Thursday, June 25, 2009

Everyone's Favorite Summer Activity

Ah, summer reading. Mandatory, teacher-assigned summer reading, that is. Exciting, no?

On one hand, reading is exciting! Especially during the summer. I, personally, would read over the summer even if I didn't have to.

On the other hand, the books that teachers assign are often (not always, but often) a huge yawn, and are also often depressing. And they wonder why so many kids don't like to read.

What say you? Is summer reading a delightful opportunity for exploring literature? Or does it hinder you from sinking your teeth into other books that are more to your taste? Also, what summer reading (if any) have you been assigned, and what is your opinion of it?


Sunday, April 19, 2009


Something very weird happened to me last Wednesday. I experienced not one, but two (quite unrelated) coincidences that day. Here are the four events, in chronological order:

1. On the way to school, I listened to a podcast of NPR's Sunday Puzzle. One of the puzzle solutions was "Cats cast," as in, the cast of the musical Cats.

2. Upon arriving, I frolicked off to chemistry class, where I engaged in a spirited discussion about fate and predetermined destinies.

3. After school, my mom picked me up, and announced that she had spontaneously purchased tickets to the musical Cats for that night.

4. At home, I logged on to my computer and posted a comment on Gabriel's post about fate and predetermined destinies.

Coincidentally yours,

Cats was very good, by the way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Short stories are, in my opinion, an extremely underrated genre. They are quick to read when one does not have much time, generally have interesting plots, and tend to be quite philosophical and/or thought-provoking. A lot of action is squeezed into a small space- as a result, plots are usually fast-paced and don't lag. As an added bonus, short stories are often combined into one bigger book, along with other stories about similar topics. They are, in short (no pun intended) the instant gratification of the literary world.

What do you think about short stories? Are they fun to read, or do the ideas tend to be underdeveloped? How does reading short stories compare to reading novels? Any thoughts on writing short stories? Or any good ones you might have read?

Shortly yours,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is your favorite book?

My dear fellow book lovers,

In the interest of finding out some interesting books to read, I have decided to ask you (yes, you!) what your favorite book(s) is (are). I was thinking of using this as a poll question, but since everybody's answers will probably be different, that wouldn't really work very well. Leave your replies as comments!

-The Fantabulous Tay

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Interesting. Very interesting....

Hmmm. Well, a few weeks ago I wrote a post talking about lame sequels to good books. I'm sure you all have read it. But now, I am encountering a different phenomenon, a virtual first in the world of literature. I am actually reading a sequel that's better than the original. So far, at least. I mean, the original was pretty good, but the sequel is better.

In case you are curious as to what books I'm talking about, they are Peeps and The Last Days. I liked Peeps pretty well until the ending, which was what really what knocked it down to three and a half daggers in my view. (read my review!) But it would have gotten at least four, with a better ending. The Last Days, though, I would give four and a half or five, if I were reviewing it. Which I'm not. But still.

Hoping The Last Days has a better ending than Peeps, because if it doesn't, that will completely kill it, and also be totally lame,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Reader's Block

The weird thing about books for teens is that a lot of them are depressing. Or at least, a lot of the ones at my local library are depressing. Has this ever happened to you? When I go to the library, I often choose books by randomly picking them off the shelves. Sadly, in recent times this search method has not really yielded much worth reading. I find myself with a whole lot of sob stories. And don't get me wrong- a good sob story once in a while is okay. I just don't want an armload of them.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending (unlike the books to which I have been referring.) Because, as I contemplated my case of reader's block, I realized that I have been writing for a blog that reviews books, and therefore, obviously, if I want something good to read, I should simply search 3 Evil Cousins until I find something with a good review, and dash off to the library to check it out. Wow. The solution was staring me in the face the whole time.

So thank you, my dear fellow reviewers, for averting a potentially bad case of reader's block.


Unfortunately, though, this method will not actually help me find new books to review. I must persevere in wading through shelves of sob stories in search of a good one. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thoughts on Sequels.....

I read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau a few years ago and loved it. It is now one of my favorite children's books. So when I found out there was a sequel, I picked it up at the bookstore to take a look, only to put it down again after reading the first chapter because it was so darn BORING. (I only recently read the whole thing and the rest of the book did not improve much.)

My dear readers, have you ever, after reading an awesome book and eagerly awaiting/immediately seizing the sequel, been disappointed that it was not as good as the original? I would have to say that my biggest pet peeve (besides lame books in general) is lame sequels to really good books. I feel that it's almost insulting to the original book. 
So, my question is, has this ever happened to you?