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Showing posts from March, 2014

My Irrelevant Opinion on Teen Dystopias

I read books indiscriminately.  I am just as happy reading Beowulf, a crusty old Scandinavian epic poem, as I am reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  So I'm not a snob who only reads first-edition classics bound in leather or anything like that.  But I do have one requirement when it comes to the books I read and recommend, and that is that they be good.  And I do see a problem emerging in one of YA's most popular new genres, the teen dystopian novel, and that is that many of these books are not good.
     The dystopia craze started, I believe, with the success of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (a book that I very much adore).  It's hard to make it as a writer, so when people saw how well her parable of futuristic teen angst and bloodshed did, they understandably thought Aha!  Here is the formula for success!!  And ten seconds later, the front display tables of every Barnes and Nobles' across the country were weighted down with hardcovers featuring a…

Snazzy Extra Uses for Books

I've been a ferocious reader for over ten years now (exactly eleven in two months!!), and in my time as such I have learned a great deal about books besides the fact that they transport you to mystical places and are NOT MEANT TO BE READ ON TECHNOLOGICAL DEVICES.  No, there is much more to books than that, my friends.  For example, they have many excellent uses outside that may be less obvious to a  person who does not tote a book about with her wherever she goes.  Here are a few examples.
1.  They can be weaponized.   There is nothing unethical about this.  I am a small and innocuous/innocent-looking fifteen-year-old girl.  I am not a master of martial arts or kickboxing or even old-fashioned girl street-fighting.  I need to be able to defend myself, dammit!!!  So whenever someone gets too close, I whip out the book that they probably just interrupted me with and whack them repeatedly on the head with it. REPEATEDLY.  This practice is super-effective.

2. They can be an excuse.  
&q…

How to Fashion Yourself a Literary Wardrobe

HAHA can you plz forgive me for the pun I could not help myself.
   So I love books, but I also love off-kilter clothing, and when the clothes are book inspired then I am a very happy person indeed.  These are my suggestions.  

1. A ring with the seven dwarves on it.  The movie would not have been complete without a Grouchy to counteract Snow White's Sweet'n Low sweetness.    
Find it at: Rings and Tings

2. A Watership Down sweater.  And guess what??!!  They've got shirts and sweatshirts for The Metamorphosis, The Great Gatsby, A Wrinkle in Time, Fahrenheit 451, Alice in Wonderland, and pretty much all my favorite old books.  Also they sell bags and jewelry and other stuff of similar themes.

Look at this lovely thing!  The trees make the shape of a rabbit!!!
Find it at: Out of Print Clothing
3.  This is literally called the Storybook Illustrator Dress - all the details are in SKETCHY (ha more puns) trompe l'oiel.  If my purse strings were looser I would have tons of Modcloth&…

Junkie Metaphors and Books About Our Inner Crazy

So, recently I was doing a spot of (mandatory) community service for my gym teacher when I experienced a rare instance of karmic payoff.
     Me and a bunch of other temporary bond-slaves were unloading this huge file cabinet onto the gym floor, sorting everything from Dance Revolution DVDs to pamphlets on Your First Visit to the Ob-Gyn! into neat piles, when I uncovered quite by chance a crumbling copy of Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.  Elated, I carried it around for the remainder of the period until my teacher took pity on me and offered to let me borrow it.
     I fell in love with this book the moment I heard its title quite a while ago - Naked Lunch?  What the hell kind of weird awesome twisted name is that?  I am only now realizing how twisted it really is.  The book is a compilation of notes that Burroughs took while under the sick influence of heroin.  It is rife with disgusting sex scenes and metaphors for the consumption of drugs in which characters enthusiastically ea…