Daily Archives: February 9, 2012

Life of an English Major: Post College Edition

Question: What does an English Major read after graduation?

Answer: Whatever she wants.

I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed my reading life post college. Until I go back to grad school, I don’t have to deal with any assigned reading. And in the last seven months I haven’t necessarily gone out of my way to read stimulating intellectual books.

Some highlights of what I’ve read recently:

  • The Hunger Games (Book 1 of the Trilogy) Yes, I did just read it because of the upcoming movie. But I loved the dystopian world that was painted. It was an exciting read. I look forward to the movie in March. I have the next two as kindle files on my iPhone so I’ll probably read them soon.
  • The Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. This novel is what the movie the Town is based on. The movie was exciting, especially as a resident of Charlestown, but I found the book to be better. There were more characters fleshed out than in the film, and for the main characters – Doug and FBI Agent Fawley- they were deeper.  Another interesting difference is that the novel, though it was published in 2004, is set in 1996. The snapshot of the Town, even only 15 years earlier, is very different from today. There is a lot more Townie/Toonie friction in the novel that doesn’t show up as much in the film. And of course the ending is different. I will not say exactly what happens to avoid spoiling both the novel and the film, but one was realistic and the other Hollywoodized. I’ll let you figure out which one is which.
  • The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska by John Green. Okay time to admit it, I watch the vlogbrothers videos. I guess you could say I’m a nerdfighter (so DFTBA). I picked up John Green’s first book (Looking for Alaska) his summer and really enjoyed it. Green is a YA writer who writes well. You can’t tell from his writing style alone that he’s a YA writer. After watching John struggle to sign 150,000 sheets for his new book, The Fault in Our Stars, and enjoying his first book so much I pre-ordered his latest book, ensuring one of those signed sheets would be put in my own copy. TFIOS as it’s known on the interwebs is beautiful. Well written with an engaging protagonist (or two), it’s a very sad read that will still make you smile and laugh at times.
  • Good Omens Absolutely hilarious and enjoyable. This should be on a list of must read books.
  • I’ve also continued to read science fiction. There was a trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer (author of Flashforward) that was very good. Though I might be a little biased because a) it was my first foray into non-media-tie-in SF and b) the teenage protagonist spelled her name the same way I did. That was primarily the reason why I picked the book up over a year ago. (The premise of an emerging consciousness on the internet seemed interesting as well) But I didn’t crack the book open until sometime after graduation. By the time I finished the second book, the last one was out, but in hardcover. I weighed the cost of the hardcover against the suspense of waiting for either the paperback release or one to turn up in the library. Of course the second book had a cliffhanger ending so I bought the last book at a science fiction bookstore I found in central square.
  • And finally I’ve read a couple of Doctor Who novels that were great. I haven’t gotten back to any of the Star Trek novels (which is annoying since I bought a quartet and stopped mid way through the second book) but I did start reading the Doctor Who ones. They’re a lot shorter, and probably geared to a younger audience, but enjoyable reads. You don’t need to read them in order (unlike the Star Trek novels) but it does help to be familiar with the show since these books are supposed to be taking place in-between the episodes.  I was most impressed with Dead of Winter by James Goss, which was told primarily through letters a minor character wrote, and then Borrowed Time which was just an enjoyable romp that barely took two days to finish.

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