Monday, September 23, 2013

30 Week Blog Challenge- Week 4: Favorite Books

Let's talk about books!  Last week I had to really think about my favorite movies and TV shows.  But this week I have to pick out my favorite books.

I have been a lifelong avid reader.  I started out checking out books on tape and picture books from the library.  I remember receiving the Dick, Jane, and Spot books. (I'm not sure what the proper title is). After awhile, I was annoyed with them.  Are those still around?

Over the years, I loved going to book fairs, and attended my last one in the 8th grade. Librarians knew me by name.

I have read a lot of books over the years.  This would be a super long entry if I wrote about EVERY single book I've read.  Some of my favorite authors include Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti, Nicholas Sparks, Walter Dean Myers, Sharon M. Draper, and others.

I remember this book from the 5th grade.  It's Fall Secrets by Candy Dawson Boyd.  It's about a girl named Jessie who attends a performing arts school in California.  Jesse is under pressure to perform academically and is jealous of her older sister Cass.  Jessie finally confronts her insecurities.  I no longer own this book and I have no idea what happened to it.  I read it a few times and really liked it.

Another childhood favorite was the Baby Sister's Club series by Ann M. Martin.  No, I did not read the entire series.  I think the series ran from 1986 to 2000 (I think, I am currently fact checking it).

I read the series up until the 8th grade. By then, I was getting bored with the characters because they were frozen in time.  They were stuck in the 8th grade in the same old town.  I wanted them to go to high school, do more exciting stuff.  Ann M. Martin published a spin off series called California Diaries.  I purchased the first two books in the series.  I didn't get to read the other books, but saw them on Amazon.  I'm guessing that it didn't do so well.  When I started learning about book publishing  trends, I found out that massive series like BSC is no longer popular.  Now days it's all about trilogies.  It gets to a point where you have to move on.

In 2000, I discovered Sarah Dessen books.  The first book I read what SOMEONE LIKE YOU and I was hooked.  I also read  KEEPING THE MOON before graduating.  After that, it was a few years before I discovered her other novels.

In 2005, I began to wonder if Sarah Dessen pulished any other books.  Thanks to the internet, I discovered her website and blog.  I have read all 11 books thus far. Because of her books, I still read young adult fiction. 

THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series got me back into reading for leisure.  After graduating high school and going to college,  I stopped reading for leisure, mainly because I didn't have time to do so. But in 2005, I discovered the books and saw an ad for the movie on TV, I had to see what it was all about.  I've read all four books in the series and SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING.  SISTERHOOD EVERLASTING was so sad because Tibby dies and the friendships were distant.  

Other books that made me sad was Sarah Dessen's DREAMLAND and KEEP HOLDING ON by Susane Colasanti.  Dramland is about a girl name Caitlin who ends up in an abusive relationship and her boyfriend introduces her to pot.  In Keep Holding On, Noelle deals with bullying from her school mates and even from her own mother.  

I read a lot of contemporary young adult fiction.  Over the years, I have read books that are too light and fluffy and predictable. After finishing reading light and fluffy books, I walk away feeling unsatisfied.  I like to read books with substance and a positive message.  One book in particular is Saron M. Draper's Copper Sun.

Copper Sun is a historical fiction novel about a girl who is captured and is sold into slavery.  She fights for survival during her journey to America, during her time on the plantation, and when she escapes to freedom.
Yes, this novel covers a very dark time in history, but I learned quite a bit.  For instance, I didn't know much about indentured servants.  Also, in school we were always taught that slaves escaped to the North, but I didn't know that many sought refuge in Ft. Mose north of St. Augustine, Florida (Spanish Territory).  Amari and others who escaped South instead of North because they were least likely to be captured and returned to the plantation.

Those are just a few highlights of books I've enjoyed over the years.  Unfortunately I can't write about all of my favorites. There are a lot of books I didn't like. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.  What are your favorite books.  Feel free to leave a comment.

Have a good day everyone!

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