Monthly Archives: March 2016

Why Shouldn’t We Read What We Want?

Year ago, I worked with a young lady who seeing that I was reading the latest best-seller from a popular author noted that she only picked reading material from the “classics” section of the bookstore.

When I asked her why she did this, she replied that if it was a classic, it must be good and that she felt obligated to read it.

But are you enjoying them, I asked.

She told me that didn’t matter.  What mattered was she was making herself a better person by reading these books — even if she didn’t enjoy the experience.

As someone who loves reading, that statement depressed me a bit.  To feel like you were being forced to read from only an accepted list of classics — and not for the sheer pleasure of reading — made me a a bit sad.  It also made me feel a bit sorry for the limited scope of reading material that might be available to my friend. Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Favorites

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Time again for the Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish).

This week’s topic is the top books I’ve read recently.   Looking back over my Goodreads feed for the past couple of months, these are my picks.

  1.  Better Get to Livin’ by Sally Kilpatrick
  2. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
  3. You by Caroline Kepnes
  4. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
  5. Best American Science-Fiction and Fantasy 2015
  6. The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson
  7. The Far Side Gallery 4 by Gary Larsen
  8. Scary Close by Donald Miller

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Monday Memes: Musing and Movies

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Time to kick off the week with a couple of memes.  First up is Musing Mondays hosted by Books and A Beat.  This week’s open-ended question is:

Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?

For the most part, my literary side wants to read the book first (if possible) and then see the adapted version.   But there have been a few times I’ve seen the adaptation and gone back to the source material to find I didn’t like it as much.  One of these is Forrest Gump, a movie that took some of the good ideas from the book and created a far better movie.  The original novel doesn’t quite have the same heart that the movie does and I think it loses something in the translation. Continue reading

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Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kinneally

Defending TaylorWhen her senior year at her prestigious private school comes crashing down on her, Taylor is expelled in disgrace. Covering for her boyfriend, Taylor figured her powerful senator father’s reputation and influence would be enough to help her survive being caught with a backpack full of prescription medication.

Turns out she was wrong.

Now she’s home, forced to go to the Hundred Oaks High School and starting over. She’s got daily visits with her guidance counselor to make sure she’s staying away from the drugs and trying to recover from this huge hit to her goal of getting into Yale and following in the family business.

But what if the life that Taylor had planned out for herself isn’t necessarily the one she wants or needs?

Miranda Kenneally’s latest Hundred Oaks Defending Taylor novel examines this question and gives us a fascinating character study into Taylor and the people who inhabit her life. Taylor’s frustration at her family, her situation and her ex-boyfriend spill over time and again and are well explored. As with Kenneally’s other novels, the characters and situations in the novel feel completely authentic and are well realized. Taylor’s struggle to find her role on her new soccer team is well done, as is her confusion over her feelings for that one boy who broke her heart years before but has suddenly turned back up. Turns out that like Taylor, he’s harboring his own secrets from his family and the two find themselves back in each other’s orbit with feelings beginning to resurface. Continue reading

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