Category Archives: Books & Reading

The effect of The Hunger Games

Who else is as excited for The Hunger Games as I am?! I read the series about a year ago, and I have re-read it since. These books got me started on every other dystopian fiction out there, including Divergent by Veronica Roth, Delerium by Lauren Oliver, Ashes, The Way We Fall, This World We Live In, and so many others. I think I’ve mentioned before how I work in a bookstore, and it isn’t uncommon to sell ten copies of The Hunger Games in one shift. At Christmas time, the box sets were flying out of our hands as they arrived in our shipment. This book is good. Right now, I believe the three books in the series are numbers 1, 2, and 3 in top sellers in the store. Let me tell you, my boyfriend does not read. He can convince himself to read the odd novel based on a video game, but that can take him months to finish those few hundred pages. He sticks with reading only a chapter at the most a night, as if any more than that would turn him into the anti-social bookworm I have become. I devour books, and I have never been able to strike up the same inspiration in him, until The Hunger Games. I had been begging him to give it a try for months, maybe even longer. Finally I got the book to at least sit on his bedside table. After more convincing, he read the first chapter, and then the second a week later. Until one morning, he admitted to reading four chapters the previous night! Since this is him we’re talking about, I felt like celebrating, “Today you are a man…” sort of thing, but I retrained myself. After that, he finished the book in a week. Although the book is only 370 large-font pages and a week is only an achievement for a 5th grader, it’s also a big deal for him. After all, this is someone who usually reads 1 book every 2.5 years, including any possible school novels.

Now that he’s on to Catching Fire, the second book in the series, I’m amazed at how this storyline can draw in even the most unusual of readers. The movie is also sure to get some new fans as well. I’m not one to enjoy comparison, but it feels a lot like it did when Harry Potter came out and it seemed like every kid and adult in the world was reading all of a sudden. Maybe Hunger Games can keep that going. I for one, am very thankful that my boyfriend now reads.

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To Have Without Holding

 

Learning to love is hard,

love with the hands wide open, love

with the doors banging on their hinges,

the cupboard unlocked, the wind

roaring and whimpering in the rooms

rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds

that thwack like rubber bands

in an open palm.

 

It hurts to love wide open

stretching the muscles that feel

as if they are made of wet plaster,

then of blunt knives, then

of sharp knives.

 

It hurts to thwart the reflexes

of grab, of clutch; to love and let

go again and again. It pesters to remember

the lover who is not in the bed,

to hold back what is owed to the work

that gutters like a candle in a cave

without air, to love consciously,

conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

 

I can’t do it, you say it’s killing

me, but you thrive, you glow

on the street like a neon raspberry.

You float and sail, a helium balloon

bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing

on the cold and hot winds of our breath,

as we make and unmake in passionate

diastole and systole the rhythm

of our unbound bonding, to have

and not to hold, to love

with minimized malice, hunger

and anger moment by moment balanced.

 

 

– Marge Piercy

 

 

 

To Have Without Holding

2 days until the end of Harry????

Holy shit. Harry Potter will be OVER in 2 days. Well technically 3 but since I’m going at midnight im calling it 2.

The soundtrack for the last movie came out today. Pathetically, I had tears in my eyes listening to the last song “A New Beginning” EFF! SO SAD!

SO MUCH TO DO!

Holy!! I had no idea how busy June would be when it started! I worked all day today and now tonight I’m going to be up late doing laundry and packing because in the morning my boyfriend and I have to go out and buy all our snacks and get random stuff done in the morning. We have to load up his car too, because we’re spending the afternoon in Vancouver again for the final hockey game. And then early the next morning we LEAVE for our road trip! I’m so excited! I think I can drive his standard car well enough for the freeway, and the music is all done and ready to go! I just need to pack. My suitcase is sitting across the room for me and I don’t even know where to begin. I have a master packing list all set out beside me, but I’m so LAZY.

I feel so much better now that work is done for the week though. I need this vacation so badly. And i’m so excited for the drive as well, I just want to go to bed though and get all this crap done in the morning, but I really have to do laundry. And here I am rambling on about this. And I always have this problem where I pack WAY too many things that I will never use/wear… JUST in case. It’s ridiculous.

I need to figure out which books I’m taking as well. Which will be a lot because I’m never quite sure of what I’ll be wanting to read.I wish I had bought the new Kobo sooner, I could’ve brought a billion books on that! Darn. I’m reading another Sarah Dessen book right now that I don’t remember from before. I also started “Still Alice” this morning. It’s so interesting, and it’s been a bestseller for so long that I have to see what the hype is all about. I’m also bringing my journal, and not my laptop. I feel like I need to be writing more. Schools just around the corner in Septmeber and I have that creative writing class and I just really need to get back into the swing of things.

Okay thats it! Laundry time! Go Canucks Go!

Divergent

As soon as I saw this book on the Indigo Blog, I knew I was going to buy it. Teen book, check. Intense cover, check. First-time author, CHECK. Dystopian theme, check check check! These kinds of books are my favorites. After beginning my obsession with them with The Hunger Games, I read Delirium, Wither, and finally, Divergent.

This book is the story of Trice, an ordinary girl from a futuristic time where the government has determined that people be sorted into different “factions” based on their most important values in life. There are such factions like Dauntless, the brave; Amity, the peaceful; Abegnation, the selfless; and so on. Trice is born into an Abegnation family. She has learned to live to make others comfortable and happy, and she does not question things, or even look at herself in the mirror. She must wear grey, common clothing, and blend in at all times. She is living her life, essentially, to perform selfless acts for others.

When people turn 16 in this world, they must undergo a procedure which tests their brains by allowing to choose how to handle different situations; eventually narrowing down their choices to show which faction they would be best suited for. Then, at the choosing ceremony, they must decide what to do. Leave their families, or change factions. When Trice undergoes the test, she finds out that she belongs to none of the factions from which she can choose. She is, in fact, Divergent. In her world, this is dangerous. The government wants no one to stand out, and she must keep her secret if she wishes to keep her life. Trice must make the most difficult decision of her life, choose her family and live unhappily in a faction she knew she has never been meant for, or choose to follow a completely unknown path, alone.

This book blew me away, Veronica Roth is a spectacular writer and I was surprised to find that I was sucked into Trice’s world even faster than I was pulled into Katniss’ world in The Hunger Games. Trice is strong, but unsure of herself. I really could see how people could easily connect to her. The world Roth creates is vivid, and although farfetched…detailed enough to be believable.

The best part? It’s the first of a series.

precariously balanced book piles

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: I work in a bookstore. So it should come as no surprise that my list of books to read is as tall as I am, and that the stack of books that is balanced precariously atop my nightstand is about… a bajillion pages thick. Right now I’m re-reading some books from my childhood, the Guests of War Trilogy by Kit Pearson. Next in line will be Divergent, a newly released dystopian novel by Victoria Roth, as is my new obsession (Dystopians, not Roth). And to yet more an unsurprising reaction, The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis. I wouldn’t be a very good book whore if I hadn’t read the winner of Canada Reads now, would I?

I also realized last week that I had yet to read The Lost Symbol; Dan Brown’s latest, of which I never miss. So I bought that to add to my pile. To demonstrate how diverse this “pile” of mine is.. I can tell you that it includes a Sarah Dessen novel, a biography of a polygamist wife, a Jodi Picoult book, The Tales of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling, a grammar book, a (gasp) teen dystopia novel, Persuasion, a philosophy book, Debt-Free Forever, and a weight-loss method book. If you can find a pattern in all of that.. well, even I can’t.

At least I can attempt to broaden my thinking..

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