Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Books I Read in October

Happy November everyone! As we start a new month, I look forward to telling you about some great reads from my previous month. As always, click on the picture to be linked to the best price on amazon dot com, or shop at your local book store! Happy reading!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This is the sequel to the Hunger Games, which I reviewed last month. The book is about a corrupt and controlling government that has a major distribution of resources problem (sound familiar?) Catching Fire is my least favorite book of the series, but it is still worth reading because the third part is quite wonderful. I loved the first half of the book, and was a bit disappointed with the second half. Still, I think the book brings up some important questions for Katniss, the protagonist, and serves to show her where her final straw is. The events of this book allow her to feel certain she is ready to participate in Panem's war against the capital. This series is still the most exciting new dystopia fiction that I have read in awhile. Because it is YA, all of these reads are easy and entertaining, and yet, I'm impressed at the depth of Collins' message. How is this for a recommendation: If I taught middle school/freshman English, I would teach The Hunger Games along with Lord of the Flies, 1984, The Giver and Animal Farm. I think we may be talking about The Hunger Games (the first book) for years to come.

Blue Mesa Review, Issue 24, Editor Suzanne Richardson

 I'm bummed to realize that I could have had this issue for half the price I paid for it if I ordered on Amazon! I swear it wasn't there when I was looking. Anyway, the prose and poems in issue 24 of Blue Mesa Review, the journal from the University of New Mexico are a real treat. Allow me to recommend especially, the story "Walls Won't Hold You" by James Brubaker, I particularly love this quiet piece about a boy who copes with his screwed up home life by clinging to his Michael Jackson tape. In poetry, Marianne Kunkel's poem "My Summer Fling with Abraham Lincoln" has me swooning. In non-fiction, I was eager and pleased to read "Proud Bastard: A Conversation with Dorothy Allison" by Carmela Starace. This journal is one to keep an eye on.

One Story 

Click on the picture to subscribe to the Amazon kindle version, and won't you feel fancy? Brendan bought the paper subscription for me as a b-day gift a few months ago, and I loved "The Joy of Cooking" by Elissa Schappell, and enjoyed "The Horse and Rider Thrown Into the Sea" by James Zwerneman. Since each issue is only One Story, it is very approachable, and I look forward to each copy!

PANK is Free, Simply Click here to read it!

I read this issue of PANK top to bottom. I was honored to be included in it, alongside many splendid writers. I will link to the stories and poems I was very taken with, but I could write something about each of them. All are very worth the read!
Three Poems by Clara Changxin Fang
Mosquitoes by Meghan Lamb
Baltimore IKEA by Justus Humphrey
Save My Life Tonight by Sarah Faulkner
Three Poems by Ocean Vuong

And, if you still have not read my story, "Mount Bonnell," it finishes out the issue here. I love that PANK allows you to listen to the authors reading their work. They even have an app for the i-phone/i-pad that lets you listen on the go.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

This is the last book of the Hunger Game series, and the read was worth every page. One of my students believes it is left open for another series, so we'll see. I enjoyed this YA book, which speaks to the price of revenge and redemption in a surprisingly adult way. Katniss is a full and rich character, she feels very much like your average teenager, only in extraordinary circumstances. I was so satisfied with the ending, which felt pitch perfect.

Here's to your November, may you fill it with many pages!
<3 S, L&Z

Enjoyed this post? Check out Books I Read in September and Books I Read in August too!

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