It’s FRIDAY!!!! Thank god. And I don’t want to hear any bologna about it being Friday the 13th and bad luck and blah blah blah. You make your own luck in this world, and I choose to believe mine is good. Also: books! Books are awesome!
I usually do Five for Fridays to close out the week, but #boutofbooks is still going on, so let’s do that instead.
One thing that’s happened this week is that I’ve busted out of my reading slump. This slump, it isn’t so much that I haven’t been reading – I read five books last week, which is pretty much my standard pace. What’s been so slumpy for me is that I haven’t read very many books that make me want shout about them from the rooftops and then buy copies for friends, family, and perfect strangers. Usually I average one or two favorite books a month. Recently I had Snowblind back during Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, and before that, I had to go all the way to the beginning of March when I read We Are the Ants and H Is for Hawk. I’ve been hitting a lot of “okay” books, average books, ones that make me turn the last page and sort of shrug my shoulders. This week, there have been great stories again, and I’m so thankful, I could weep!
One of those great stories needs a little explaining. I almost finished Project X last night. I could have gulped down the last bit of it, but it’s a book with (yet another) Columbine-style school tragedy and I really didn’t want that to be the last thing I thought about before going to sleep. The book has really been one I’ve thought a lot about as I read along. I’ve moved away from these type of tragic stories – I don’t want to glorify them or be a tragedy tourist. But what I really appreciate about Project X is the uncanny ability Shepard has to remind us of how awful it is to be bullied, to be a teenager at the bottom of the social ladder, to feel hopeless. I’ve gone back and forth between empathizing with the victims/perpetrators to wanting to shake them until their eyeballs fell out. Could even thinking of such a crime ever be understandable? This book comes closer than any other I’ve read to making me understand. It’s been an philosophical exercise that I’ve…enjoyed? God, that seems like it should be the wrong word. I’ll finish the book tonight, and barring anything that completely derails my experience, it’s earned all five stars.
I also started reading Bil Wright’s Putting Make-up on the Fat Boy, about a (yep) fat, poor Hispanic boy who has a phenomenal talent for applying make-up. He dreams of attending to celebrities, but will settle for working the make-up counter at Macy’s til he finishes high school. I’ve barely started it, but Wright’s voice is hilarious and engaging enough that I can overlook the occasional stereotype. I hope the book continues strong and madcap adventures ensue. I’m definitely keeping an eye on this one for my Beyond Harry Potter: A Reading List for T(w)eenaged Boys thing that I’ve been updating.
I haven’t had any time for Kepnes’s You, but I hope to later today. I reached that critical point when all I want to do is immerse myself in the story. And for all the books out there proclaiming themselves the next Gone Girl, this one might really be it.
What about you guys – any good books in your sights?