Dec 152013

Eleanor & Park.
Rainbow Rowell.
Google Books

This book made the top of the Young Adult Fiction list in the GoodReads 2013 Choice Awards. I am not a regular reader of YA Fiction but, for the most part, was pleasantly surprised by the story. The audiobook version of this book was well done and well suited to the ping-pong narrative as the story bounced back and forth between Park & Eleanor.

I almost quit the book at the very start due to the amount of profanity but decided I would let the first CD play through and decide. I am glad I did. I wish the f-bomb was not so prevalent in order that I might recommend it to young readers. They will probably read it anyway, just not on my recommendation. I am sure YA authors are just trying to be “real” but then seem surprised that there are parents who object to the language or sexual content in a book. What is interesting about this book is that it takes a stand against such language and actually portrays Park as a very sensible young man when it comes to teen sex — but the content is still there. Content that makes parents wince.

This book hit the ‘censored book lists’ when some parents objected to some school librarians putting it on the “recommended summer reading” list at a Texas high school. As much as I hate censorship I also understand the concerns of parents who objected to this book being “recommended reading” at their kids’ school. The parents were not asking that the book be banned from bookshelves in bookstores or not allow to be published but that the language in the book is inappropriate to be recommended to teens by their school.

You don’t think so? Then why could this book not be read on TV or NPR without being ‘censored’? Where is the outrage? I think it is hypocritical that we cry ‘censorship!’ when a book is not considered appropriate for teens but don’t blink when the same content is be censored on TV or Radio.

Your thoughts?

Book Info

Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: 02/26/2013
ISBN-10: 1250012570
ISBN-13: 978-1250012579
Started: 12/05/2013
Finished: 12/14/2013
Source: Mid-Columbia Library
Format: Audiobook

Publisher Synopsis


Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Author Info
Rainbow Rowell is the author of ATTACHMENTS, ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL. When she's not writing, she's obsessing over other people's made-up characters, planning Disney World trips, and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

Jun 292013

Neil Gaiman came to the Crystal Ballroom in Portland to promote “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, his latest book. He spoke, read a chapter of the book, and then spent close to 4 hours signing books. What an enjoyable experience!

Book Posts

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
  • Books are Safer than People

  • Book Info

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane
    by Neil Gaiman
    Publisher: William Morrow
    ISBN-10: 0062255657
    ISBN-13: 978-0062255655
    Started: 06/29/2013
    Finished: 07/17/2013
    Source: Author Book Signing
    Reason: Gaiman's newest book. Traveled to Portland with my son to see the author at the Crystal Ballroom.
    Format: Hardcover

    Publisher Synopsis

    A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.

    This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real

    Author Info
    I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

    Apr 102013

    Hawk Quest.
    Robert Lyndon.
    Google Books

    Usually I relegate fiction to audiobooks. Audio is great for listening to stories and not so great for non-fiction that you might want to mark up. This book sounded too interesting to pass up on the NetGalley list of books, guess I am a sucker for epic sagas.

    Update after Finishing

    Very enjoyable read giving the reader an epic tour of the ‘civilized’ world at the turn of the millennium.

    Book Posts

    Book Info

    Hawk Quest
    by Robert Lyndon
    Publisher: Redhook
    Published: 04/09/2013
    ISBN-10: 0316219568
    ISBN-13: 978-0316219563
    Started: 04/10/2013
    Finished: 05/17/2013
    Source: NetGalley
    Format: e-book

    Publisher Synopsis

    The Normans have captured England. The Turks have captured a Norman knight. And in order to free him, a soldier named Vallon must capture four rare hawks.

    On a heart-stopping journey to the far ends of the earth, braving Arctic seas, Viking warlords, and the blood-drenched battlefields, Vallon and his comrades must track down their quarry one by one in a relentless race against time.

    The scale is huge. The journey is incredible. The history is real. This is Hawk Quest.

    Author Info
    Robert Lyndon has been a falconer since boyhood. A keen student of history, he was intrigued by accounts of hawks being used as ransoms during the Middle Ages. Some of the scenes in Hawk Quest were inspired by Lyndon's own experiences as a falconer, climber and traveler in remote places. He has written many books and articles on history and exploration. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he lives in Dorset.

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