Wednesday, June 8, 2011

30-day challenge post #3- books!

challenge #3- book(s) i love

i cant go with just one. its simply not possible. i could probably do a new list of 10 books for each of these 30 days but ill spare you and pick a few of my faves.

1. water for elephants

i read this a few years back and absolutely. loved. every. minute. of. it. its exciting, romantic and includes circus culture. what more could you ask for?? i saw the movie recently and eh... it was ok. it wasnt as good as the book (duh) but i didnt want to set myself on fire while watching it either. if you have only seen the movie, i HIGHLY recommend that you take the time to read the book. its awesome.

2. the hunger games

 wow... what a surprise this trilogy was. i picked one up last summer after it was recommended to me by the woman who cuts my hair and OMG... i couldnt put them down. the movie will be out soon so if you havent read the first book yet, walk...nay, RUN... to the store and pick up a copy before your mind is tainted with trailers, commercials and mcdonalds happy meal toys.

the main character is a teenage girl named katnis but they never make her a trite female heroine. she is smart, sassy, intelligent, honest and brave. i alternate between wanting to BE katniss and wanting to raise a daughter like her.

rumor has it collins got the idea for the book while being stuck on the couch for a week with the flu. she watched tons of tv and found herself alternating between reality competition tv (survivor, amazing race) and coverage of the war. she was struck by the fact that both genres included young people who were either competing for money/prizes or putting their lives on the line in war.

i was initially appalled by the book's violence via a fight-to-the-death competition between kids... but upon further reflection, i realized that given the thousands of young men and women who have died fighting the war in iraq/afghanistan... the lines that separate panem (the country in the book) from the USA are much more blurry than i would like to believe. *sigh*

3. a million little pieces

ok, i know, i know.... there was tons of controversy surrounding the validity of this author's memoir. oprah raved about his book, then publicly shamed him and then apologized for publicly shaming him. my 2 cents are that he wrote a memoir which, like ALL memoirs, was BASED on his experience... not a word for word account of it. as a documentary filmmaker, i know that there is no such thing as an objective account of a story...even when the story is our own.

addiction has run rampant through both sides of my family tree (thank god im barren! who wants to pass that shit on?!) so the story was at times difficult to read but so beautifully (and creatively) written.

4. savage inequalities

i read this book for a sociology class in undergrad and
life. like for reals.

pretty much anything written by kozol is fantastic. he manages to tell other people's stories with dignity, respect and humanity. and although he paints a pretty bleak and infuriating picture of inequality in our society... he manages to do so while also leaving the reader with a sense of hope and motivation to join the fight.

5. inside of a dog

if you are the person of a dog... read this book. horowitz does a great job of describing what its like to be a dog- from the perspective of the dog. after reading this book, i realized that our house must feel like a disco tech for our dogs... complete with flashing lights (dogs see fluorescents as flashing), humming and beeping (alarm clocks, coffee pots and other electronics emit sounds that we cant hear) and overwhelming potpourri smells (goodbye carpet deodorizer!).

perhaps its the effects of a NJ public school education but i found it to be a little too science-heavy for a single read-through. i read it in spurts and enjoyed reading a chapter and then telling everyone i know about what i learned.

5.5 extremely loud and incredibly close

its somewhat risky to include a book in this list that i havent finished yet but im 3/4 of the way through it and LOVE it so far. the main character is a young boy who loses his father in the world trade center on 9/11. after finding a random key in his father's belongings, oskar embarks on a journey to find the lock that belongs to the key.

i love this book so far because it is one of the VERY few examples of a 9/11 story that isnt rooted in trite overly patriotic stereotypes. it also does a beautiful job of using a child narrator without relying on overly simplified storytelling... oskar is as complex a character as most adult protagonists.


  1. Blair just wrote about the last one too!!! I'm gonna have to peep game

  2. i've been avoiding the water for elephants movie because i loved the book so much.

    inside of a dog sounds fascinating and has now been added to my to-read list.