October is a perfectly good month. The first is a perfectly good day. And Blogspot is a perfectly good place. So, the day after my best writer friend, Debbie Schubert, celebrated her Blogiversary, I will make my own leap into the world of blogging. She likes when I leap, really. And usually—make that always—I’m glad that I did.
And the topic of the day. Hmmm, let me think. Books. And not just any books but ugly books... pretty books... and very special books, and all by the same author (how lucky for us).
In March, I decided that I wanted to read at least thirty-five new books in 2009 (I'm on book forty-six right now, by the way). This is not to say that I wasn’t reading books before, but I am a chronic re-reader. Once I fall in love with a story world, I keep going back (over and over and over). Books on my re-reading list include (but are not limited to) The Mountain is Young (my favorite book), The Twilight Series, The Host (which I love more every single time I read it), The Lord of the Rings (which I used to read every year during winter break when I was a teacher), The Four Feathers, the gorgeous Griffin and Sabine series, and anything by Jane Austen.
I’ve always loved books, but since my new effort to venture out more, I have truly fallen in love again and again (and have added books to my re-reading list as well). Every book I’ve read has transported me, some to places that have shocked me, scared me, lifted me, comforted me. I’ve dreamed of these worlds and even was awake most of one night trying to rewrite the ending of a particularly good book that ended exactly as it should have—just not how I wanted it to (I’m a sucker for a happy ending).
In my mission to read more, I, of course, spent a not small amount of time in the YA fantasy section, and it was there that an intriguing book found its way to the top of the list. That book was Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Woosh, down the Uglies hole, I went. A weekend disappeared with the turning of pages—first of Uglies, then on to Pretties and Specials. The story of Tally Youngblood’s journey to grow up in a culture obsessed with exteriors drew me in completely. The story is fast-paced and incredibly relevant. I found myself wishing I were back in the classroom (I taught middle school for six years) so that I could gush about these books to my students, who are growing up in a world where interiors are often neglected, where eating disorders and narrow images of beauty are a plague upon young people, where peers are too often judged by their covers. These are all issues that Mr. Westerfeld masterfully tackles, all without a heavy hand because we journey with Tally, through Tally, through a level of victimization and into triumph. By the ending, I was so grateful just to have my own face and uniqueness and the knowledge that no one was coming to take that away.
I highly recommend this series.
Thanks for stopping by the blog, and I look forward to sharing more about the books I love and the moments along the journey of both my writing and my life.
Quote of the Day from The Mountain is Young by Han Suyin:
“But it is this restlessness, this knowledge of the tame abyss you drag about with you on a leash, the abyss of language, which keeps you humble and therefore in touch with the Divine.”