22 April 2010

Day 26: a general update

Hi, this is a cop out post, sort of.  I think we all need breaks every now and then.  I won't tell you I'm getting burned out by this project, because I'm actually not.  In fact, I think this has been more valuable recently than writing cover letters. I don't know whether it will lead to anything in my professional life, but it has been immensely useful in improving my writing abilities and my critical thinking skills.  I don't think I've experienced one of my bouts of depression/poor self-esteem since I started it.  So to the people reading this, thank you.

I'd like to talk a little bit about what I plan to review in the near future to give you a kind of sneak peak, and if there's anything particular you'd like me to touch on regarding the reading, now is the time to let me know.  I'm also excited to announce the prospect of guest bloggers.  People who are still interested in being guest bloggers should feel free to contact me by leaving a comment with some kind of information, or emailing me at acampb8@kent.edu.  At this point there are few enough people who are interested to allow "regular" guest bloggers, but I'd like to keep it open for newbies to join in too.   Ideally I want to get to a point where there's a guest blogger once a month to once a week.

So here's what I'll be reading (maybe) and why
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  ISBN: 9780671027346.

This one actually makes me think of think of an Antioch friend of mine.  It's also been described as a modern day Catcher in the Rye.  Well, I hate Holden Caufield, but maybe this won't be so bad.  It does seem like the kind of book I should have read when I was "the right age" for it. 

Rx by Tracy Lynn.  ISBN: 9781416911555.
I liked the idea of there being some smart kid who was not only selling prescription drugs to kids, but also diagnosing them.  This will be interesting in conjunction with my recent reading of the non-fiction We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.

The Mermaid Chair by Susan Monk Kidd.  ISBN: 9780143057420 (audiobook).
I've read another one of her books and it wasn't too bad.  I'm saving this for the road trip to my interview in Tennessee May 2nd-3rd.  Audiobooks prevent me from playing radio roulette and getting frustrated with commercials.  Since this will be an 8ish hour road trip I'll get plenty of listening done.  Otherwise I'm not terribly excited about this particular novel, but it's popular/well known enough for me to feel professionally obligated to read it.

Watership Down by Richard Adams.  ISBN: 9780380002931.
I'm not sure why I never got around to reading this in high school.  It comes highly recommended, and since it's one of my fiance's favorite books I felt the need to bump it up on my, "I really need to read this before I die" list.

Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood by Maria Tatar.  ISBN: 9780393066012.
I am one of those crazy people that loves to read about reading.  I especially like to read about how literature/stories change the way we think about the world.  Reading was especially crucial to my development as a child so I'm interested to see what the academic thinking on this is.  Also, it was recommended by Neil Gaiman, speaking of...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  ISBN: 9780061551895 (audiobook).
Yeah I know, I haven't even finished Smoke and Mirrors yet, but I was really excited about this book.  And even more excited to find it while browsing in the teen "to-shelve" cart at the library.  I love happy accidents like that.  I especially love getting audiobooks by Neil Gaiman, because they are always read by him and he has such a wonderful voice...  I also have a kind of sick fantasy where I like to pretend he's reading specifically to me.  If there was an auction item to have him make a cup of tea or cocoa and read a bedtime story for one night, I would very much want to win that auction.

The Plague Year by Jeff Carlson.  ISBN: 9780441015146.
Uh, I got nothing on this.  I must have added it for some reason.  Probably because I really enjoyed The Hot Zone by Richard Preston and I'm hoping for something similar.  Plus, I haven't read a medical thriller in awhile; I think the last one was Next by Michael Crichton about a year ago.  I highly recommend Next to anyone interested in ethical issues surrounding genome patents. 

The Meaning of Wife by Anne Kingston.  ISBN: 9780374205102.
This has one of the best covers I've seen on a feminist book.  Anyway, I was interested in this because I'm planning to get married and I don't think I've read a good and comprehensive explanation of what it means to be a wife as a woman and a feminist.  I'm at least interested in seeing what some of the issues might be, and maybe it'll give me tips on how to keep the balance of power at least somewhat equal.      

Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins.  ISBN: 9780439023498. 
Holy butts, the waiting line for this was something like 50 people.  I guess some people just place holds on their library's copy in the Wood County system rather than selecting "any copy."  I was seriously not expecting to get this sent to me so soon. I'm going to try to space out series in the blog to try to keep topics from being boring or repetitive.  Or maybe you'll just get stuck with more Smoke and Mirrors while off tearing through sequels.  Just be glad I'm not planning to read Wheel of Time in the near future...although that might be an interesting year long project for a separate blog... most likely not mine.

So that's what I have lined up so far.  Please feel free to comment about any of these readings.  If you think my reading has been a little too focused on one subject or another, by all means recommend a book for me to read.  If you can't think of one, check out my To-read shelf on Goodreads and look for an interesting title.  I've been a little over enthusiastic with my book ordering recently, but if someone actually makes a request I may bump it up on my reading "schedule."  Speaking of, if I don't end up discussing all of these, it's because the book was too bad to finish or did not particularly inspire me to write anything about it.

What are you reading right now? 

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