The Off Season Part 2

Ok – all done.  I wish I could say I liked it as much as Dairy Queen but not so much.  DQ surprised and charmed me.  I was ready for DJ this time, and I still love her, love her voice but there wasn’t the blow me away factor this time.  Also this was a much more serious book – with her brother’s injury, and Amber’s decisions, and DJ’s realizations of the farm’s financial situation.  But, you know what, all that is ok because I still enjoyed it, would read more DJ Schwenk, or anything else by Catherine Murdock.

The Off Season

2 more days of school until summer break *squee*  and then I come to school to find The Off Season in the mail.  Double *squee*

Know what I am doing tonight.

48 Hour Challenge Wrap

Its a wrap and I am officially done – well there is an hour left on my 48 but I must get ready for work so . . .

Finishing with the Judy Blume essays was perfect. (even though I didn’t finish the essays.) It got me thinking about the social nature of reading, a non-social activity on the surface. I read blogs to keep up with what is going on the book world, what’s new, the loony people who won’t leave Harry Potter (or Maureen Johnson) alone, and because it is where I find new books. Sometimes it is from people who I feel like I know and whose reading tastes are similar to mine, or it is the buzz around a book from people who I trust actually read YA (and not some silly radio advertisement for Maximum Ride -to which I refuse to link!), or because the review really makes me want to read the book. For this challenge I read 2 books I found this way – Wuthering High, and Between Georgia which I would never have picked up without having read Gods in Alabama found through some unremembered blog recommendation. I like the informal nature of blog reviews, for me it is the social aspect of reading. The excitement of sharing or finding a really good book and I am looking forward to reading other people’s reviews, summaries, and experiences.

So really the challenge was a great excuse for me to lay around and read – which I did. But I actually got to thinking about more than that last night. And it kind of turned out to be more than just a reading gorge-fest. Hey, thanks Judy Blume. And thanks MotherReader.

Last night I found just when I thought I was done – I really wasn’t. I wanted to read more and so I did until I could no longer keep my eyes open.

Final Totals: Books 8.5 books Hours: 24.25 hours and Pages:2623

Favorite Book: Toss up – The Nature of Jade, Between, Georgia

Least Favorite: You, Maybe

Judy Blume

This is an interesting book to finish up with – Everthing I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. It brings back so many memories of Judy Blume books, and that time period where every girl I knew read Judy Blume – we tried increasing our bust size like Margaret, and shared the pages in Forever (you know the pages), we all knew Judy Blume characters, they were the books of our childhood, and early adolescence.

It also brought me back to why I am a reader, what I find in the pages of a book and what I look for. I am a lit major – I spent a lot of years deconstructing and analyzing words and stories. I am a big believer in reader response – that a story does not exist in a vacuum, it is only understood through the lens of the reader and so everyone has a slightly different experience with a book. And yet author intent, if it is successful, allows us to share experiences, to move reading from a solitary past time to a shared social experience. Somewhat like reading and blogging with 50+ other people during a 48 hour period. 🙂

I read to meet new people – to get to know new characters and experience my world in a new way. To see myself and my stories reflected on the page. To gain a new understanding of myself and the world around me. To be entertained. To laugh, and to cry. I no longer read to analyze the symbolism, to deconstruct the author meaning through the lens of feminism, Marxism, Derrida, or some such.

For my generation Judy Blume is a cultural touchstone, and sentimental me, found myself tearing up reading essays that reminded me of that touchstone. I swear if I didn’t know better I would think people I knew were writing these essays. What am I saying? People I know wrote these essays, we just haven’t actually met.

I will write a wrap up of this experience tomorrow – when I am not so tired I can barely think straight. But I had to get this down, the thoughts in my head as I read the essays in Everything . . . Judy Blume.

Good Night all.

Wuthering High

I read about this book a while ago over on Bookshelves of Doom.  And while I don’t always agree with Leila  (who I don’t actually know)I often do and  she made this one sound like one I couldn’t miss.  In particular because it has that insider’s camp feel to it – kind of like Boys that Bite did.  So when I went down to Borders for more YA it was with this in mind.  Of course the special order was in so I was momentarily distracted. But it seemed like it would be good to finish up on because I am awful close to hitting a reading wall.  It was an insider camp job to some extent but it had all the ghosty, witchy, stuff that I enjoy when looking for something that goes down easy.  Better than the color series (Stolarz, not the Christian one) because it took itself less seriously, sufficient literary references to amuse me but without sending me off to sparks notes like The Eyre Affair did.  (I am sorry I have tried, and tried, to read Jane Eyre but I have never been successful.)  Anyways I think thats it for now.  I still have hours left but I am a little worded out.

I’ll post final tomorrow when i am sure I am done – officially.

Totals  Books: 8 Hours: 21 hrs 45 min Pages: 2456

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know

YIPPEE!!!  A while back I saw this was coming out, and I got my dates all screwed up.  I reread What my Mother Doesn’t Know to get all set for the sequel and . . .  it wasn’t out yet.  So I ordered it and when I went down to Borders (the only book story- indie or not – in town) to get more YA reading material it was in.  I love Robin Murphy – even if he is an ass at various points in this book.  I mean the guy is just trying to find himself, and so is Sophie, and that can be a tough thing.  No matter how old you are.   You knew it wasn’t going to be easy when Sophie made her choice, choices usually aren’t or they’re not worth as much.

I am pretty much over the novel in verse thing – I can appreciate it when it is done well, but for Robin and Sophie I’ll read in verse.

Totals: Books: 7* Hours: 19hr 15 min Pages: 2199*

* Ok there is a little cheating going on with the page and book count cuz this is a verse novel and I was trying to stick with prose but I have been WAITING for this book and I have NO patience so there it is.

You, Maybe

There is more to the title but I can’t be bothered to type it – which is pretty much how I feel about this book.  35 pages in I knew what was going to happen and how much I’d hate it.  And I wasn’t wrong.   I hate that change yourself for a boy blah blah blah crap, and I’m not sure that beating hime with a whiffle bat in the end suggests that she ever found her way back so blech . . .

Total 6 books Read Hours: 18 hr 15 min Pages 1908

PS: I am out of YA at home – may have to take a break and go acquire more