It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/8/15
Sometimes readers find their expectations for books a little off-kilter. Other times, books surpass our expectations. This week was full of lukewarm books for me, but I have a bad habit of finishing books that aren’t working. Here’s what I read this week:
Frindle by Andrew Clements
One fifth grader takes on the strictest teacher in the school by creating a new word. The teacher retaliates and soon the word “frindle” has spread like wildfire. A cute plotline for younger middle grades. Unfortunately the book lacked depth and the development of characters was purely stereotypical. I felt Clements hitting around big themes and life lessons, but it just didn’t work for me.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
After Cheryl’s mom dies from cancer, Cheryl’s life falls apart: cheating, divorce, drugs, you name it. But then Cheryl has the brilliant idea to buy some backpacking equipment and “find” herself on the Pacific Crest Trail by hiking over a thousand miles in a few months.
When I finished reading this book, I didn’t like it. I hated that it turned into a cancer story, and the end was not satisfying. But then I couldn’t shut up about it. Anyone who came within earshot had to listen to me go on and on about Cheryl and her book.
The more I talk about this book, the more I like it and the more I recommend it. Isn’t that why nonfiction is so awesome? Nonfiction allows readers to grow and learn about the world around us in a different way than fiction can. I hardly ever tell people about the fictional novels I read (unless it’s absolutely mind-blowing), but I will tell strangers about nonfiction even if I can’t decide if I like it or not.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
I had a professor who absolutely loved The Red Badge of Courage. Unfortunately, I am not my professor. I found Crane to be extremely wordy and not very good at describing scenes which is what the book primarily is composed of. I couldn’t relate to “the youth,” and I needed dialogue. Any dialogue. This is a classic I would not recommend, well, to anyone really.
Treasure Island adapted by Tim Hamilton
I love using clever shortcuts to read classic novels because seriously, who has time to read those things? Often times, graphic adaptations are the perfect way to spend less time reading potentially bad classics. This book is the perfect example of that.
I don’t like pirates, but Treasure Island is dubbed a piece of classic literature that most people expect English majors to have read. Well, I read it. Even the abbreviated version was too long for me.
Maybe the graphics. In this version they had very dark lines, and the characters weren’t distinct. Maybe the classic itself is not a winner. Regardless, Treasure Island is a book I can cross off my list and never touch again.
Snooze Button by Nelson Ribeiro
This book was in the graphic novels section at my public library. Much to my dismay when I started reading the book, I realized it was not a graphic novel at all. Instead, it was a COMIC. You may not believe me, but before this I had never read a comic before. Although I didn’t like it one bit, I’m glad I read it. I now have a whole new arsenal to use when people ask me, “So what’s the difference between graphic novels and comics?”