Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Challenge!

You guys need to take the internet away from me.  Seriously, I'm doing way too many of these things now.  Regardless, I'm still starting it!

Emlyn Chand is doing a year long challenge on her blog. If you choose to participate, you'll post an introduction post on why you love reading. Then, once a month, you post a review  about the books that made you love reading from way back when.  Read her blog for all the details, but it's a pretty sweet deal (especially because The Runaway Bunny totally counts).

There are so many reasons why I love reading, but the obvious one to me is the transportation to another world. I could be anyone or anything if just for a moment. I could be a mouse running from an owl, or a teddy bear looking for his lost button, or just a boy who had a really tough life and is growing up.

I love reading because I love writing. And I know how piss poor some of my earlier writing is because I've started reading again recently. I devoured books when I was younger, but when I majored in Literature in college - and most of my reading experiences were around classics and clad with papers and analysis - reading lost a lot of its fun. No, rather, analyzing books was just too much. Why couldn't I get lost in the story of Robinson Crusoe? Why did I have to look for passages to underline for a paper later? I'm sure when these authors originally wrote, it was to entertain. Not have you write a ten page paper on the difference between Shelley's Frankenstein and the movie (pick a version) that would come out years upon years upon years later.

No, I love reading because I can wrap myself up in the book. Lose myself in the character and float around in someone else's head for awhile. It's a bit voyeuristic, to love watching people unfold in books. (I people watch too, but that's another story for another day).

While reading academically is important, I think it is important because it makes your a better writer - and not a better paper writer, but a better story teller.

Some of the books that inspired me, when I was younger (these are the ones I plan on re-reading in 2012,in order of to be read):

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
All the Money in the World by Bill Brittain
Bunnicula by James Howe
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Poppy by Avi
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K.Rawling
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Blue Coyote by Liza Ketchum
Why Do Birds by Damon Knight

Most of these are middle school years, but there were some random days that I went shelf-browsing in High School.  I'll explain my reasons for loving them when I read each of them and post for the challenge ;) One mention that I want to say (that I'm not going to review) is The Hot Zone.  Wait, Rachel, are you telling me you read that when you were younger?

I was a weird kid, what can I say.  In ninth grade, I was offered extra credit to read one of the books on my biology's teacher's shelf.  I read half of it, and stopped because it made me so queasy.  But it began my epic love for horror and all things horror-filled.  I still get to the same spot year after year and have to stop reading.  I will try to read that this year, finally, but for my To Be Read Pile Challenge - not this one.  :)


  1. @1000th.monkey - you thinking about joining?

    I should really post another excerpt soon, I feel like the "writing" part of my writing blog has been lacking (sigh). So much to do!!

  2. Welcome to the challenge. It's amazing how school can suck the joy out of our favorite pass-time, isn't it? I didn't major in literature but rather quantitative sociology. Still! Everything is about a paradigm and the portrayal of the working poor, and you would not believe how prevalent Marxist theory is in literature (like Wicked for example or Lady Chatterley's Lover). I digress... Great to read along side of you. We'll have to compare notes on Bunnicula. Oh, and to top off your weirdness, I'm planning on doing Lolita for this challenge. I read it at 20 and thus grew to love literary fiction. Nabokov is so dreamy ;-)

  3. @Emlyn - Will be happy to participate in this as well :) I'm very excited to re-read some things - and I think I'm going to go from easiest to hardest book. Towards the end of the year (once I'm done writing my novels), I should have a little bit more time on my hands to re-read several novels. I'm excited to try to find Blue Coyote again - because that was what made me interested in YA GBLT literature to begin with.