Posts Tagged ‘250-299 pages’

31. “Wasted” Marya Horbacher

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

A wrenching read.

Page count: 289
Page total: 10,165


16. “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” David Sedaris

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I remember this being funnier.

Page count: 272
Page total: 4,380

15. “I am Not A Serial Killer,” Dan Wells

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Fifteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver is not a serial killer– but he feels the monster deep inside that tells him he will be one if he lets his vigilance down. When bodies start turning up in his small town, he is thrilled to get to see the work of a serial killer up close as he helps his mortician mother to prepare the bodies. But soon his interest begins to go too far as he tries to find out more about the killer and how he does his work, John can feel his rules decaying. And finally he must decide whether he wants to be the killer he can feel inside.

This was a quick read. A fifteen-year-old protag makes it feel like young adult lit, but it was in general circ. One good thing about this book: No one tried to speak to me on the train while I was reading it.

Page count: 271
Page total: 4,108

69. “Across A Hundred Mountains,” Reyna Grande

October 30, 2010 1 comment

Juana and Adelina are two young Mexican women, one who grew up in Mexico, the other in El Otro Lado. Both are struggling to escape their difficult pasts, while trying to reunite with the fathers who left them for another country.

I read this for my class about ghosts in US literature and there is definitely something very haunting about this book. One night before her father gets home from working in the fields, Juana’s cabin begins to flood. Her mother leaves Juana’s baby sister with her and goes to look for Juana’s father. The two huddle all night on a table in their flooded home, but their parents do not return. Finally, Juana drifts off to sleep, only to be awakened by her mother’s screams. Her sister fell from her grasp in the night and drowned.

In order to pay for the funeral, Juana’s father must look for a job in the US. He leaves Juana and her mother on Juana’s twelfth birthday. Mourning for her lost child and absent husband, Juana’s mother slips into despair and the family, further into poverty. The longer her husband is gone, the worst she gets until finally Juana decides she must leave to bring her father back.

Page count: 255
Total pages: 20,634

67. “Kindred,” Octavia E. Butler

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

On Dana’s twenty-sixth birthday, June 9th, 1976, she find herself transported across the country and back in time to save a drowning boy. Moments later, she returns to the present, but soon she finds herself ripped through time again when the same child finds himself in a burning room. Soon she comes to realize that this child’s father owns a plantation– and is her great-great-grandfather. Protecting him when he calls her back in time means ensuring that she is born, but at what price?

So not only did I miss my bus while reading this book (I was standing at the bus stop at the time, and managed to miss the bus pulling up, emptying passengers, and new ones getting on), but I crawled into bed after finishing it earlier in the night, and remembering that it was over, a little voice in the back of my head wondered “can I read it again?”

I did initially have some trouble with the fact that all the characters just accepted that sometimes people travel back in time to ensure that they are born, but that’s science fiction and, apparently especially Butler for you.

Page count: 264
Total pages: 19,633

55. “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation,” Sandeep Jauhar

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

A physics PhD decides to become a doctor for reasons even he finds difficult to explain. In this book, he traces the first years of his transition into medicine

Eh. The medical anecdotes were interesting, but the personal stuff really did nothing for me. If you’re not sure why you are a doctor, maybe you should figure that out before writing a book about being a doctor? I’m more ambivalent about my career that most (hi, I have two magna cum laude BAs, a teaching license, I’m working on two master’s degrees, have been published in an academic journal, and I work fairly happy at a grocery store), but I don’t know why you’d choose to torture yourself with a hellish internship when you don’t enjoy the learning or medicine, or want to be a doctor. Perhaps you should find a minimum wage job, sir?

In the end, Jauhar is a fairly successful cardiac surgeon who has been practicing for ten years. But this book doesn’t really tell us how he got from not wanting to be a doctor to specializing and practicing for a decade (so far). I know sometimes the workings of ones own mind are inscrutable, but you’re writing a book, maybe you could make something up?

Jauhar seems like an interesting guy, but this book doesn’t do him justice.

Page count: 292
Page total: 14,894

51. “The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin,” Josh Berk

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Will, a fat, deaf guy entering a mainstream school for the first time, struggles to navigate the shark tank that is high school. Along the way, he befriends a fellow nerd to solve a Hardy Boys-style mystery– who killed the jerky jock on a class field trip?

This book was funny, witty, and wry. Will’s being deaf was always treated as an important part of who he is, but not like something earth-shattering or novel (at least not by Will the story– jerks will be jerks). The story line was pretty unlikely (two high schoolers solving a crime the FBI was having trouble with– despite having access to the same information the FBI had? But Will and his friends seemed real and likeable and it’s so cool to read a book from a deaf person’s perspective where he’s a normal, relateable, secretly cool guy and not a sad, damaged, magical freak. He and Oscar Wao would get along pretty well, I think.

My only big disappointment was in the Acknowledgment, where Berk used the word “lame.” Throughout the book (and the couple of interviews I read, including here), he seemed, for lack of a better word, really down, but that was a bummer.

I know there’s always controversy about non-disabled people telling disabled people’s stories (and also, about calling Deaf people disabled), but Berk really seems to have done his homework and come up with a realistic, respectful, funny representation.

Page count: 250
Page total: 14,376
Call number: YA Fic Berk / PZ7.b442295Dar