Monday, June 2, 2008

Jenn H's Vacation Reads: Part 1

Vacation! Lots of reading time....and not all of it "required."

First, I read I am Scout by Charles J. Shields. This was a redone version of his previous biography of Harper Lee, Mockingbird (Scout is written for children/teens). Shields starts by outlining the childhood and family of Nelle Harper Lee, including her father, A. C., upon whom Atticus Finch is based. We also come to know her estranged mother, with which Nelle always had a difficult relationship, mostly due to her "nervous disorder"--undiagnosed bipolar disorder. We also meet Truman Capote, Nelle's childhood friend and future well-known author as well.

The book covers Lee's life from childhood to the present, and is tastefully done considering that she is still alive but refuses interviews. Interesting details connected to To Kill a Mockingbird and In Cold Blood would make this a good read along for either of those books, especially Mockingbird during English classes. It is very readable and keeps your attention throughout and clearly shows that writing is difficult for everyone, not just students.

Okay, that's it for the more academic reading. Next, we have Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8! Yeay, Buffy is back and she has her own super-secret demon-fighting organization. All the newly called slayers have formed tactical teams with Xander as their "M". There are even three different "Buffy"s--one partying with the Immortal, one underground (literally), and the real Buffy Summers that we all know and love, leading her strike teams. Unfortunately, Homeland Security is not to fond of this set up, a pair of old enemies have returned, and Dawn has a rather large problem.

Next, a road trip with E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle--How to Be Bad. Inspired by David Levithan and Rachel Cohen, these three authors have teamed up to write a road trip book about three girls who alternate chapters (and authors) to deliver some fun and craziness, as well as a little therapy. Jessie is the mastermind of this trip, stealing away her best friend Vicks under the pretense of visiting Vicks's boyfriend at the University of Miami. In reality, she needs a getaway to come to terms with her mother's cancer, which she hasn't told Vicks about, and to "live" as her mother has advised. Vicks agrees to go since she hasn't received more than a late night text message in the two weeks Brady has been gone, and is not only worried but understandably pissed. Mel volunteers to tag along, offering to pay for a hotel room as well as food and gas, just on the off chance that she might make a couple friends (btw, Patti, she is Canadian!). Thus begins their Thelma and Louise adventure, filled with hot boys, cool gators, and some truely memorable arguments....

More later.... Have to go to work!

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