For the Kids

I recently read the first book to a series I loved reading as a child. Even though the 80 page book was a quick luxury, I don’t think I will be continuing the series. If you ever want to relive a story you thought was wonderful in your childhood, remember that you have (or should have) matured as a person and as a reader. Lemony Snicket is an amazing author and The Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning is a great book. However, he makes it very obvious it is a series for a young crowd. And this is a good thing. Most children don’t understand the same things and don’t read on the same level that adults do. Therefore, there does need to be books directed towards only children.

I think children’s books writers are incredibly talented because they have the ability to go back to when they were children and think about what was interesting at that point and what words or phrases were understandable. I really liked Snicket’s in-text definitions and examples  of  words that might be a little hard to understand the meaning of for his young audience. To me as an adult reader I thought it made the story more relate-able, so it must really help kids get into the story. I think a big reason why people are discouraged as children to read books and later in life don’t enjoy them is because they couldn’t understand what authors were trying to tell them. Some may think children’s books writers may have the easiest job in the writing industry, but I think it is the most important one to creating a reading audience. Even though there are exceptions to this case, children are the future; and if children hate to read then what is the future for authors?
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The Better Goodreads

I have been asked to talk about a new app that I think would be useful to my blog topic. Something useful would be a website where readers and writers go to start conversations about what they are reading and what kind of books and topics interest them. Something similar to Goodreads, but not exactly.

Readers need to be able to post more than “What I am reading” and reviews after they have finished it. This new website/app needs to have actual statuses posted from the readers about what they are currently thinking about the book instead of an afterwards overall review of the book. If readers had the chance to post statuses and comments to other statuses, more thoughts and opinions would be flowing through the media versus a review that you have to recall information about the story. I also think it would be cool if you could post your 5 star ratings anytime and several times throughout the book. That way people can see where the book gets good and where it downfalls (if so).

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For bloggers like myself, viewing conversations about what people are reading and what topics are trending would help decide what to read and what to potentially blog about. To gain an audience, I have to talk about things that people want to read, this just seems like the best way to learn information about people today and get people’s attention.

Now that I am writing this, I really hope a computer geek is reading this and does create this website. This app wouldn’t only help me, it would be a great social media website for anybody. It would be a great way to be involved in conversations that are interesting to you and will help you with your next book decision.

Until next time.

My Twitter Experience

Today’s post is about Twitter. I recently created a Twitter account as apart of one of the Journalism classes I am taking to make a brand of myself. I must say, I am upset that I didn’t join sooner because I have really enjoyed starting and joining in on conversations about what I am interested in and it is such a delight every time I get a notification from Twitter saying someone I have never met is now following me.

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/09/06/2-key-ways-to-advertise-on-twitter-without-spending-a-fortune/

Photo Credit: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/09/06/2-key-ways-to-advertise-on-twitter-without-spending-a-fortune/

When I first opened my Twitter account I thought I would start by following thought leaders that tweets would be useful towards my blog and what I would like to post in the future. I started following some of my favorite authors, some magazines or websites having to do with writing or reading,  and fellow bloggers who are also blogging about similar topics as I am.

I have tweeted out towards 4 different people and organizations, but unfortunately haven’t had any tweets back or retweets. This is not a discouragement to me, it just makes twitter that much more thriving for me.

Even though I never heard a reply back from these specific people, I have had several awesome (to me) experiences on twitter. I think it is once a week that I gain a new follower that is an author, a blogger, or an organization having to do with writing or reading, and it totally makes my day every time it happens. I have had a few people @ me in their tweets talking about the same things I am, people I don’t even know. I realize this is the whole point of Twitter, but I am new to this so you have to bare with me.

This person has an online magazine and he put my first blog post as his daily top stories tweet. I was very new to Twitter when this happened so I was astonished.

This person included me in a Follow Friday tweet (which took me forever to figure out what the #ff meant) and I gained a few followers through this.

As you may have gathered, I am now a Twitter addict and get a huge thrill every time I see the twitter bird symbol telling me I have a new follower. Hopefully Twitter will continue to help me create my personal brand and will help me gain a bigger audience.

Until next time.

Wanna read something different?

 

A few months ago I started a book that is way different than what I usually would have picked up. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is a book I can’t quite explain  what it is about, because I know whatever I say it will not explain the entire plot and all of Hosseini’s points of writing it.

“Broad in scope and setting, wise and compassionate in its storytelling. And the Mountains Echoed is a profoundly moving, captivating novel that demonstrates Khaled Hosseini’s deeply felt understanding of the bonds that define us and shape our lives-and of what it means to be human.”

This part of the synopsis found on the cover of the book is a wonderful way to explain this novel. I wonder if what this person gathered about the book is what Hosseini would have said himself. Can anyone really explain what the author feels just by reading the book he wrote? I don’t think so.

Anyways, I decided to read this book because it is different then the usual love story or teen fiction books I like to read. It’s about a family from the middle east and talks about the journey they live together, and the journey they live without each other. When I first started this book two months ago (I really hate that it is taking me so long to read this) it was really hard for me to understand where the book was going and I think that’s what I like most about it now. Hosseini keeps the reader guessing with the change of perspective between characters and completely different story that all the characters have to tell, and all it does is make you want to read it more. Each new book I read continues to prove my point that writing truly is an art, an art that I hardly think I will ever get tired of.

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Reading this book has made me confident to go outside my comfort zone with the books I read and try something new, and it makes me to encourage other readers to do the same. Just because a book is different definitely doesn’t mean it’s author doesn’t share the same talent and writing style that you have always enjoyed.

So try something new!

 

He is Quite a Character

I suppose I need to discuss Augustus Waters. I think most of you know who this person is by now.  He is the love story that all of us want to have. He’s not cheesy, but romantic. He’s dynamic, but simple. All of us fall in love with Augustus right along with Hazel Grace.

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The Fault in Our Stars is one of those stories that breaks your heart into a million pieces, but makes you feel like you have be reborn after you turn that last page. A person that doesn’t read wouldn’t understand what this means. It is truly spectacular how the writer can do this to us readers. One has to think that the author is a cancer patient himself, and perhaps he is Augustus in this book. However, he isn’t. John Green has never had cancer and isn’t our friendly character after all. So how could he find the inspiration to write about what we read before our eyes?

Well many years ago I worked as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital, and I think it got lodged in my head then. The kids I met were funny and bright and angry and dark and just as human as anybody else. And I really wanted to try to capture that, I guess, and I felt that the stories that I was reading sort of oversimplified and sometimes even dehumanized them. And I think generally we have a habit of imagining the very sick or the dying as being kind of fundamentally other. I guess I wanted to argue for their humanity, their complete humanity.

So that was the initial inspiration.

That took 12 years. I was very intimidated by it.” -John Green

Quote citation: (read the full interview)   http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/02/how-john-green-wrote-a-cancer-book-but-not-a-bullshit-cancer-book/273441/

Writer’s have a few talents that the average person do not, but the one that amazes me the most is the ability to view a situation (good or bad) and turn it into a piece of art. It is like taking a picture of an object and describing everything about it. A writer describes the situation and weaves his voice through the gaps.

If you are a parent and have read this I am sorry to say I do not know how to properly blog this book for you. First off I have to say that I would never recommend this book to my mother. I couldn’t put thoughts like that in her head, even though the book has one of the best stories I have read (not the best, I could never pick one single favorite story). I’m glad the writer didn’t emphasize too greatly on the parents’ pain in this book. I could never bare the thought of what these parents have to go through, and I think that’s one of the great things about this book that make it not like the others.

As Green says in his interview, he wanted to not oversimplify the characters in his book like he has witnessed in other stories that he has read. I think focusing on the parents after the death of Augustus would have oversimplified not his cancerous characters themselves but would have made it like any other book about this disease and its ability to destroy the worlds around it.

I have heard Hollywood wants to make a movie based on this book. I must say I really hope they don’t. I’m sure many can agree that Hollywood likes to take something great and completely kill it, but that is another post of its own. Please enjoy this great read before the movie comes out!

Until next time.

Thought for the day

Thought for the day

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St. Augustine was a bishop who’s writings were a primary influence of Western Christianity and Western Philosophy. I think there are many ways to interpret the meaning in his quote, but what is important to me is that St. Augustine is comparing traveling to books, but also books to traveling. The stories we read in books take us places we haven’t imagined ourselves, and the writer makes up for our lack of creativity. Now of course this is nothing against readers, we can’t all be as incredibly talented as writers are. If we were all as imaginative and creative as writers, would there be such thing as a good story anymore or would all stories be good? I think people being uncreative is what makes a good story.

Books are an adventure. They are a portal to many worlds, and those who do not step into the story do not travel the worlds that we do.

What do you think?

You read, for fun?

Well hello there,

Okay, I am here to blog about reading. No, I am not here to bore you to pieces.  I hope that I am not the only one out there that likes to read about people that don’t exist, people that do exist and people who could exist that do extraordinary things. To read is to look at the world through another point of view. Rather the book be fictional or a documentary the words you read are of the writer’s, and he was just nice enough to let you see what he is thinking. Or what he is dreaming. Or what he is hoping the world will become. Or what he is hoping never happens.

The thing about reading is, I could go on for pages about how the written word touches all of our lives everyday. Even if you aren’t into sitting on the couch for hours on end reading about someone who you will never meet. I assume that since you are reading this post that you do in fact like to read, so hopefully you feel exactly the same way I do about books and every other literary source that has been invented. The world is such an interesting place and it is meant to be seen with different opinions and points of views. However I am not by any means limiting it to only reading for the writer’s view of the world. There is so much you can examine about the reasons why people read that it could never be fully expressed just what reading and writing does for everyone. So let’s vaguely state it as entertaining and informational.

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What I want to bring to my viewers is great insight to what other people are thinking. I’m not the writer of the book you are reading I am the word spreader of the book you are reading. I want to explore what the writer is telling us and I want to see what other readers have come to think of it. My posts will be more than just book reviews. My viewers will see just what everyone thinks about E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and other booming books. I also want to explore with my viewers books and their movies, the history of books, children’s books, and even go into literature and poetry.

I will be creating a YouTube Channel to stream all my interviews for my questionnaires and I have also created a Pinterest board tied to my blog. I also have all my posts set up to publish to my Facebook wall and Twitter account. Anyone can definitely follow me on my other sites.

I hope my posts will spike a bigger interest for reading anything and everything for my viewers, because an unexamined world is not worth living in.