Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Reflection on September reading list

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I’m not gonna talk about all the books I read this month, that could take awhile.

First, let me squeal about Geektastic, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. 

I’m now officially jealous of geeks.  I want to be one, but I’m not geeky enough.  I’m not a gamer and my brain seems to shut down when I try to understand sci-fi.  I get all paranoid about the thought of time travel.  When I watched The Terminator in Spanish, it pretty much blew my mind.

Here’s a great breakdown of the stories in the collection, over at Fyrefly’s Book Blog, a blog I happened to stumble across because I couldn’t remember the name of MT Anderson’s story.

(it’s “The King of Pelinesse” and it’s one of those reads that I’m not sure if I liked it or not, but it sticks with me, which actually says a lot)

What other stories stuck with me the most?

David Levithan’s “Quiz Bowl Antichrist” – unrequited teenage love, what could be more painful?

Libba Bray’s “It’s Just a Jump to the Left” – wow…the way the author captured the feeling of being 14, of being in that limbo between childhood and adulthood…beautiful story.

Wendy Mass’ “The Stars at the Finish Line” – it made me want to go study stars.  Seriously.  If I knew a guy with all that star knowledge, I would be swooning.

But no time for swooning, time for more books commentary.

Sorry, David Foster Wallace and Jack Kerouac, you will have to remain on my TBR list for longer.  I made the executive decision to push you aside in favor of the books that angry Dr. Scroggins said were bad.

I’d already read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (guess what, Scroggins, I also liked Anderson’s book, Wintergirls, I’m doubly evil).

But I’d never read Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler or Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, so off I went to read them.

Now I’m scarred for life.

HAH…just kidding.

Twenty Boy Summer was almost physical painful to read in certain parts – don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll quote from the book flap:

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling…but there’s something [Anna] hasn’t told Frankie – she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Dr. Angry went off about the book glorifying “drunken teen parties.”  Um…yeah, there was one party, totally not the main focus of the book, which was about grief and coming to terms with emotions.  At the core was the friendship between Frankie and Anna and how it had changed after Matt’s death.

Did Dr. Angry even read this book?  Or did he just skim for words that seemed questionable?

Here’s my editorial on the book: Highly recommended (but be prepared to tear up).

Side note (and this isn’t about TBS, this is just a random thought): I really hate when people review books on Amazon and say they didn’t like them because they were depressing.  Huh?  That’s not a reason to dislike a book.  Bad writing or one-dimensional characters or a paper-thin plot.  THOSE are reasons to dislike a book.

Back on track:  I just started Slaughterhouse-Five, so I can’t really give any commentary.  But I am fairly positive (like 100%) that my life will not be ruined by reading this book. 

But if I suddenly stop blogging and never come back, rest assured that I’ve spontaneously combusted or something.

Coming up next Wednesday: My October book list!

And completely unrelated to books, but it’s my blog and I’ll blog if I want to: The cast of the Sound of Music (ALL of them) is reuniting on Oprah today!  When I was a kid, I thought Christopher Plummer was like 200 years old.  Then when I watched SOM as an adult, I was all, “Hey, why isn’t he old anymore?  And why do I now think he’s handsome?  Weird.”

Also, JK Rowling will be on Oprah this Friday.


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

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