On to the Next One

When I started reading The Great Gatsby I fully expected to be blown away nearly a decade after first reading it in high school. I simply wasn’t. If it had pulled me in as I’d expected, then I’d have finished it by now. I think I’ll tackle Thirteen Reasons Why. I see no reason why I wouldn’t enjoy it. And, I’m in a slump. šŸ™

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Five Books I Recommended to a Non-Reader

This was my video topic for this week, but I decided that I’d better express myself through a written post.

I typically don’t recommend books. It doesn’t matter who is asking or why, but I’ve made exceptions to my rule over the last couple of years. The following is the most recent example.

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me he wanted to start reading in an effort to adopt more healthy habits. With all the things one can do with free time, I think reading would definitely qualify as a healthy habit. What did I do when he told me this? I took him to Half Price Books, of course! Not kidding.

The first thing I did when we reached the store was ask him what he enjoys reading. His response was anything that keeps his attention, he’s open to any topic. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation, I referred back to my own reading history. Kind of like your Google history in books. I came up with five books to tell him about.

Lone Survivor –Ā Marcus Luttrell

No matter your position on war or the military, I’m well aware that nonfiction war books are not for everyone. But to say this book is only about war would be a disservice to Marcus Luttrell and every other man who died during the operation to save him and his fellow Navy SEALs. This book is about faith, family, survival, life and death, and yes, war. Most people living today will never know what it means to trust another person with your life and have them entrust you with theirs. The men described in this book are the best the United States has to offer, and their story is one to remember.

UnstoppableĀ – Bill Nye

I’ve read a few hundred books during my lifetime, and this one (like I said here) is easily the best book I’ve read. It’s science. Another type of book that simply isn’t for everyone. But this book isn’t written for scientists. That would defeat the entire purpose. The book takes on climate change, one of those topics that people seem to want to give up on or kick down the road. But not Bill Nye, nope. The reason this book holds so much weight with me is because of the optimism. Bill Nye is part of the generation currently in power. It’s his generation that has moved technology further than ever before, but it’s this same generation that has gotten us to this point in the climate change debate. This isn’t about blame, it’s about what’s happened. The beauty of this book is that Bill Nye recognizes who will ultimately enact the necessary changes to really combat climate change and begin the the process of preserving our planet for generations to come. Millennials. That group of young adults who gets blamed for things completely out of their control. It’s that same group of young people who are more aware of current issues than just about any generation of people who have come before them. Some would say the issues aren’t as important as the ones previous generations have had to tackle, but to say this is to once again belittle the issues Millennials face today. Humans are imperfect, but we have the ability to preserve this beautiful world we have. I believe history will hold Millennials in particularly high regard when humans look back at who decided enough was enough and that the issue of climate change is not something to leave for others to deal with.

To Kill a MockingbirdĀ – Harper Lee

Atticus Finch. I can go on and on about Atticus Finch. I’ll be short and simple. I recommended this book because even when everyone around you is guilty of buying into society’s backward and wrong beliefs, one person can stand up for what’s right and what’s true to the human spirit. That’s what I believe Atticus did in this book, and it’s an idea still relevant after nearly 60 years in print.

The Diary of a Young GirlĀ – Anne Frank

With social media today we’re able to get a glimpse into the lives of persecuted individuals. Anne Frank’s diary is more than just a glimpse. It’s her life. Now that I’m sitting here writing this I realize that her diary is her version of a blog or Facebook account. Through her words we know what a young girl and her family endured during humanity’s darkest hour. She gives us an idea of what it means to be unwanted, untouchable, and hated. She shows us that we always have the ability to be kind, even when facing the worst of circumstances. Another book that has never lost its relevance.

The Hunger GamesĀ – Suzanne Collins

Society has expectations for just about everyone. It’s up to the individual person and the people they’re surrounded by to stick to what they’re supposed to be doing or to exceed every expectation imaginable. That’s what this book is about. And that’s why I recommended it. In this world the districts are expected to contribute to the welfare of the Capitol by maintaining the status quo and doing as previous generations have done. There’s really no avenue for any individuality. Katniss turns the whole thing upside down. She proved that no matter what society expects of you, you can use your voice to accomplish and change just about anything.

An honorable mention was Elie Wiesel’sĀ Night.

I won’t tell you which book he ultimately decided to buy, but he did buy one.

So those are the books I recommended to an admitted non-reader. I took several minutes to describe the message I took away from each one. This wasn’t a planned thing and I did the whole thing in real time, but I think the books I mentioned shed light on the topics and issues important to me. Every one of these is a notch above their counterparts in my eyes.

Sorry for the LONG post! Have you ever had to suddenly recommend books and felt it was more important than a typical recommendation? What do you think of the books I came up with?

2017 Reading Update

I’ve decided to do a little recap at the start of each month regarding my reading. I’ll be comparing my progress to where I should be and also to where I was during my previous best reading year. It’s just another thing to help me reach my goal to read 50 books in a calendar year. Let’s go.

Books read

2017: 10

2012: 1

January was a record! I thought my previous record was twelve, but it turned out to be 9. I just squeaked by it last month. But look how far ahead of my best year’s pace I am! In 2012 I read 44 books, the closest I’ve ever gotten to my 50.

Time

57 hours, 15 minutes

Pages

3001

2017 Reading Challenge

7 books

Genres

Young adult: 2 books

Literary fiction: 3 books

Mystery: 2 books

Fantasy: 1 book

Nonfiction: 2 books

Ratings

1 star: 1 book

2 stars: 1 book

3 stars: 3 books

4 stars: 4 books

5 stars: 1 book

Average: 3.3

Best Book

The Lightning Thief

That’s it for January! Percy Jackson just narrowly won the month as the top read, that video will be up soon! How did you do to start your 2017 reading journey?

2017 Reading Challenge: Beloved

My first foray into the world of Toni Morrison is probably her most known work,Ā Beloved.

The book tells the story of the African-American experience both during and immediately after the end of slavery. It’s fictional, but just like inĀ Things Fall ApartĀ this story could have been written about a real family or group of slaves because it describes events and circumstances we are all aware of. So take a few minutes to see what I thought of this timeless classic and let me know what you thought!

The book satisfied the requirement to read a book written by a woman for my 2017 Reading Challenge and is also one of Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read. This was the fourth book I’ve read from my challenge.

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2017 Reading Challenge: The Sun Also Rises

Would you look at that?! Look who’s off to a fine start to their 2017 reading! *raises hand*

Okay. I’m going to be completely honest. I read this book because it’s one of Amazon’s 100 books everyone should read, which y’all know by now that I’ve been slowly working my way through the list since it first came out almost three years ago. It was my first foray into the world that is Ernest Hemingway. I was so excited to read the book that I didn’t even bother to read the back of it before I started.

I could not have been more disappointed. I considered splitting my review in half between this post and the video, but I just couldn’t do it. When I went back and edited the video it was so obvious how frustrated and disgusted I became with parts of this book. I didn’t want to fail to convey those feelings through the written word. So, all of my thoughts are in the video.

I imagine many of you have already read this book, so I do want to tell you some of the things I discuss in the video.

  • The objectification of women in the book
  • The drinking habits of the characters
  • Bullfighting
  • The Jewish character
  • The overall writing style

ALL are discussed. I have extremely strong thoughts about every aspect of this book. As always, I encourage you to take a quick look at my reaction to my first Hemingway read. This book fulfilled the requirement to read a 20th century classic for my 2017 Reading Challenge.

Have you readĀ The Sun Also Rises? What did you think of it?

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Top Five Wednesday: Who’s Coming to my New Year’s Party?

I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time. Mostly because the girl who took over started with crap topics. Bleh. The topic is pretty easy to comprehend. Leggo.

Katniss Everdeen

She’s the Girl on Fire. I mean, come on.

Harry Bosch

I don’t drink alcohol. So I’d sit down with a bottle of water out away from the rest of the party and talk to Harry about everything. He’s insightful and I doubt anyone could match his stories from decades with LAPD. I’d also tell him his daughter would make an excellent detective.

Mark Watney

I just finished The Martian and have LOTS of thoughts on it, but for now I’d just like to tell Mark here that’s he’s hilarious. Stay tuned for a full review in the next day or two!

A

She’s the protagonist from Every Day and it would actually be cool to invite her every year to the New Year’s party just to see her in different bodies.

Guy Montag

This might seem like an odd choice when you consider the fact that I HATE this book. But I’d invite him because every other person invited to this particular party would love books. And this bastard burns them. I’d pretty much just tell him off. And perhaps create a mob in the process.

Those are the five characters I’d invite to my New Year’s party! Who would you invite to yours!?