April 25, 2016

What I'm Reading

With a three hour round trip commute to school, I have finally been able to leisurely read more often than I used to. School sometimes obstructs that, but I have even been enjoying more of the reading for classes. When I began my revision class, we were asked why, as English majors, we believe we should read more. This was a bit of a difficult question to answer, but I've concluded that I am inspired from what I read. I adapt phrasing, writing styles, and even develop concepts for stories I wouldn't have thought of previously. Ultimately, I would like to write Teen Romance/Fiction novels and I have the opportunity to explore several concepts through my classes. (I have also been tampering with Non-Fiction, which I am planning on sharing soon!)
Until then, let's get onto my recent reads:

Let's begin with two books correlated with a recent anniversary:

Columbine · A Mother's Reckoning
I have to admit, I have been battling through Dave Cullen's Columbine novel for about two months and I'm disappointed with feeling that way. I've been dying to read it, but I can't emerge myself into his writing style. There are chapters, but the subjects discussed are very sporadic and there's so much covered in each chapter. It's dense, in a choppy sense. There's a lot of information in it, which is great, because Cullen truly covers everything that happened in the tragedy from every perspective, including a lot of the aftermath, which I appreciated. Sometimes, it just got a bit overwhelming.

Sue Klebold released her memoir a couple of months ago and I fell in love with it. She writes in such an unbiased fashion, where she doesn't beg for pity, nor does she deny what happened. She admits to the tragedy, she apologizes for her son's actions. The memoir revolves around the question, "How didn't you know?" and she answers it in volumes. We hear all about Dylan growing up and the evolution of his behavior, even as far as the contrast between him and Eric Harris, which was depression and psychopathy, respectively. I highly recommend this, and her 20/20 interview.

Let's move onto my recent obsession with Lauren Oliver:

My obsession started with the Delirium I read for my YA Literature class next quarter, where Oliver explores what happens in a dystopian world where the capability to love is surgically removed at the age of 18. Panic follows a game played by seniors where they participate in death-defying stunts for a pot of $67,000. Oliver introduces us to a boy participating to avenge his paralyzed sister and a girl entering on a whim to prove herself to her ex-boyfriend. Vanishing Girls is about two sisters, both the same and vastly different, living in a town where a younger girl goes missing prior to one of the sister's going missing and the other desperately trying to find her. Finally, Before I Fall is about a girl who dies in a car accident, however she wakes up reliving the same day on repeat until she resolves all of the loose ends.
She is a brilliant author, her sensory detail, her characters, everything is brilliant. She comes highly recommended, but you'll end up reading all of her novels.

Another dose of non-fiction for you. I have been aching to read this since it was released and after a lengthy hold, I got it from the library and read it in a day! I sincerely couldn't put this book down. It's the memoir of surgeon Paul Karanithi who is diagnosed with cancer. The first part concentrates on his practices as a doctor and the second shifts to his transition to a patient. This was a fairly quick read, I finished it within a day commuting to and from DePaul (about a three hour round trip). This book especially hit home having lost my grandma to cancer less than a year ago, so it served as a type of closure for me to see this disease handled from a doctor's perspective, and then mirrored to my perspective. 

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