Saturday, June 18, 2011

Read-a-Thon Update 7

I've only been reading for about an hour and fifteen minutes this morning, but I think I'm on track to finish my current read as well as at least start my next book before the read-a-thon ends later this evening.

Current Read:

Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 468
Books Read Since Last Update: 0
Pages Read Since Last Update: 46
Total Read Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
How I'm Currently Feeling: Peckish, but I'm not in the mood to fix lunch.

Once again I am loving Neil Gaiman's short stories. My favorite one so far is "Good Boys Deserve Favors," a short piece about a little boy and his double bass. Also of note is "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire," which didn't make a lot of sense to me until the last several pages and then opened up like a Christmas present to reveal that it was a hilarious the-world-is-upside-down type of story.

Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge:

I was one of those kids that, even though I loved reading, I tended to resent being told what to read in school. With very few exceptions, I hated most of the books that I had to read in middle school and high school. The exceptions, however, ended up being books that stuck with me for the rest of my life, books that I still consider to be among my favorites. I'd like to think that A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller could be one of those exceptions.

An apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz is a surprisingly funny and often warm book that explores themes of humanity, religion, war, politics--all the big ones that English teachers obsess over. Although told from a Catholic perspective, this book has appeal even for those of us who aren't religious. I consider it one of the best books I've read this year and I'm as far from Catholic as you can get.

I think students in high school, probably around 11th or 12th grade would get the most out of it.



  1. Interesting take on Canticle - it's been sitting on my shelf since highschool, for much the same reason you describe (I resent being told what to read). I hadn't imagined it as being funny or warm at all, and if the catholicism isn't too much for you, I just may have a chance. Definitely reconsidering its placement in my TBR pile . . .

  2. Sally: I will warn you that the last part of the book gets to be a bit too Catholic because it gets into the rightness or wrongness of suicide but up until then it's a story told by monks that doesn't feel too monkish. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

    It really is funny, absurdly so in some parts, almost like a religious Terry Pratchett. Definitely worth reading.