TBTB (Throwback Thursday Books) – Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee | LibraryThing

 

I doubt I can go more #tbtb than Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The first time I read this classic, it was an audiobook. I was probably in elementary school and could easily identify with the narrator, Scout Finch. I read the book again a few years later. I believe it was a version that looked like the cover to the left. It belonged to my dad and it fell apart in my hands. Thus, I bought a newer copy to replace Dad’s old one.

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Jorie’s Top Ten Desired Book Settings


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

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Top Ten Settings Jana Would Like To See More Of (Or At All)

  1. Texas (My home state)
  2. Brazil
  3. Switzerland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Canada
  6. South Africa
  7. Egypt
  8. Croatia
  9. Iran
  10. Cuba

Jorie’s Top Seven 2013 Debuts


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

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Top Ten 2013 Debuts Jamie’s DYING To Read!

(This is 7th Birthday Week @ Jorie’s Reads. For ways to join the festivities, click on the link here.)

  1. Leah Rae Miller’s The Summer I Became a Nerd
  2. Emily Croy Barker’s The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic
  3. Elizabeth Roos’ Belle Epoque
  4. K.A. Barson’s 45 Pounds (More or Less)
  5. Jane Nickerson’s Strands of Bronze and Gold (Strands of Bronze and Gold #1)
  6. Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever
  7. Ashley Elston’s The Rules for Disappearing

Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | LibraryThing

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York: Pocket Books. 9780671027346

Reasons for Reading : The first time I heard about The Perks of Being a Wallflower was in library school. Stephen Chbosky’s work was banned by the Library Patrons of Texas. I hadn’t thought much about it until I saw that a movie based on the book would come out later in 2012. Thus, I requested and checked out the book from HCPL.

Summary : Assuming the alias “Charlie,” a troubled high school freshman writes letters to an unnamed friend, starting in the 1991. Through these rather intimate letters, Charlie describes his family, his teacher Bill who assigns extra essays to write, his senior friends, Patrick and Sam[antha], and his late Aunt Helen.

What I Liked : Nothing was sugarcoated in this book. Actually, it was pretty raw stuff. The characters were original and realistic.

What I Disliked : Maybe it was necessary for Chbosky to set this in the early 1990s. Yet, it would’ve appealed more if it had been set around the time it was published – 1999. Also, I somber read and not for those looking for some gentle literature.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: The Smiths – Asleep – YouTube

Setting : Pittsburgh, PA

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Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist


Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn | LibraryThing

Cohn, R., & Levithan, D. (2006). Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist. New York: Knopf. 9780375835315

Reasons for Reading : Okay, as a music lover, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to read a book about other music lovers. I requested Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist through HCPL.

Summary : Nick sees his ex-girlfriend heading his way at a concert. He turns to the girl next to him, Norah, and asks her “Will you be my girlfriend for the next five minutes?” Thus, the adventure of Nick and Norah begins.

What I Liked : The idea of a five minute relationship has potential for a great novel. Mostly, Cohn and Levithan navigated this concept well.

I appreciated how Cohn wrote from Norah’s point of view while Levithan handled Nick’s angle. Also, I liked that Cohn wrote the part of the female character and left the male character to Levithan.

It was cool seeing how Nick’s bandmate came through for him, too.

What I Disliked :  While I know a few things about music, I barely knew of the existence of “queer core.” Also, I didn’t like the dig at Weezer.

I doubt Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist would be good for the less mature teenager. There’s lots of cussing (i.e. the name of Nick’s band) and sexual situations.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: (Where’s Fluffy Music) – Last Words – YouTube

Setting : New York City

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Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | LibraryThing

Perkins, S. (2010). Anna and the French kiss. New York: Dutton. 9780525423270

Reasons – Okay, I gave into peer pressure. The bloggers, my colleagues, and other authors raved about Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. Of course, I had to read it. Lucky for me, it wasn’t walking off a cliff 🙂 . So, I requested the book from HCPL.

High school senior Anna Oliphant finds herself uprooted from her comfortable, Atlanta life and at the School of America – Paris (SOAP). “What the heck?” she wonders. Soon, though, Anna makes friends and meets the charismatic, handsome St. Clair. These two hit it off immediately. Oh, no, he’s got a girlfriend. Anna struggles to achieve a balance between friendship and desire in the City of Love.

Brava, Stephanie Perkins. This book totally rocked. She knew her characters well and the writing is so smooth that I felt as though I were viewing a movie. I remember those mean girls from my K-12 days, too. They would’ve called me a skunk, too, if my hair were as cool as Anna’s.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coldplay – Violet Hill – YouTube

Setting : Paris, Atlanta, San Francisco

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Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation (Uncorrected Proof)


Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok | LibraryThing

Kwok, J. (2010). Girl in translation. (Uncorrected Proof).  New York: Riverhead Books. 9781594487569

When I attended a meeting at HCPL’s Administrative Office, many uncorrected proofs awaited new readers. I picked up half a dozen that day, including Girl in Translation. As I didn’t want to lose a library book between here and England, I took Girl in Translation with me.

Kimberly Chang and her mother leave behind Hong Kong to pursue the American Dream sometime in the 1980s. Since they know very little English, the Changs depend on Kimberly’s Aunt Paula. Aunt Paula installs them in a Brooklyn slum and in her sweatshop. Soon, Kimberly leads two lives – stellar student by day and Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. She struggles through squalor, deprivation, and a crushing crush on an underachieving boy at the factory; Kimberly also navigates the social strata in a preppy white world. Bridging cultural and generational gaps, Kimberly must be strong to “make it.”

Kwok clearly draws her characters, especially Kimberly and her mother. My favorite character was Mrs. Chang because she was an empathetic person. I despised Aunt Paula. Another amusing thing Kwok writes is how Kimberly hears certain English words. I won’t remark on what Kimberly actually asked her teacher for when she needed an eraser.

What I didn’t like about this story was the ending. Most of all, what happened to Kimberly’s best friend Annette in the conclusion? I missed Annette because I considered her an impetus in Kimberly’s education. While I found the deprivation believable, I couldn’t buy some of the other things. I’m sad to say I really didn’t enjoy this book.

Two Out of Five Pearls

Song: Spin Doctors – Two Princes – YouTube

Places : Hong Kong, New York City,

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