This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books read in a single day. For the record: if I stayed up a day and a half without sleeping to finish a book, I am counting it as a day.
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I received this book as a gift during my one and only Christmas with my step-family, and it got me through one long, boring night at a dreary hotel in wine country (where I felt terribly homesick for loud, comfortable Christmases with my dad). It was short and suitably angsty: it’s a typical writer-boy novel, with shy sophomore Charlie writing about his slowly expanding social world in letters to an unidentified receiver. Charlie feels misunderstood in more of a crybaby way than an angry way (see Hairstyles of the Damned) until he makes friends with a bunch of weird people who like mix tapes, typewriters, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He finds his hipsters, and we send him off toward 11th grade hoping he gets a Girl.I expect this to show up on mookology one of these days, since I hear they are making a film and have cast Emma Watson as Sam (the Girl Charlie is sure must be The Girl).
I no longer have this book, because I forgot it under the bed at the hotel.
2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter books 4-6 were released on my birthday, and I received no less than three copies of this book the day it came out. The first copy came from my dad’s girlfriend, who stood in the midnight queue (she was British) at Zany Brainy to pick it up for me. I received it around 1 am that day and stayed up reading it until my mom picked me up to spend the day together. When we stopped off at her house to pick something up, my step-father proudly handed me a copy freshly delivered from Amazon, sure that I could not possibly have gotten it earlier than he had. I proceeded to pretend I was speed-reading until I got back to where I was. He noticed, but just thought I was really excited. I was. I stayed up until four am the following morning, until I finished what is now definitively my favorite book in the Harry Potter series.
3. The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold by Francesca Lia Block
There is no amusing anecdote to accompany this one, I just love Block’s work and picked this up for myself while checking out books at the library for my students. The margins are wide and the stories are very typical Block: magical L.A. inhabited with emotionally damaged ethereal beauties and mythical creatures in human clothing. I would recommend it if you enjoy her other stuff, particularly the Weetzie Bat books and I Was a Teenage Fairy.
I started this post this morning, before a very difficult day at work and at home, so I’m sorry but the rest of this may be sort of half-assed. I may add pictures and links tomorrow.
4. Every Animorphs or Baby-Sitters Club book ever written. I consumed these things like candy, checking out the maximum limit from the library and plowing through the whole stack in the break room during summer days hanging out at my mom’s work. At my peak I was averaging a BSC book every hour.
5. Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg
An excellent, and personal, biography by an author who had the good fortune to become Katharine Hepburn’s close friend in her later years.
6. Any of the books in the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
This little pipsqueak is packed with personality, my students can’t get enough of her everyday adventures wrought larger than life. Though her bad grammar gives me pause (my students are basically studying how to write/speak with inconsistent verb tense and made-up words) these books are so much fun I have to laugh along.
7. Valiant by Holly Black
My favorite of Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales, I passed Valiant up many times at the bookstore (Tithe, too, the jacket looked too much like Twilight) before finally reading the whole series on my nook last year on the way to a family reunion. Valiant took the unexpected course at every juncture, and Black created a truly unique heroine in suburban-athlete-gone-magical-medicine-delivery-girl Val. There was something much more appealing to me in the attraction between tomboyish Val and her pharmacist troll that the one between pretty pixie Kaye and Rath Roiben Rye.
8. Tunnel in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
Classic Heinlein, the story of a group of students sent for a competitive Outward Bound-style survival test on a distant planet, only to find themselves stuck there. Equal parts Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies, the students find it necessary to create their own society from scratch in order to survive until rescue, if it ever comes. It’s an entertaining, quick read with an interesting cast of characters (the narrator’s Amazonian sister comes to mind).
9. Wood Nymph Seeks Centaur: A Mythological Dating Guide by Francesca Lia Block
This slim volume is another by Block, this time non-fiction (though she gets as fictitious as non-fiction can be). Different male and female personality types are ascribed to mythological creatures and used to create a fun dating guide. Even though I am married, I enjoyed this book greatly and invited a few girlfriends over to read it and type themselves and their partners. It was also the catalyst that inspired Grove.
10. Born on a Rotten Day: Illuminating and Coping With the Dark Side of the Zodiac by Hazel Dixon-Cooper
This hilarious guide to the darker side of astrology focuses almost exclusively on each sign’s negative traits. Hours of fun can be had reading the analyses of each sign to friends and howling over the truths therein (or inaccuracies). Friends with a decent sense of humor are a must. Dixon-Cooper has kept the party going with Love on a Rotten Day, Work on a Rotten Day, and Friends on a Rotten Day to examine how each crummy sign screws the others over in interpersonal relationships. Fun for the whole family!