Bookish March Madness 2020: Sweet Sixteen

*singing* I don’t know anything about basketball, except that MY TEAM BEAT BAYLOR. La-la la-la la-la laaaa.

Sorry it’s out of my system I think. *cough* Baylor sucks *cough*. Hem, on to books now, shall we?

As an antidote to the annoying phenomenon that is seeing your social media fill up with people who don’t know anything about sports talking about “their bracket,” this month I’m hosting my OWN March Madness tournament. The top 16 books from The Great American read will face off in a match to the DEATH to see which will be MY FAVORITE BOOK. Why? I don’t know, because brackets are fun. *shrugs*

Feel free to give me your thought on the match-ups in the comments. Am I right, or wildly wrong? Did I not do justice to your all-time favorite book? This wouldn’t be sportsball if we didn’t end up in an almost-fist-fight for our team!

So here we are with Week 1, the Sweet Sixteen. [insert generic sports-buzzer-sound here]

To Kill a Mockingbird vs. The Help

Oh, you guys are going to hate me. I read To Kill a Mockingbird maybe five or six years ago and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Like, I get why it’s a super important book and everything, but I just didn’t really connect with Scout. Her overly simple way of seeing the world frustrated me. And maybe that’s the point, but there it is. On the other hand, I ADORE The Help. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it’s just one of my favorite pieces of historical fiction. Which is saying something, because I love historical fiction. I was so inspired by the women in this book, especially Aibileen.

and the winner is… THE HELP!

Continue reading “Bookish March Madness 2020: Sweet Sixteen”

Can a Book Really Inspire Change?

It’s the 21st century, and we all know how this little dance goes. Finish book. Feel inspired. Exclaim “MY LIFE IS SO CHANGED!!!!” Then do nothing.

We all have those books, the ones that really made us understand something important, or feel inspired to bring change, or that made us feel like we could make a difference. In the acknowledgements for Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi even had a call to action to go do something. And yet, is it just me, or are we not doing anything?

I think that it’s easier to feel inspired than it is to act. Especially because a lot of times a book doesn’t actually tell you what to do. A lot of the social issues that are so important to so many Americans right now just don’t leave us with that many options. Yeah, we can vote, and yeah we can march, but not TODAY. And yeah, we can tweet, but what is that really doing anyway? Maybe a book leaves you feeling inspired that you can do something to change the world. And then maybe you try to go do something and can’t figure out what to do after all. And then a few days go by, then a few weeks, and next thing you know you aren’t so inspired anymore.

So did anything really change? Continue reading “Can a Book Really Inspire Change?”

Identifying with Multiple Characters

One thing that’s really important to me as I’m reading a book is whether or not I can identify with the protagonist. It’s not necessarily that they need to be exactly like me or anything, but I have to be able to relate to them, to understand why they do the things they do. The better I understand them and feel connected with them, the more I will enjoy a book.

And I feel like that’s a pretty common thing among readers, or really in any story. Movies, songs, whatever.

But when I can closely identify with several of the characters … magic.

Perfect example, Harry Potter. Most bookish people identify most strongly with Hermione out of the main trio, and I especially identify with first-book-Hermione. She was made fun of, loved school, followed rules to a T. All me. However, I think for many young girls Ginny of the early books was so relatable! Her crush on Harry was one-sided and juvenile. She couldn’t even look at Harry without blushing, and everything she did around him just made her look uncool. What middle school girl can’t relate to that?! Then, in book 5, Luna Lovegood made an appearance. She’s probably one of the most popular characters in the series, universally loved. I think it’s because people see themselves in her. They feel just as odd as she is on the inside, and they admire that she isn’t ashamed of herself. Continue reading “Identifying with Multiple Characters”

The Great American Read Recap

TGAR_logo_multi

Last night PBS launched a new mini-series called The Great American Read. They have compiled a list of the 100 most popular books in America, and over the course of the summer have asked viewers to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned Americas Favorite Book. The 2-hour launch was last night, and they touched on all 100 books. They featured some books over others, interviewing celebrities and authors about their favorite books.

Here are some of the books they featured:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Harry Potter
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Color Purple
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Dune
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Invisible Man
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Tales of the City
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby

I loved listening to people talk about why they love a book and how it impacted their lives, sometimes in huge ways. Because of the show I’ve added several books to my tbr, and I’m itching to re-read a few that I might not have completely understood in my younger years! Continue reading “The Great American Read Recap”

The College Freshman Book Tag

Created by Little Blind Book Finds. View the original post here.

It’s been ten entire years since I was a freshman in college. Wow. It doesn’t feel like it. I’m not very good at this adulting thing… Anyway, but because I am a teacher and my husband works at a university, I don’t feel all that removed from the college experience, so this book tag really caught my attention. This should be fun!

Rules:

  1. Give credit to the creator. (That’s Little Blind Book Finds, y’all.)
  2. Answer the questions to the best of your ability! You don’t have to be in college or have gone to college to answer these!
  3. Tag three people to complete the tag.

 

The Roommate

Roommates can be a hit or miss experience freshman year, especially when you don’t get the opportunity to pick who you room with. Name a character you’d love to be roommates with and one you’d hate to be roommates with.

downloadThere are two book characters that I would have loved being roommates with in college. The first is Cath from Fangirl. Cath would be a great roommate because she is low-key, preferring to stay in rather than going out all hours of the night (just like me!), and low maintenance. She would be there to hang out with on a Friday night when everyone else was out partying, but if I needed some space she wouldn’t be desperate for my company. Plus, if we can just pretend Simon Snow is Harry Potter, than we could have been the biggest fangirls of all time together. I don’t know anyone else who loves Harry Potter like I do! The other character who would be a great roommate is Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. If he took care of me the way he took care of Frodo, I would call myself one lucky hobbit.

I would absolutely never ever want to be roommates with Draco Malfoy. He’s a jerk, he’s a racist, and I would get tired of hearing him talk about himself all the time. And even though his mom was always sending him sweets, I bet he never shared. Continue reading “The College Freshman Book Tag”