Saturday, April 6

book talk: variant + an abundance of katherines

My sporadic blog habits may not be able to keep up with my [recently renewed] reading mania.  And probably you're okay with that?  Because I realize you may want to read posts that cover more than book reviews.  BUT I should warn you that Wednesday I almost blogged about how much I was enjoying my trip to Discount Tires [it was something like an ode to the clean, plasticky smells and proximity to Yogurtland], but I realized that a few minutes spent typing did not a good post make, and--you're welcome!--deleted my ramblings.
The point to all this is: yes, this is another book talk, but no, it isn't about tires.  Win, win?  Win, lose?  Up to you.

I decided to read this book after I caught numerous students ignoring my lessons as they [not-very-stealthily] read this book under their desks.   I'm always conflicted when I see this type of behavior because halle-freaking-lujah! They're reading of their own free will! but also wait!  You need to know this or I wouldn't be bothering!  What normally happens is we fist bump in recognition of awesome books and then they have to put it away.

Aaaaanyway-- Variant.  I quite liked this book.  I stayed up till 12:30 in the a.m. to finish reading it, which sounds like nothing to you youngsters, but is a feat for me as I have developed 90-year-old tendencies this year.  The story is engaging and fast-paced, but I can't tell you too much or I'll ruin the plot.  The writing is decent, but its value definitely lays [lies?  Oh, for hell's sake! I'm not looking it up because I will not indulge verb elitism] in the story.  You could read it in a few hours.  So pick it up, will ya?

Next up--An Abundance of Katherines.  I think John Green should seriously consider using the following picture in his promos:

I mean, if that doesn't motivate you to read, I don't know what will.
Here's attempt #132 [I'm not joking or being humble when I say pictures are hard for me]:

I'll just be upfront: I've read three John Green novels in the last month.  And I plan to read whatever he writes.  I just will, because John Green?  The man.  He is the man, I tell you!  I am positively swimming in good things to say about his writing, his characters, his stories.  If he wrote about his trip to the grocery store, I would read it, I would be fixated, and I would want more.  He would describe cheerios in a way that would, frankly, change lives.

There is page in An Abundance of Katherines that had me snort-laughing repeatedly.  Conlin looked over, eyebrows raised, like explain yourself woman.  But you just have to read it.  I'm not going to tell you the page number because then you'd skip to that page and you can't skip pages in a John Green novel--because that is the type of treasonous behavior I simply cannot tolerate.  But let me just share the opening lines:

"The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.  Colin had always preferred baths; one of his general policies in life was never to do anything standing up that could just as easily be done lying down."

Right?!  Oh, that man's writing is magic.  And that's just the opening--it gets better and better.  I also loved [really, really loved] Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars.  So read those, too.  And, as always, let's eat red mango and discuss them together.  Or, if you don't like reading, let's just have red mango.  Because do we need an excuse?  

*Side note [because I am determined to never post anything fluid and sensical--I'm all about disjointed blogging]: As Conlin took the above photos, he was grinning in a pedophiliac manner and muttering, "Work it..."


1 comment:

  1. Haha I always used to be one of those students reading under my desk in high school. It happened in English a few times (because I just couldn't seem to understand why shakespeare was better than the current popular fiction--no offense to you if you love shakespeare, I have come to respect his work myself) but that definitely mostly happened in science. I love these book talks and I will definitely be reading these!