Readathon 2016: Books 16-20

Readathon 2016: Books 1-5

Readathon 2016: Books 6-10

Readathon 2016: Books 11-15

Books 16-20

16. Wonder, by R. J. Palaccio

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Readathon category: A book from a publishing house you usually don’t read

I read it in one day. It is a book about a boy born with something like mandibulofacial dysostosis, but much worse. The problem is almost completely appearence-ralated. All his life he is used to people staring or even screaming when they see him. And now his parents decide to send him to high-school…

This book is awesome. I think the author captured the whole situation perfectly. It is easy to just say “we are all the same, we should not treat anyone differently and surely not stare or comment”.

But as the main character says himself, he would also stare at a Wookie if one came to school and he would also whisper for months to the others when the Wookie appeared. And as his sister says, they all spent a lot of time trying to make him think he is normal. The problem is that he is not normal.

You should all read this book. Come on, it will not take long! 🙂

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

17. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

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Readathon category: A book published before 1850

I don’t have a dress that looks like an English dress of the 1800s…

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…thankfully! But I thought that dress with the rose creates the correct atmosphere.

I had read the book when I was about 15 and I found it extremely boring. But I was young and it was probably a bad translation. I thought I should give it another try, so I read it in english and from the most amazing edition of Classics Reimagined (see here for more photos).

The book is good of course, it feels so current. Gossip, motherly plots to marry her daughters, annoying relatives, pride… Sounded like an holiday weekend of an extended greek family.

Of course a lot of things are extremely outdated. Like the fact that everyone went completely mental over premarital sex. And that daughters mean nothing, especially if they are unmarried. And how did everyone had money without working? (Except the anonymous servants. Did they get married?)

Anyway, it is a good book, at many points I was stuck in the pages. But on other points I had to drag myself to read it. It is just too old-fashioned 🙂

I watched the BBC series afterwards and I liked it a lot. I think it is a very close adaptation, so if you are too bored to read the book, watch the series 🙂

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

18. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

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Readathon category: A book you haven’t read since your childhood

I did not have something to wear that would look era-appropriate (again), so I wore a skirt with an actual cabin.

I tried to read it when I was in primary school, but I think I probably left it in the middle. This book is really great for the time it was written. But I think it is not anti-racist enough for now. I felt that the book made it clear that white americans should be nice to african-americans, but not that they are all equal.

I believe it is not anymore appropriate for children under 15-16, especially non-USA ones. I think that this book would achieve the opposite of what it should achieve, since it points out there are inherent differences between races, praising the slaves that were dedicated to their masters etc.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

19. Just Kids, by Patti Smith

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Readathon category: an (auto)biography

I do not think an (auto)biography can be more interesting than this one.

I only knew Patti Smith as a musician and I wasn’t even a fan. I liked her songs of course, but I only knew a couple. After reading this book, I am a fan of her as a person in general.

She describes her life, how she left her home to go to New York, where she literally lived on the streets and couldn’t eat. There she met Robert Mapplethorpe. Since they met, they became one, even when they were no longer a couple. They both tried to make it like artists. They starved, counting pennies to buy art supplies. Patti Smith was a painter and a poet long before she even thought of becoming a rock star.

Not only is the story interesting, Patti Smith is also an amazing author. The book is very well-written. And you learn a lot about this era, when the beat poets and artists were trying to make it into the world.

I don’t know why I liked it so much. I think Patti Smith made me connect with her. And the fact that I knew everything was real was surely a plus.

I totally recommend it to everyone.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

 

20. Beat Poets, edited by Carmela Ciuraru

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Readathon category: A poetry book

Aaaah I am really not a poetry person. Or I have the wrong philosophy. My philosophy is that it makes no sense to read translated poetry. So I have to read either greek (I haven’t yet) or english poetry. But maybe english is too hard for me.

Last year I got so lucky. I decided to read The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski, although it was more than 500 pages. And it was amazing!

This year, I tried Dorothy Parker and Sylvia Plath. Reading, realizing I did not retain anything, re-reading, again not retain anything… I decided I did not like riming. I tried to find something like Bukowski. The local bookstore had 4-5 poetry books in english and one of them was Beat Poets.

I did not love it as I did with Bukowski. But there were some poems I found interesting. And when I started reading Just Kids, I realized that some of the poets of this book were friends of Patti Smith, which made it more interesting.

Please suggest me some nice poetry books! And I would really love a poetry book with explanations! What does the poet mean with this, what influenced him/her etc.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

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17 thoughts on “Readathon 2016: Books 16-20

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