Sunday, March 2, 2008

Project 40: February

(for some reason I decided to punish myself for being single by reading chick lit in the month of love. Gag.)

“Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story” by Rachel Kadish
A friend recommended this to me and I couldn’t even finish it. 30-something literature professor in Manhattan swears off love, but oh, wait! She falls for some random guy whose only apparent quality is that his eyes twinkle. It’s all written in present tense, like a trashy detective novel or cyber porn. No thank you. F-

“Not Even Wrong” by Paul Collins
This book was really awesome. As a special education aid, I’m always looking for ways to self-educate about the mental conditions I see in my classroom. The book is an autobiography of a father and his son with autism mixed with history. It goes back and forth between the time that the author and his wife are first finding out about their son’s autism and the history research that the author does, mostly in Europe. It has lots of fascinating stories about people with autism from days past. I highly recommend this to educators or anyone who knows a person with autism. A

“The Brontë Project: A Novel of Passion, Desire, and Good PR” by Jennifer Vandever
It’s nearly as bad as its title. Slightly more tolerable than “Tolstoy Lied,” and recommended by the same friend. 28 year old literature grad student in Manhattan gets caught in a whirlwind of lovers, movie deals, and a fellow grad student who lives the celeb high life and wants to make “Princess Diana studies” a legit area of academia. The characters and plot are way far-fetched and if I hadn’t picked it up at the time that I was couch ridden with a broken toe, I might have put it down. So it goes. D+

“Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury’s use of language in this book just sucks you right in. I read the prologue one night right before bed, and got really excited about reading the rest of it. The story is about two boys, Jim and Will, and their run-in with a mysterious carnival that rolls into town at the wrong time of year. The main thing that drew me in was that he had these two young characters who encountered everything you ever feared as a child (or an adult), and the fearless vs. fearful exchange between them or within the individual. It’s not a “horror” book in the sense that there’s blood and gore or something out to kill them, but it’s intense enough from beginning to end that most people would call it a scary story. I loved it. A

“The Green Book” by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen
This was one of those tempting “new books” at the library. I was kind of disappointed in it. The book is simply a list of things that you can do to be more environmentally friendly, but I noted that it wasn’t too environmentally friendly that you necessarily had to drastically change any aspect of your life. To make being green seem hip, they interviewed several celebrities who talked about how they act “green.” It’s a good starting point though, if you’re not from a generally environmentally conscious area like I am and want to be aware of your impact. Another good point was that each suggestion was accompanied by a statistic like “If everyone in the US declined their receipt at the ATM, it would save a roll of paper that would wrap around the earth X number of times.” Kind of neat. B-

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