peace is the milk of birds

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton to say about this book. It’s not even that it’s bad; it’s just unremarkable, I suppose. It’s about two girls, one in Virginia and one in an IDP camp in Africa. Girl #1 sponsors Girl #2, and they write letters to each other. It becomes a little more plausible by introducing a friend of Girl #2 who has been educated and can take dictation, plus translators who convert the Arabic letters to English.

So Girl #1 has issues with school and learning, not to mention daddy issues after an ugly divorce. The letters, of course, teach her to put things in perspective, because there are people with far worse problems than she. Girl #2 is very young and pregnant post a rape experience, and her letters are just so full of brightness and compassion for Girl #1 anyway. How sweet. Continue reading

upon finishing son by lois lowry

Okay. So I have to admit that I read this in just a few hours, all in one plane ride, so it’s obviously not terrible or hard to read.

But also, I don’t really get what just happened, nor do I totally think this is a book that should have been published. Also, there might be spoiler-ish tidbits in here, but I don’t really think they are significant. And anyway, this book needs no reviews, because no matter how much it deserves criticism like any other book, it was a bestseller long before it was published, and it will continue to be.

First, none of the “sequels” to The Giver are actually very good; they’re just decent. They all read as strange, and forcing them into the world of The Giver seems to limit them rather than serve as a fountain for drawing creativity. Continue reading

theodore laurence rises with the newsies

Guys, I just saw The Dark Knight Rises and I have so many feelings and opinions that I have to repeat everything I said while watching the movie in the theatre and then some.

This is in no particular order. It’s probably spoilerrific, but I assume if you’re reading this, not only do you not care, but you’ve already seen the movie. Still, you’ve been warned, I guess.

  • When did Alfred get a chance to travel back in time and get raised in even farther east London and pick up even more of an accent?
  • Seriously, having the BIGREVEAL at the end when a lady tells Cameron-I-mean-Officer-I-mean-Detective-Blake that his name Robin is nice is just lame.
  • There’s something that feels like a big failure when your name is Christopher Nolan and you’re kind of famous for doing these awesome movies and then you end your trilogy with a shoutout to the end of a Dan Brown novel. Continue reading

in which i accept that i am somewhat of a chick who loves lit

In seventh grade, I decided I needed to grow up and stop reading kiddy books and doing kiddy things. So I began to only read “adult” books, which means I started with somewhat legitimate books, like Memoirs of a Geisha, and then I moved into something that I discovered and adored–books from the publisher Red Dress Ink, which I later learned was a bunch of stuff called “chick lit.” I loved it, because I hated being 13 and knew even then that my twenties was when I was really going to come into my own. (I held onto that belief and it turned out to be true; much from third grade to the end of college was a lot of angst, frustration, and unhealthiness that I try not to think about.) There were girls traveling through Europe and waking up in a hostel to see their best friends having sex in the next bed. There were girls who lived alone and loved it, who made their own rules and had jobs and ate ice cream for dinner. And there were a whole lot of girls who worked in publishing, and that was awesome. Continue reading

heutagogy, giftedness, and creativity

I’m not convinced that my to-read list is always 2394870329478 titles long (okay, about 300) because I like reading. I do like it, but I think I often feel dissatisfied with the fiction I’ve been reading, and I get bored with it easily. And my reading interests have changed greatly since I was a child, when I really did just enjoy getting lost in a book. I don’t list reading as one of my pastimes because narratives draw me in. That’s why I like television, but it’s no longer the primary reason I read.

I do still like getting lost in a good story now, but it’s not my biggest reason for reading, I think. If I look back to the point in my life when I stopped reading voraciously and just, well, read books sometimes (roughly 7th grade to freshman year of college), it came around the same time that everything in my life was frustrating and dissatisfying. To avoid talking about my angst and my mental health problems and my physical health problems, let’s just move to how it was frustrating academically. I hated school, and I hated even more the idea that everyone around me thought I loved it, just because I did well in it. If I look back at my blog posts and journal entries and yearbook messages and penpal letters from that period, I think it’s pretty clear that I was one of those gifted kids who, instead of seeking out challenges and creating her own, largely took a lack of interesting or challenging ways of getting into what she was learning as a reason to be angry and to disengage.

I don’t want to place blame, because I used to do that a lot, and it was only somewhat founded. Continue reading