Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recap: September 25-30

In honor of Banned Books Week, all recommended books have been challenged or banned. Here they are:

BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for...

Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

Review:  Epic romance combined with strange new mythology.

I recommend BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer to fans of the Twilight series.

THE SUBTLE KNIFE by Philip Pullman

In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compass, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld—Cittagazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat--and the shattering truth of their own destiny.

Review:  Pulling together complex worlds and story lines never looked so easy!

I recommend THE SUBTLE KNIFE by Philip Pullman to all readers. 


Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy's adventures in the Mississippi Valley-a sequel to Tom Sawyer-the book grew and matured under Twain's hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck's and Jim's voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.

Review:  Equal parts serious and funny, this is a classic you'll love to read.

I highly recommend THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain to anyone who hasn't read it. And those who have. ;)


Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. 

Don't let the ease of reading fool you--Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..." Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy--and humor.

Review:  Utterly impossible to review. It's a classic. Show it some love.

I highly recommend SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut to everyone. You should try it.

CUT by Patricia McCormick

"A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next." Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she's at Sea Pines, a "residential treatment facility" filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn't want to have anything to do with them. She doesn't want to have anything to do with anyone. She won''t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long...

Review:  In depth look at self-mutilation (cutting) and coping.

I recommend CUT by Patricia McCormick to readers interested in edgy, realistic fiction. Bonus points for mental health issues.

*Summaries provided by GoodReads

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