Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wanted: book reviews

Again I call upon my 73 blogging students for your opinions. I am on the committee to choose the campus reading program title for 2007, and our short list was announced today. You, the students, are the target audience, so your opinion is important. If you have read any of these books I would like to know whether you think they would make a good choice for the program.

Here's the short list:

Bel Canto
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Farewell to Manzinar
Life of Pi
Midnight at the Dragon Cafe
Oryx and Crake
The Glass Castle
The Sleeping Father
Vernon God Little
Those of you (Amir) who, when the blogging project was announced, were thrilled to learn that there would be no censorship of language on your blogs, will like Vernon God Little. If you liked Borat, and if you understood the nature of the satire in it, you will like Vernon God Little. I think all of you would like that book. It's my pick for the winning title, but I'm going to have a hard time convincing the committe to agree with me. Read the book and you'll understand why.

Looking for a topic to blog about this week? You all read The Kite Runner. What did you think of the appropriateness of that book, as a choice for a campus-wide reading program? What do you think about the concept of a campus reading program in general? How do you think next year's book should be chosen?


Joella said...

I read Life of Pi, and loved it. I remember thinking it had a little bit of a slow start, but I think that was just because it wasn't what I was expecting. The overall story was great, one of my favorite books!! Loved the metaphorical tone of the book and the question of faith. In fact, one of my favorite quotes comes from that book, "To choose doubt as a form of faith is like choosing immobility as a form of transportation." The ending was surprising; kind of a kick in the face...definitely not what the reader expects, but still a great story! Hope this helps

Carmona said...

I've not read any of the titles but decided to give my input into the matter by reading the first page or two of the books listed, like any college student would do. Here are the books I would continue reading and why:

Oryx and Crake: Beautifully symbolic and rich with detail - the "Doomsday" theme propelled me to read further

The Sleeping Father: Though I sometimes loathe reading about upper-middle class families crying about how miserable their lives are, I was captivated by the dry humor.

The Glass Castle: I love readiing about horrific childhoods - I swear to god I'm a creep. I would read this one in about two nights.

Vernon God Little: If Jesus was my best friend I'd write a book too - this is my top personal pick but not for the school reading, I'm sorry to say that most SJSU students just would not get it and would take it for face value.

Andrea said...

I just finished The Glass Castle and I'll have to say is wow! I could not put the book down and finished it in 3 days. I was hooked on page 1 when the author described seeing her homeless mother rooting through a NYC trash can.

The story itself was remarkable. The book made me sit back and really think about issues such as child abuse, homelessness, living well below the poverty line and alcoholic parents.

Two thumbs up for The Glass Castle...a must read.