My Favorite Reads of 2010: #7, #6, #5

January 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

7. Forever by Judy Blume

Some thoughts:

Oh, Judy Blume. Everything she does is wonderful. I could probably write a completely separate blog praising the serious awesomeness of Judy Blume. But for now, I’ll just try to stick to this book. The story chronicles how teenagers Katherine and Michael fall in love for the first time. But please, resist the urge to thrust your computer across the room and sob because I’ve chosen another cheesy teen romance book for a book list. This book is different. Really. Written in 1975 as a book for adults (but perfectly suitable for teens), it really has remained a timeless read about what it’s like to be in love in high school. And it’s very realistic, without the slightest bit of vomit-inducing sentimentality. A rare feat for teen romance books today, let alone for a book that’s been around for more than thirty years.

Read it if:

  • you’re a Sarah Dessen fan
  • you’re looking for a good young adult novel to add to your library
  • you want a read that’s meaningful but not overbearing

Shelve it if:

  • teen sex makes you uncomfortable
  • you just can’t look past some occasional 1970’s teen slang

6. The Unswept Room by Sharon Olds

Some thoughts:

Want to know the great thing about Sharon Olds? Okay, here it is: if you hate poetry, you’ll probably find poems by Sharon Olds that you’ll really like. If you love poetry, you’ll probably find poems by Sharon Olds that you’ll really like. She’s a great teacher (I’ve learned a lot about writing just from reading her), and her content is accessible for those who are intimidated by esoteric poetry. I was able to read straight through this collection of poems in one sitting, which is hard to do even with poets I love. But every poem of hers is a story and a microcosm on life, love, family, and table scraps. Seriously. You need to read this book.

Read it if:

  • you’re not a big poetry reader, but would like to read more
  • you need something to stick in your bag or car to read from time to time
  • you are stuck in a writing rut and need some inspiration

Shelve it if:

  • domestic poetry bores you

5. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Some thoughts:

This book made me laugh out loud, scratch my head, and question the true nature of humanity. Not bad for a mere 287 pages, eh? For those of you who have read Slaughterhouse Five, arguable Vonnegut’s most famous, this book is a little less somber but still has all the same biting wit and quirk of his other book. I don’t even really know how to describe the plot of this book. It kind of has to do with atomic war. You’ll just have to dig in to find out.

Read it if:

  • you want something off-the-wall
  • you’re a fan of Vonnegut’s other books
  • you’re a bit of a science geek

Shelve it if:

  • you’re in the mood for something more conventional
  • you aren’t a fan of “dark” humor

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