Monday, June 9, 2014

May Reads in Review (with GIFS)

As a child I fell asleep with stacks of books in my bed. I'd wake in the middle of the night squished by the spines with one book crooked between two of my fingers just as I'd fallen asleep in the midst of the words. Still at 25 I, more often than not, sleep with a book in bed after I've drifted to the point of slumber while engrossed in the escape that is words on a page. 

There's something about writing that's magical be it me that's writing or simple me enjoying someone else's words. It opens new and unique perspectives and worlds and personalities to us that might not grace us otherwise. So, in May I rededicated myself to reading. And I read a book a week. Whoa. (I'm impressed with myself at just this very moment). 

Let me do you a little favor and share what I read and how it affected me. Of course, what better way to share the goodness of these books than GIFs? Answer: no better way

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Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger

Was this book really taught in school? I'm not sure how many times I asked myself that question throughout the course of this read, but really, the book is outlandish and hilarious and many times crude. Holden Caulfield, the main character, gives voice to all the things you think in your head but wouldn't dare let pass through your lips plus some. My only regret was that I didn't tally all the occurrences of moron in the pages of the book.

I chose Catcher in the Rye because it was written before I was born (the SCSBC criteria), it was a high school read that I didn't read (thanks Advanced Placement), and my  mom thought it was hysterical. It's refreshing to read this written in the 1940's and draw parallels between the different minor characters and people from your life. This is a work of literary people watching -giving Walmart a serious sprint for it's money.

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The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Kim Edwards

This book was like WHOA. I mean, WHOA. Every time I thought I had the next twist plotted Edwards would flip the whole script on its head and I'd be sitting in the wake of such madness along with her characters. Edwards deals with the difficult issue of care for those with Down Syndrome during the 1960's into the 70's. I enjoyed being able to see the realness in how far we've come (though I do believe there's still progress to be made) while feeling like there's a real life connection with the characters.

I found myself taken aback by the way the characters' lives continued to intertwine despite the many circumstances that seemed to ensure all kinds of distance. The way in which Edwards emphasizes the way in which our choices -best of intentioned or not- deeply and strongly effect the lives around us in ripples that can last lifetimes.

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When We Were on Fire 
Addie Zierman
(she's a blogger too!

If there was a book written about the conservative church and small town in which I was raised, this would be it. From Praying at the Pole to after school youth group, Zierman does a phenomenal job detailing the difficulties of the 1990 and early 2000's conservative church while debunking (in a gentle way) the theory behind such teachings. After struggling with frustration through the first 100 pages wishing to be protective of Zierman's youthful wonder, I found myself refreshed by the way in which she addressed the damage that ensued post-conservative youth, post-Christian college.

Zierman's ability to illustrate the destructive nature of her own thought process in the wake of a heavy and strict childhood faith. While all of her trials didn't resonate with me personally, I could easily connect with the emotional turmoil such challenges posted in her adulthood. Zierman ends the novel with hope, not perfection, but hope and honesty.

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The Fault in Our Stars 
John Green 

I was hesitant to read a book about teens with cancer. I thought there was no way I could love a book that deals with death because, well, I'm dealing with it. I thought I'd get part way through and break down in the sadness of it all. Instead, I read and heard our hearts echoed in the hilarious happenings and honest attitudes Hazel and Augustus (the main characters in the novel) handle their disease. From the initial chapter Hazel establishes herself as wise beyond her years and hysterical in her honest observations of the (sick) world around her. I want her as my own dear friend (not to replace my sweet Hazel-girl, but instead to supplement her). 

I laughed, I cried, I celebrated cancer-free moments, and I mourned the loss of all the characters as the book came to an end. Green makes his characters into beautiful, lively friends despite their age (high school) and their diagnoses. The dry humor and dreams come true throughout the novel had me rushing to read what could come next -really, I read the book in two days (both of which had me at work for 8 hours). 

23 comments:

  1. As a major bookworm, I would've loved this post anyway. But the Friends GIFs? *slow claps* Well, done.

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  2. I completely love how you shared these books- the gifs are perfect! I'm tempted to check out the Memory Keeper's Daughter-- it might turn into my "daughter" book for the semi-charmed book challenge!

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  3. Reading is my very favorite activity. A book club I tested out did The Fault in Our Stars a few months ago and I have to say I feel like an awful person for not liking it. I was expecting it to transcend the usual teens with cancer type characters in these types of books but I really didn't feel too much difference between these and other young adult novels. Maybe I'm a book snob!


    But now I'm going to have to go to the library and get some more reads.

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  4. Friends gifs are probably the most brilliant way to review books, ever. I've only read TFIOS but I've been wanting to read The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

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  5. I loved The Fault in Our Stars and I just saw the movie this weekend and it was really good and did the book good justice. I want to read The Memory Keepers Daughter and you may have just pushed me over the edge to make it my next book. May I recommend a book to you? The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay One of my favorite books ever!

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  6. I think I LOVED it because it deals with terminal illness and death in the same humorous way that my family does... If that makes some sick sort of sense. :) I also have a thing for girl's named Hazel. :) It was an easy read that got me laughing and crying and I finished it in two days despite having work.

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  7. I can appreciate that, maybe I'll look into it!, thanks for the info!

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  8. I am afraid of seeing the movie... Weird? Yes, but I'm just sort of terrified because of how close it could hit to home with my dad being so sick... Slash I'd rather ugly cry at home.


    Did you think that the movie did the book justice? AND YES OF COURSE RECOMMEND IT. In fact it's already on my Amazon wishlist. :)

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  9. Oh girl welcome to my life. :) I married the biggest Friends fan ever and I've started to realize how much I love the show since we wed because I'm one of those weirdos that didn't grow up on it! :)

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  10. I might have to go ahead and use Friends to make ALL. THE. READING. THINGS. more fun and relevant and adorable.

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  11. I think I LOVED TFIOS because it deals with terminal illness and death in the same humorous way that my family does... If that makes some sick sort of sense. I expected to feel sad the whole read and found myself more refreshed and laughing... I guess with such little expectations I couldn't be disappointed!


    What are your reading recommendations?

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  12. Oh thank you! I LOVED The Memory Keeper's Daughter. It's an easy read because the twists and turns are so, so constantly moving that you can't become bored. Please let me know what you think if you decide to read it! :)

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  13. You make my day. No. Big. Deal. :)


    Give me some book recs fellow worm!

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  14. I've been wanting to read the Fault in our Stars for a long time. But I K of it will be so sad!

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  15. I have been going back and forth on whether I should read the fault in our stars. As I type this my mom is sitting next to me reading it. I guess it is time I crack open that book (or rather download onto my iPad). Luckily, I'm on vacation so I have time to pour over the words.

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  16. haha. Awesome pair up with the Friends gifs. I have given up reading books in favor of listening to them on Audiobooks. Every day on my 30 minute commute to and from work, I listen. It makes my drive calmer and I get really into it. I listen to about a book a week :)

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  17. I am the same way when it comes to falling asleep with a book at night. It drives my husband insane and he has no idea how I can sleep in our bed littered with book! I did actually read the Catcher and the Rye for my senior english class in high school, but I very much want to read it again.

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  18. It's sad in a rewarding way, not in the HOW AM I GOING TO GO ON? way. :)

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  19. It won't take you long at all girl. It's such an easy read in the way that it's written and the pace that it moves. Won't take you long at all. (slash I think you'll love it)

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  20. I've NEVER listened to a book on audio. I so often find the voice they choose annoying and then get all kinds of distracted. UGH, because it'd make my commute so much more fascinating than the radio and same Top 10 music!

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  21. Oh girl my poor husband will try and push it under my pillow when it's jabbing him in the side at night! Catcher in the Rye was a high school read but I missed it and how sad that I waited ten years to get into it!

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  22. I recently pulled Catcher in the Rye out of a box of old books and added it to my summer list. I also finished Fault in our Stars a few months ago and really loved it. I think I am going to wait for the movie to come out on Redbox, though, because I cried enough just reading the book! What's on your list now that you've finished these?!

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  23. I just finished the Matched series and now I'm reading The Meaning of Marriage (Keller, T) and will start the Selection series when I'm done with that one! :)

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