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RubyRed
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby RubyRed » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:00 pm

BELOW MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR TWILIGHT, read with caution

I started reading the House of Night Novels by PC & Kristen Cast. The are FAR superior to the Twilight books. What bothered me about Twilight was the utter lack of backbone in Bella. She's a girl who funnels all of her self-worth into the approval of a boy/vamp. And she doesn't seem to evolve at all through the course of the four books. When I finished reading them, I actually called my sister and told her not to let my 13 year-old neice read them under any circumstances. I don't want to sound like a bra-burning feminist, but Stephanie Meyer should be ashamed of herself for thrusting a generation of teenage girls back to the stone-age with the message; If your boyfriend dumps you, you have no reason to go on...just do yourself a favor and kill yourself (book 2). I read all four books out of morbid curiosity. I kept hoping Bella would grow up and become a real, honest-to-gosh independent thinking person. It never happened. I mean, young girls NEED strong characters to look to. There are enough forces in the world telling them they aren't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough...sorry, it just makes my blood boil. Anyway, back to the book. I just felt the plot was annoying and the books were badly written. I think Stephen King said it best when he talked about Meyer vs. Rowling: According to Stephen, "Both Rowling and Meyer, they're speaking directly to young people... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." The movie was more bearable than the book...that's all I have to say on it.

Anyway, on to House of Night...these books feature a strong female lead in the form of Zoey Redbird, a normal teenaged girl until she is marked as a vampyre fledgling and must attend The House of Night, a vampyre finishing school. The books are well written, smart and funny. The first book is Marked, the second; Betrayed and I'm on the third right now; Chosen. Read them and you'll wonder why you wasted your time on the melodramatic emo snooze-fest known as Twilight.

M

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biscuit
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby biscuit » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:17 pm

Thanks for the heads up, M :wink: Both me and my daughter (soon to be 10) are really into vampire books (as well as HP obviously) and she loved Twilight the movie. She had not read the book though and she wanted the others after having seen the film. The ones you talk about sound fascinating. For some odd reason I really enjoy the idea of school for 'the others' whether they be undead or wizards :lol:

If any of you girls have younger kids and you want to spread the love of vampire literature to a new generation I can heartily recommend The Little Vampire books by German author Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. They are centred around Tony (I believe he's called in English) an only child who is rather lonely and ends up being befriended by the vampire boy Rudolph. There are at least 12 books in the series and they're really great for kids (if you're not the type to think children should not be reading about the undead :worry: ) I used to love them when I was a kid and I've been reading them to my kids from the age of 6-7.
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RubyRed
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby RubyRed » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:22 pm

I wouldn't recommend the House of Night books for 10 years old. I think the books are more geared towards 15 and up. They have some slightly sexual elements to them. A little more than Twilight.

I saw the LIttle Vampire Movie and I thought it was adorable. Haven't read the books though. But I'm a huge fan of Richard E. Grant so that's the main reason I checked it out.


M

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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby biscuit » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:46 pm

Ok, I'll read them first then, and she can have them in a few years :D

The Little Vampire books are a lot better than the movie. It was a bit too American all of a sudden :roll:
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VaiVedrai
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby VaiVedrai » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:14 am

RubyRed wrote:BELOW MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR TWILIGHT, read with caution

I started reading the House of Night Novels by PC & Kristen Cast. The are FAR superior to the Twilight books. What bothered me about Twilight was the utter lack of backbone in Bella. She's a girl who funnels all of her self-worth into the approval of a boy/vamp. And she doesn't seem to evolve at all through the course of the four books. When I finished reading them, I actually called my sister and told her not to let my 13 year-old neice read them under any circumstances. I don't want to sound like a bra-burning feminist, but Stephanie Meyer should be ashamed of herself for thrusting a generation of teenage girls back to the stone-age with the message; If your boyfriend dumps you, you have no reason to go on...just do yourself a favor and kill yourself (book 2). I read all four books out of morbid curiosity. I kept hoping Bella would grow up and become a real, honest-to-gosh independent thinking person. It never happened. I mean, young girls NEED strong characters to look to. There are enough forces in the world telling them they aren't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough...sorry, it just makes my blood boil. Anyway, back to the book. I just felt the plot was annoying and the books were badly written. I think Stephen King said it best when he talked about Meyer vs. Rowling: According to Stephen, "Both Rowling and Meyer, they're speaking directly to young people... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good." The movie was more bearable than the book...that's all I have to say on it.

Anyway, on to House of Night...these books feature a strong female lead in the form of Zoey Redbird, a normal teenaged girl until she is marked as a vampyre fledgling and must attend The House of Night, a vampyre finishing school. The books are well written, smart and funny. The first book is Marked, the second; Betrayed and I'm on the third right now; Chosen. Read them and you'll wonder why you wasted your time on the melodramatic emo snooze-fest known as Twilight.

M

I haven't even read the Twilight series, but from hearing that and other similar criticisms, I have no respect for it, much less any desire to read it. The fact that so many girls are idolizing a passive female role model really sets back the notion of equality, or at least gender parity. And honestly, M, I don't think it's at all bad to sound like a bra-burning feminist, as long as you have reasons and evidence to support your argument. :thumb:

And as a link between this and the main topic, I'm re-reading a more recent feminist text, Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks that Paris Hilton and/or "stripper chic" have taken over where there once was a stronger movement for women's rights and equality.
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nonchalant obsession
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby nonchalant obsession » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:26 am

I for one found a lot of merit in the Twilight books. I found them vastly entertaining, and am letting my 11 year old read them right now. We have had so many great talks as a result. Maybe I'm treating them too lightly, but hey it's juvenile fiction.

Breifly, I love that the author explored the following ideas:

Truly falling in love, making yourself completely known and giving yourself entirely to another person (not physically) = risking almost certain destruction. :D
(This went both ways, not just Bella) That is seriously funny and true.

Families and their histories are vitally important. You can stand apart from what the world expects of you, be different, be true to yourself, and it's a lot easier if you have support. Families should stand behind each other, try to understand, even if it's difficult.

Really loving someone means putting their needs ahead of your own, sometimes.

Depression is real.

Boys can control themselves sexually. (a rare storyline imo) Girls like sex. (a healthy storyline imo)

I could go on and on, but no one is probably still reading this, plus I gotta see what's going on on the rest of the forum. :bolt:
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby helgecko » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:22 am

VaiVedrai wrote:And as a link between this and the main topic, I'm re-reading a more recent feminist text, Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks that Paris Hilton and/or "stripper chic" have taken over where there once was a stronger movement for women's rights and equality.

Aaaah! YES! yes yes yes. SUCH a good book.
My only reservation about it (and it's hardly what you'd call a reservation) was that I wanted MORE.
I really hope she writes another book along the same lines going more in-depth with her ideas and arguments.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone with a teenage (or younger, of course) daughter.
Well, actually, I'd recommend it to any woman.

... or anyone who knows a woman.

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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby ZebraWarriorPrincess » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:28 am

I've got that book too - she writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times over here... :D

Didn't think the book was long enough, but was intrigued to learn about 'Girls Gone Wild'...seems like a long time since I was a student :shock:
It's a psychological analogy

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helgecko
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby helgecko » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:35 am

ZebraWarriorPrincess wrote:I've got that book too - she writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times over here... :D

oh! I'd love to read that :D
uhh.. where's "over here"?
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biscuit
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby biscuit » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:49 pm

Over here is Britain :wink:
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jillbean
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby jillbean » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:25 am

Carol wrote:I just finished reading "LAMB the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore. It's an unusual idea, but an interesting read.


Have you read "Fluke" yet? Same author and hilarious premise as to why whales are really singing!

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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby jillbean » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:13 am

vmh wrote:
kellysouthpaw wrote:Vanessa - that is SO awesome! I'm jealous :) I'd LOVE to go to one of his book readings but they're always sold out by the time I even hear of it! I hope he comes out with another book soon. "Children Playing Before a Statue Of Hercules" - is that like his other books? I was going to buy it but it looked like he only edited and introduced it, that he didn't actually write the whole book...


When I tried to get tickets, the event at UCLA was sold out but luckily, there was another event at the Long Beach Convention Center. I got lucky with that one. He didn't write Children Playing Before A Statue of Hercules. A bunch of other writers contributed to the book. But he did edit it and he handpicked the stories. I went to the reading/book signing and I didn't even think to bring a book of my own. They had books for sale so I just bought one that I didn't already have.


Yay; more Sedaris fans! I try to convert friends and family as often as possible. :)

I got to go and see him do a reading earlier this year; it was about 6 weeks shy of his most recent book coming out in softcover so I broke down and purchased the hard cover to get it signed. The signing part was crazy; my friend and I were some of the first 50 people in line and it still took an hour and 20 minutes to get to him. There were about 200 people behind us so I figure they were all there until well after midnight; he is fantastic about staying until all are done though. Part of the reason it takes so long is he takes the time to actually talk to each person and then personalize his signature.

When we got up to the table (and here we were being all salty and snarky with a running commentary between ourselves as we watched those in front of us chatting away with him. Turns out HE was the chatty one! except for the three people that brought copies of every book of his and asked to have each signed; that was obnoxious) he asked our names and what we did. So I told him I what I do (work at a local zoo) and that turned into a conversation that ended with him saying snakes are a$$holes; he's stated several times that he hates snakes. So I responded that I like snakes and he then asked what animals were a$$holes then...took me a moment but one did come to mind: hamsters. Yes, they are cute as heck but they can be real a$$holes-they pee on you, the poop, they jump and they bite. You can see how this influenced what he was writing the entire time we were all chatting!

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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby jillbean » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:20 am

So, I never got around to saying what I am reading!

Unlike my husband, who considers statistics text books to be "reading" (his "wish list" on amazon is just pathetic) I enjoy fiction for the most part. Not too much junk food reading going but definitely stuff that is not exactly putting me in the category of "erudite lady," relatively speaking.

Most recently was Water for Elephants, Hannah's Dream, and Three Cups of Tea. Currently is What Did I do Last Night?

Next is Glass Castles.

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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:41 am

Jill that is SO great! I'm more than a little jealous of you :) My ex has all of my Sedaris books and he's like 1000 miles away. And I'm never getting those suckers back. I'm going to have to re-buy them all :( But I really want to read them again. I laughed so hard at every single story in there. The one about when he was a Macy's Christmas Elf? I laughed until a CRIED!

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vmh
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Re: Whatcha readin?

Postby vmh » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:41 am

Aw, Jill! I love what David wrote to you! That doesn't look like a hamster at all but it's still charming though. I don't remember what I said to him because I get super nervous whenever I meet people I admire but I do remember there being a ton of people in line after the reading. My friend Diana and I bought coffee and waited for a few hours. Right before it was our turn, David got up and announced he needed a cigarette so my friend Diana joined him outside while I held our place in line. She seemed thrilled about it. On the way home she kept saying, "I had a cigarette break with David Sedaris!"

What did you think of Three Cups of Tea? That's next on my reading list.
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