Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Books-Runaways

Hi there,

This month, I read two books. I know, not quite up to speed for the year, but hopefully I can catch up in February. Nothing is catching my eye right now to read, which makes it more difficult. The two books I read had a lot in common, which was completely unplanned.

Paper Towns by John Green

This book is a young-adult lit novel and is written fairly well. It was interesting and enough of a mystery that I wanted to keep reading and finished it in two days. The story is about a boy, Quentin, who is in love with a girl from his childhood, Margo. They live in Orlando, Florida and are high school seniors. After an exciting night together running around Orlando, Margo disappears. Quentin thinks it is his job to find her, and spends the last three weeks of high school reading Whitman's Leaves of Grass and wracking his brain for where she could be. It turns into a big adventure with his friends. I won't spoil the ending.

The book dealt a lot with nostalgia, which I think I can appreciate because I experience this often. He talked of the last day of school, the last day to see his friends in that setting, etc. I have lived through all of those things, so I get it. I know that my students and teenagers do feel something akin to this, but I don't think they quite relate to that feeling wholly until the time is passed.

Even though I enjoyed the story, I felt like the ending was really forced. It almost ruined it for me. The last 15 pages or so felt contrite and just like a convenient way to tie things up. Also, compared to some of Green's other novels (Finding Alaska, which is eerily similar to this book, and The Fault in Our Stars) this one did not live up. Sorry, John Green fans!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book really catches you from the beginning. There are two different narrators. Nick, who is unhappy in his marriage, and Amy, who we get to know through her diary entries that start from when she first started dating Nick several years back. Amy has disappeared, and it appears that Nick is the one who did it. Since this book is relatively new still, I don't want to say anything else about it. There are so many twists that I don't want to ruin anything.

As readers, we keep getting thrown by different clues and can't decide whether Nick is guilty or innocent. At times, he seems genuine and like he is being set up, and at other times, he appears manipulative and cold. There are three sections to the book and each one brings something completely different.

I could not put this book down. I read it over MLK Jr. weekend and it was good that I had the day off! I spent the whole thing on the couch reading. If you do read this book, I'd like to talk about the ending. I wasn't a big fan. I can't figure out right now what I would have wanted to see, but I know I don't like it as it is.

To sum things up: January was a bit of a let down in the reading department. While both books were able to catch me and string me along, I felt disappointed in the endings and the lasting impressions. I hope your month of reading went better than mine!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hello again

Hello again,

I know it has been a long time since I've written here. I have thought about doing it often, but then just never do. This morning, the sunrise was really pretty. I took a photo on my phone as I drove to work. It was early and no one was out yet, which is always nice.

I decided on a few new years resolutions. I know...I'm a little late. I have been doing them though since the beginning of the year! Here they are:

1. Work out every other day
2. Keep up with my "best of my days" calendar (more on that later)
3. Read 30 books (again!)

This new year has started off well. Matt got offered the legal internship at a firm in Nasvhille for the summer. We are looking forward to being back in Tennessee for a few months and to get some good time in with our family and friends. I have read two books already--will write a post about that this weekend.

Keep our Grandparents in your thoughts-they are going through some difficult issues right now. We are hoping for their swift recovery.

I am out of photo space on the blog here, any suggestions out there for what I should do? I think that is one of the best parts of the blog-it is like a journal of what we do!

I hope you all are well and that I am able to keep up with this a bit more than I have been.