Monday, August 31, 2009

See you later, Reading Rainbow. Thanks for the memories.

As per usual Monday, I'm spending a bulk of my boring afternoon catching up on my blog reading. (Google Reader is the best, double true) What a total shocker to read on Omnivoracious that Reading Rainbow is ending its 26 year run!

Memories of Reading Rainbow and Levar Burton dominate my childhood. The show's apparent demise, besides funding, is that it assumes children already know how to read and focuses on fostering a love of books. There isn't a large enough audience for this anymore. Now, there is a need for shows that teach phonics and how to read. As Omnivoracious points out, teaching kids how to read without also instilling a love of books seems sort of counter intuitive. Not completely, but sort of.

For me, Reading Rainbow's main objective was a complete success. I LOVE books. (See: Shelfari) (See: This blog) And, I'm pretty sure that it was Reading Rainbow that led me down the path I'm on right now, starting with Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery (which, by the way, I read because it sounded AWESOME on RR. It scared the crap out of me!) and ending with me and my butt, in this chair, reviewing submissions for children's books.

So, seriously Reading Rainbow. Seriously. Thank you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

Very good second installment of PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS. I think I'm going to reread Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY before I continue on with this series.

Purchase Now from Amazon:  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2)

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

I really love Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams and so when I saw that they were starring in the movie and saw that the movie looked pretty awesome, I ran out and got the book.

The book was very good and very well-written. I was afraid at first that the story and the non-chronological storyline would be confusing, but I had no trouble at all making sense of this unique concept. I did flip back a few times to help myself complete the puzzle, but I found this interactive and engaging rather than frustrating.

All in all, Time Traveler's Wife was incredibly sweet and I definitely cried at the end!

Purchase Now from Amazon: The Time Traveler's Wife

A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

Not as fast paced as GAME OF THRONES, but good nonetheless. It was a "bridge" book (I think maybe I'm coining that term right now), a book to get the reader from GAME OF THRONES to STORM OF SWORDS without missing any important developments.

We finally met Stannis and found out all he was up to, learned the true strength and virtue of Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya, and were left wondering what happened between Catelyn and Jamie in the cell!

I've heard through the grapevine that STORM OF SWORDS is absolutely SICK (see: AWESOME) and I can't wait to begin!

Purchase Now from Amazon: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do You Need to Know?

Well, do you?

Referring to the question I asked earlier on twitter: Can you read a book without knowing anything about it or do you need to at least know the premise to help you establish tone and purpose?

I'm wondering because, I absolutely have to know what the book is about. All the time. I recently finished The Mysterious Benedict Society and just started Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys. I realized that I experienced the same moment with both books - I read the first two pages, started to feel slightly uncomfortable and confused, realized I had no clue what the stories were about, and promptly flipped the books over to read the back cover copy. Without context or knowing some sort of general purpose, I find I'm completely unable to establish the correct tone. The words somehow seem muddled. It's all Morse code, or something equally difficult to read if you don't know how to read it.

Basically, I need some sort of direction in order to more thoroughly enjoy and understand a book.

Do you?
(Repetition is key, right?)
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