Friday, October 17, 2008

For Self-Inventory and Progression

This is my book of choice. I can't find a description for it, but there are bazillions of customer reviews all over every site I know of that rant and rave about the life-changing effects of this book. My mission president had us all read another book by the Arbinger Institute (Leadership and Self-Deception) and I loved that as well. I learned to think differently about myself and how I reacted to the situations (and people) I found myself dealing with. So, I really hope this will be a good experience for us all. The introduction offers a suggestion to keep a journal of our life experiences that we are reminded of as we read the experiences of others, and I'm definitely going to do that. I'm going to make this book my little personal project for the next month. :) The author, Brother Warner, taught at BYU for a long time, and my sister-in-law still has the notes she took during his class a decade ago because she liked his ideas so much. I hope you all enjoy this!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Non fiction, anyone?

I'm taking two classes with intense reading loads (over 20 books between the 2 of them) and I'm kind of sick of fiction for the moment. I'd like to know if, since it's my choice next, you'd be interested in non-fiction. It's fine if you're not, be honest for heaven's sake, but there's a book my brother says changed his life that I'd love to read with you girls. How's that for a hook? :)

Tell me what you think: are we strictly fiction or not?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Am I Really the First One Finished?

Actually, I know I'm not because I saw Emilee's review of this book on goodreads. (Speak up Em!) I'll just give my quick review.
I'll start with the postive. Of course there was the really important and empowering message about individuality and not being afraid to be yourself, even when facing risk of ridicule and being shunned.

I don't really have anything to criticize per se. I mean, it is supposed to be youth/adolescent lit so I can't really judge it too harshly for being predictable. Who cares? I can even suspend disbelief about some of the more fantastical aspects of the book. However, I think there are certain elements of the story that the author meant to be realistic, that really weren't. For example, the fact that pretty much every student in that school shared the same collective mind. They narrator uses "we" when referring to himself and speaking for every other student, i.e. "we all became obsessed with winning," and when he was the odd person out with Stargirl, using "they" to denote every other person.
I grew up in a small high school that was about the same size as the one described in the story, and even in that little population there was a lot of diversity, if not in appearance at least in attitude. Either the students hated Stargirl's guts/thought she was weird/shunned her, or they pulled the 180 degree change and completely absolutely loved her/wanted to join her. It kind of displaces any room for indifference and apathy, which are also common traits in teenagers. However, I'm keeping in mind that the story is told from the point of view from a fellow student, and that may have just been his perception.

I came to appreciate Stargirl by the end, although I admit, she was a little hard to take sometimes.

Overall I enjoyed the book. It's a great light-hearted read with a meaningful message. Good choice!