(Yes, I realize it’s mid-November…I’ve been busy).
Despite the mass amount of traveling, working, and just general fun – I did manage three books for October! (the crowd cheers)
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – Our school librarian recommended this book for one of my 6th grade novel groups so I figured I should read it if I was going to teach it (ha). It was a quick read, and I liked it. The story is told from the perspective of a high school boy (who is kind of a pansy in IMHO) who becomes enamored with a new student, Stargirl. She’s completely free from all the insecure, mean girl, popularity-seeking stuff that is the culture of the school…she’s just honestly kind. You can’t help but be driven crazy by the narrator who can’t get the guts to ignore his peers’ despite his understanding that she is better than all of them. While I would totally recommend this book to students (and most of them liked it), I felt really uncomfortable throughout the whole book. I wasn’t sure where it was going and I feared the students would do something terrible to Stargirl. Luckily, it didn’t take a Carrie turn, but it also made me sad because it was so honest.
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – Little did I know when I paid just $4.99 for this iBook that it would be blowing up all over social media. I love Girls and I think some of the episodes are pure genius, but until reading this book I didn’t realize just how messed up Lena Dunham really is (yes, present tense). Everything in here is super honest, and too graphic for my personal aesthetic. Yeah, that’s Lena Dunham’s style and she has that right, so ok, sure. I imagined her watching The Breakfast Club and really connecting with Ally Sheedy’s character (the “basketcase” who ate pixie sticks and spit her fingernails across the room). Her sex stories are gross; her food stories are gross; and from a teacher’s point of view, her childhood counseling stories are red flags. If I was her friend in college, I would have given her many stern lectures. But nonetheless, I think that crazy people are usually the geniuses that help us see our own idiosyncrasies so if you like her show, you might want to give this book a read. If you have a strong stomach, that is.
Watchmen by Alan Moore – Ahhhh one of my favorite books of all time, and I just felt like re-reading it since no other books have really captured my interest in months. Damn this book is amazing! If you don’t know what Watchmen is, then you’re living in the dark. If it’s been awhile since you read it, I recommend you pick it back up. While reading, I simultaneously watched the Motion Comics series of Watchmen that I bought off iTunes several years ago (you can also find it on Youtube).
For a time when the real world is riddled with international conflict and fear, Watchmen has a very real relevance in 2014. Maybe this story speaks to me because I have a pretty fatalistic view of society, and I not-so-secretly think I’m destined to be a vigilante someday. And while I think there are a lot of fun apocalyptic and dystopian series out there for young adults (Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, etc), if you’re an adult you should really be picking this one up instead.
A lot of people complained about Zach Snyder’s version of Watchmen, but for a movie that was considered “unfilmable” I think he did a pretty good job. But really, if you want to watch it on the screen, go with the Motion Comics version – it’s really good.