Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Loss of A Literary Giant

Today .... BookGeekism.. Mourns the loss of a literary Icon.. J.D. Salinger Passed away today at the age of 91. My condolences go out to his family and friends.. His fans will miss him dearly. He has inspired so many of us with his novels, Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Raise the Roof Beam High/Seymour-an introduction... Pieces of fiction which inspired me to read more, and to study in depth English and American Literature. As a fan, I cannot explain the sense of loss--at this tragedy...

The Huger Games-Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 14, 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-0439023481

Okay so here is my very delayed review of the Hunger Games, I finished this book almost 2 weeks ago. Bad I know, especially since I am already 3/4ths of the way through the 2nd book and have already pre-ordered the 3rd book. Hopefully that gives you a clue as to how much I love this series thus far. Once again we are delving into another young adult book that resides in my favorite genre, post-apocalyptic, dystopian etc..

So I guess I'll start by giving you my back of the book blurb. In the not to distant future, Katniss (our wonderful heroine) lives in District 12,the area formally known as Appalachia. The whole of what is probably North America divided up into 12 districts all answering to the Capital. So the Capital decides that in order to continue to maintain control of the populous, they have installed severe rules with even more severe punishments, and also the Hunger Games. Where each district must offer up 2 tributes through a lottery system and all 24 tributes must battle it out till there is one survivor standing. During the lottery, Katniss' sister is originally picked up and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Katniss and Her Male tribute partner, Peeta, are shipped off to the Capital to endure training and preparations for, and eventually the Hunger Games themselves. This first installment of the series deals with the events of the Hunger Games themselves, with the Capital and the relationship between Katniss and Peeta. With an ending that will leave you going.. OMGWTFBBQ (sue me couldn't resist that one :) )

If you have not guessed it already, I loved this book and devoured it. Yes it is also another young adult reading selection, (I have a tendency to look at the books while I wait for my younger sister to make her selections). This novel does follow in the footsteps of other dystopian literature-1984, A Brave New World, etc-and in her own way Collins does illustrate the problems of our modern society in the behaviors of the Capital residents. From her opinions on a Totalitarian State, The Have's vs Have Not's and society's own grotesque interest in violence for the sake of violence. Collins' style of writing is definitely clear, concise and her descriptions of the world draw you in to the Capital and District 12 as if you had seen them all your life. The love story in the novel is also a cute portion of the story that softens the harshness of the narrative. I would easily recommend and give this book to anyone, it's an enjoyable read. The story is engaging and draws the reader in almost immediately. Truth be told I couldn't put it down and only did when it couldn't be helped, for work and for sleep. So if you're reading this, and this rather biased opinion of mine piques your interest in the book, go order it from amazon, or barnes and noble and read it.. and Love it.

-Geeky Book Girl
read,eat,read,sleep,read, live..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hardcover or Paperback: My Elitism....

Maybe because I am an aspiring book collector (even though my financial means prohibit this severely) , or maybe it is because I prefer the heft of a hardcover book in my hands, I prefer hardcover novels to their lighter more manageable siblings the paperback. Although for someone who tends to carry their books around with them one would suspect that I am prone to paperbacks just for their sheer portability, but that is a negative. I own many paperback books and look at them in dismay longing for leather bound (yes... leather bound.. sorry I can only take my tree hugging bunny loving non animal cruelty self so far) hardcover editions. God forbid anything happen to any of my hardcover books, I would probably have an aneurysm, a coronary, and a small personal apocalypse if I ever lost one of these precious volumes and the memories associated with them.

Granted none of these books are probably collectors items, no real worth other than the price on their book jacket. But they each hold some form of memory. There is only one paperback, that was in my collection, that holds such a similar sway over my memory. The piece is no longer part of my collection, as I had gifted it to someone who meant..means... quiet a lot...(excuse me for saying this with some sort of sadness or apprehension.. this individual has currently removed themselves from my life......I'm digressing.) As cliche as it might sound the one book that held so much meaning and was read till it was falling to pieces and bound together with tape, was a brown covered tattered copy of JD Salinger's Catcher In The Rye. ( One might ask why I would part with such an important part of my collection... to this I will only answer.. that is between me and it's new owner who I don't know if he will ever read it or not, but it is with someone who I believe knows it's personal value to me.)

Except for my Salinger paperbacks, most of my paperback purchases these day are only books that only partially spark my interest, maybe something about their story has piqued my curiosity but not drawn me in enough to want to make it something that is a part of my personal collection. One such paperback that I can recall is The Road-Cormac McCarthy, this book, although praised so highly by many was pure drudgery to get through. It was far easier to get through The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, but still, it fell under quick classification of books I simply did not like. Those who know me know I do love my fair share of dystopian and apocalyptic tales but that book will not become permanent collection and has been relegated to paperback land.. a desolate shelf near the desk, holding books that may find themselves quickly loaned out or given away.

I am not sure why I prefer hardcover books to paperbacks, it's most likely because they look better on the bookshelf, maybe it is nothing more than aesthetics, maybe it's something more.. durability...endurance (shakes head).. no.. that is not the word... the give me.. something that seems far more tactile and persevering to leave behind than paperbacks....

-This has been another wonderful ramble of jumbled thoughts from the GeekyBookGirl Herself--

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Edga Allan Poe-Happy Birthday Our Dearly Departed Poet

As any Poe enthusiast knows, for years there has been an unknown person who has gone to Poe's grave-site and left behind Cognac and a Rose. The Huffington Post reported today that this Unknown individual had not shown today. Upon reading this I almost cried, although this iconic poet has many followers and admirers to this day, it was disheartening and it almost like this unknown individual abandoned our poet.

My most formal introduction to the poet and his classic the Raven, was in my freshman english class in high school. My instruction of my AP English class, gave us each a candle, on our desk, lit it. and then he began to read it with the lights in the class room dimmed. This is my most vivid Memory of Mr. Boutin. He is what inspired me to become an English teacher, what pushed me to see the beauty in the written word. At that moment, hearing the words, seeing them on the mimeographed pages that lay before me on those uncomfortable desks at 6th period. I saw the beauty of the written word, I saw the power of the English language. I always like to say Salinger was the one who lead me down the path of loving the written word, but in all truth, I am sure Poe was just as strong as of an influence.

So my dearly deceased poet, I wish you a Happy Birthday, thank you for your inspiration... and the inspiration and horrifying wonderment you have given us all..

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

Bernard Beckett
  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • ISBN: 978-0547225494
So where do I start in my review in this novel. I came across the title while surfing other personal book review blogs and was intrigued by the readers review of the novel. At 150 pages it was a very quick read and I finished it one day and thoroughly enjoyed the quick read. The novel is considered a Young Adult piece of work but I think even most adults will find the subject matter interesting enough to get sucked into the work to the point you can not and will not want to put it down till you finish it.

A post apocalyptic novel centers that around Anaximander, in the novel she is being examined for her entrance into the prestigious "The Academy" who are the Philosopher Kings who run the Republic. During the examination she is presenting her take on a portion of their history, specifically relating to an Adam Forde and his imprisonment and interaction with an advanced ai android created during their time. During the examination we learn about Anax, the Republic, Adam Forde and his history and Anax's connection to Adam. with a chilling ending that will leave you in shock.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone, regardless of your preference for science fiction. The author has created a world and story that draw you in and keep you spell bound till the very end. There is also an amazing tie in to Plato's Republic and the question of progress and it's costs seems to be an underlying theme as well. I do not believe I can gush more about this book than I have to people I have told about it in person. All I can say is Read it!!! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

I offer up a prayer to the patron saint of Bookgeeks--Looks like the closest I'm going to get is Saint Jerome, the patron Saint of Librarians.. I cannot get through this book. Maybe it's because I'm not a fanatic for spy novels. I have tried and tried to read this book but I cannot get into it, I feel like I am limping along with a mortal wound and this book is driving the sword further in.. I don't know what it is. It is a well written novel, and an easy read but the material does not interest me. I was even shocked when the book group even wanted to compare it to Ian Flemmings 007. I'm not sure what to do next, Lady Chatterley's Lover is the next book for the group and I honestly look forward to that more than anything else. I currently have cast aside LeCarre's "masterpiece" and picked up something not so renowned Genesis by Bernard Beckett. I will be offering up the review of that novel on Monday instead of LeCarre's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Book and The Reader

I meant to post this yesterday but lack of sleep and the beginning of my work week prohibited me from soon so. So January's reading list has been only slightly difficult to pick.. The 1001 book selections were picked by the shelfari group and they are, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by Le Carre... Lady Chatterley's Lover by Lawrence... I have had to pick to other selections for this month and hopefully a 5th. I have selected another R.K. Narayan.. Which is picked from a collection given to my by Dearest H. And the other I am considering is a history of Indian literature in English.... Or the myths of Mexico and Central America..

I am loathe to say that the intro to Le Carre's novel has yet to grab me or lead me to believe it is a page turner...

I fear this book may find itself tossed back on the shelf if it doesn't become more engrossing...