Trask’s “butler” Lee. Lee is Chinese and because the book takes place after WWI, not many people besides the Trasks and Samuel bother to see Lee’s humanity. Lee loves life and learning, and has dreams of one day moving to San Fransisco to own his own bookstore. There would be no book without these two characters.
Did you have a least favorite character?

I honestly don’t have a character that I hate, even Cathy who later changes her name to Kate. She’s a monster because she cannot see the humanity in herself and others. She can imagine and live in and with Hell, but not Love.

How does the setting contribute to the story?

The setting contributes a great deal to the story for me but it’s the characters I see most clearly. Even as I type this, I can see in my head Samuel as he rides home on his horse Doxology after staying up most of the night talking to Lee and Adam about the meaning of life and timshel.

Can you explain timshel?
Every time I read the passage about timshel, I get goosebumps. It’s one of the reasons why I re-read this book every year.Timschel is the Hebrew word for “Thou Mayest”. In the Hebrew version of the Bible, when G-d is talking to Cain, he says “Thou mayest rule over sin.” In Christian versions of the Bible such as the King James edition, it says “thou shalt” or “thou will”. The difference between the two is choice. Timshel is so important to every theme presented in the book because it gives you a choice: either you choose to rule over your own life or you choose not to. Either way your life is basically given to you. It is yours to do what you want with.

Here’s my interview with Deweyabout Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl.

Can you give me a summary of the book for readers like me who have never heard of it and don’t know what the book is about?

The main character and narrator is a fifteen year old girl. She’s been living with a pedophile who kidnapped her when she was nine. The reader sees in her a lot of the coping skills of someone who’s been living with great trauma. Her kidnapper barely lets her eat, because she’s growing too tall and exhibiting some secondary sex characteristics. He decides that she should find him a new, young girl. She finds a girl about seven years old at the park, and concocts her own private plan for escape (or death, depending on her mood) which is a bold move on her part, considering how much it differs from his plan.

What made you pick up this very disturbing book?

I read some reviews that praised it highly.

Without giving much away, how did you feel about the ending?

One reviewer stated that “it’s the best you can hope for from such a disturbing book.” I felt that the end was more realistic than the endings of tragic YA books usually are.

The book is marketed for young adults. Do you think it should or should it be aimed at adults instead?

I think that the reasons that someone might want this book aimed at adults is that they don’t want teens reading about something so disturbing. But the book is definitely intended for a teen audience. It’s obvious the author is writing for teens, and as an adult reader, I did not at all feel like the target audience.

Would you recommend this book?

In spite of the fact that it’s a compelling story and that it’s written skillfully, I don’t recommend it. My reason is something that I hope will be discussed in the comments, because I really wonder what others think of it. I feel that we too often accept scare tactics that don’t accurately reflect reality. We’re made afraid by maps of where sexual offenders live near schools, without any knowledge of the sexual offender’s crime. Often, maybe usually, their crimes, however horrible, had nothing to do with children. We paint them with one big “pervert” brush. And in doing this, we perpetuate this myth that children should be especially wary of strange men lurking in parks or near schools, when children who are molested are most often the victims of a relative or a known adult in a position of authority with children, such as a scout leader or a youth pastor. Check out http://www.opphouse.org/CAC.htm>this information, which states that 93 percent of victims know their abusers: 34 percent are abused by family members; 59 percent are abused by someone trusted by the family.

I’m not sure why we create such fear in children of strangers when they’re more likely to fall prey to someone much closer to home. Why aren’t we warning them of the more realistic dangers or teaching them more realistic safety rules? I’d rather see kids taught that their bodies are their own and no adult should ever touch them in certain places than not to take candy from strangers. And I feel that this book, in making the perpetrator a stranger who kidnapped the main character from a school field trip to the aquarium and later wants to kidnap a child from a park, causes damage in two ways. First, it warns teen readers to be wary of strangers instead of more likely perpetrators. Second, if a teen who is being sexually abused by a family member or other known adult reads this book, she may not even make the connection. She may continue to tell herself what many teen victims tell themselves, which is that what is happening is at least partially their own fault and not really a crime. She may feel that since her perpetrator isn’t starving her or keeping her away from her family, she’s not really a victim. I would like to see a book for young adults by an author as skilled as Scott that addresses the sort of abuse that a teen reader would be more likely to be experiencing.

Have you ever read anything else by Elizabeth Scott?

Not yet, but the writing in this book makes me want to see how she handles other subjects.

Dewey's weekly geeks, poetry

Weekly Geek #3

I think Maxine Hong Kingston said it best “Without you, I am nothing”. Though she was talking about her relationship to her readers, I’m taking about books. I cannot fathom where I would be right now without books. Just as I breathe, I read to live. There is no other way to say how much I love books and feel kinship to other bookworms.
I grew up poor, dirt poor. My family barely had enough money for the basics. Sometimes we didn’t have the basics, but my mom still managed to put books into my hands. I cannot thank her enough for introducing me to my childhood favorites Alexander and the terrible, no good, very bad day, Where the wild things are, and Little Women. My mother was not a reader but she still feed me books and watched as my love for them grew. I can spend the rest of my life trying to pay her back, but my debt to her will never be paid in full.
Spending my life immersed in books and sharing my love of them with others is the closest I will ever get. Some of my favorite books growing up were The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. I loved the whole gang of pre-teen girls who were smart, funny, and sure enough of themselves to start their own company, helping their community in return. They were girls who I identified with and would have loved being friends with.
I discovered the Judy Blume when I was a teenager and loved so many of her books. Tales of a fourth grade nothing and Double Fudge are still the funniest books I have ever read. Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret helped me get through adolescence while Iggie’s House, a quiet but profound story of friendship and racism is still in my head, so many years later.
In eighth grade I discovered The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson. It was a new edition that was never checked out by anyone. Except me. At my school’s library you could only keep a book for a week. I used to turn it in and then check it right back out, just a second later. I read and reread that book for almost a year. One of my favorite poems is “If I can stop one heart from breaking”. I realized how true this poem is just this weekend.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again
I shall not live in vain.
Dewey's weekly geeks

Dewey’s Weekly Geeks

I just signed up for this challenge hosted by Dewey called Dewey’s Weekley Geeks. It’s a blogging challenge and every week either a participant or Dewey picks that week’s theme. This week theme is Discover New Blogs. You have to find five blogs that you haven’t visited yet. Here’s my five.
1. Naked without Books by Bybee. Bybee had me laughing in the first 30 seconds of reading her posts.
2. Renay at The Deus ex Machina. Another funny bookworm. Her goal is to read 100 books my June.
3. Lightheaded at Everyday Reads. I picked this blog because I fell in love with the layout. Absolutely beautiful. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I love goldfish and the color orange. Now I’ll read anything she writes.
4. Tinylittlelibrarian has my dream job: she’s a children’s librarian. I love going through other bookworms’ book reviews to discover new authors I probably wouldn’t have found.
5. Last but not least is Ravenous Reader at Bookstack. She just finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and loved it. Now it’s on my TBR list. Thanks for the great review.