Book Report #9

Book Equivalent # 9

Words: around 90,379

Date: Nov. 20, 2015

Title:  The Girl Named Disaster

Author: Nancy Farmer

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Historical Fiction

Opening Sentence: Couched on a branch of a mukuyu tree, a girl tore open a speckled fruit.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence:

“You cry if I come back full of holes?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

stymied (verb) – prevent or hinder the progress of.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I already read this book a long time ago, but I re-read it as it was one of the Battle of the Books books. I really love Nancy Farmer’s writings, mostly ‘The House of the Scorpion.’

A Girl named Disaster is a story of a young girl named Nhamo, who journeys across waters in hopes of escaping a potentially terrible future. Alone the way, she must fight for survival and realise more about herself then she could have dreamed of.

There are may (purposeful) grammatical errors in this book, because Nhamo and her aren’t very well-educated, which kind of got weird to read but you later get used to it. It was really nice to read a book from a different culture’s point of view.


Book Report #8

Book Equivalent # 8            

Words: around 69,023

Date: Oct 9, 2015

Title:  Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction/Romance

Opening Sentence: The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”

“Shoot, you coward. You are only going to kill a man.”

“I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it over the flames of hell and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for the want of heaven or the fear of hell, but because He is God.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Paradigm (noun) – a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

Insurmountable (adj) – too great to be overcome.

Placid (adj) – pleasantly calm or peaceful; unruffled; tranquil; serenely quiet or undisturbed.

Entropy (n) – is a measure of the number of specific ways in which a thermodynamic system may be arranged, commonly understood as a measure of disorder.

Soliloquy (n) –  a device when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience, giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I’ve already read this book before, so it wasn’t too surprising to me. There’s mentions of drugs, sex and smoking in it, which is kind of more mature than I should probably be reading. As always, I’ve really loved Alaska and Takumi. Also, re-reading, I now love Katie (who only get’s like 3 sentences in the book) just because she kneed Pudge in the place where the sun don’t shine because she didn’t like how he cheated on Lara.

I also love the Colonel, so much. He’s so truthful and honest, in the way that hurts. At some point (and, warning for spoilers) when Pudge mourns Alaska’s passing, the Colonel goes something like “you don’t miss her, you miss your now idealised version of her that only focuses on her good, not the whole truth of her” and describes her faults and yes, it’s so cruel to do that, but it’s the truth. Also, the Colonel is like, 5 feet.

Every character has a small quirk to them. Pudge remembers people’s last words, Colonel memorises countries, their capitals, and their populations. Alaska hides wine in the ground in the forest, and Takumi can rap amazingly well. It’s really nice that these characters are special in their own way. The plot of the story is not so good, in my opinion. It’s more reflective and romance, sure, but not in the way I like reading it? It’s kinda more hardcore for me. Still a nice book, though.

(Also, I found a surprise bookmark in my old copy. It was a nice discovery.)

Book Report #7

Book Equivalent # 7                   

Words: 62, 662

Date: Oct 7, 2015 (look, I know you won’t believe me when I say I finished two books in one day, but I swear on my left arm that I did. I literally sat down and read this whole book, non-stop.)

Title:  Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction

Opening Sentence: Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just no exist. Or just not be aware that you exist. Or something like that.”

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” 

“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.” 

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Corpulent (adj) – fat (used to describe a person)

Jaundice (noun) – 1.) a medical condition with yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, arising from excess of the pigment bilirubin and typically caused by obstruction of the bile duct, by liver disease, or by excessive breakdown of red blood cells.
2.) bitterness, resentment, or cynicism.

Pragmatic (adj) – dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Oh my God. This was one of the best books I have ever read. I am so glad I spent my birthday money on this. Like ‘Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,’ this was a book mixed with reflective thinking on the universe/life, with a main character that is very thoughtful and deep. There’s also the mixes of romance and themes of growing up, too. I loved it so much. The characters were also relatable and interestingly intricate, especially the main character Charlie. I really loved Patrick a lot, and was kinda sad that he didn’t get the romance he deserved. But all in all, the book has really serious themes and the amazing thoughts of a ‘wallflower,’ someone who knows everything and never says anything about it. It’s a really cute term. I’d really love to watch the movie for this book now.

(On a totally unrelated not, I also found a typo! On page 158, ‘Patrick’ is spelt ‘Patrtck.’ That should not interfere with the fact that you should totally read this book.)

Book Report #6

Book Equivalent #6                    

Words: around 72,230

Date: Oct 7, 2015 (yes, I read this in a day.)

Title: Holes

Author: Louis Sacher

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction

Opening Sentence: There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “Now you make the decision: Whom did God punish?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

I don’t think I learned any new terms, because the writing is very simple.

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Yes, yes, I know: this book is way too young for me and I’ve read it like, a million times. What can I say? It’s a favorite.

Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy falsely accused of stealing a famous athlete’s shoes. He gets sent to Camp Green Lake, in which boys digs holes to ‘build character,’ but there’s obviously more going on than what meets the eye.

I love the characters in this story so much. Zero, Stanley, Sam and Kate Barlow….all of them have this set personality that I love. (Especially Kate. She’s amazing, I love her backstory. If I was ever to become an outlaw, she’d be my role model.) I like the small plot twists in the story that all tie up in the end.

(Also, can you believe I still haven’t watched the movie?????)

Book Report #5

Book Equivalent # 5                         

Words: 49,485

Date: Oct 6, 2015

Title:  Weedflower

Author: Cynthia Kadohata

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Historical fiction

Opening Sentence: This is what it felt like to feel lonely.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “But the more important part of a garden is the things that live and die.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

I don’t think I learned any new terms, because the writing is pretty simple. (Unless Japanese words count?)

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Weedflower tells the story of a girl named Sumiko who lives in America during WW2. After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, she and her family get sent to concentration camps, where they must reflect on their lives and Sumiko must learn to understand more about friendship.

I read Weedflower because it was one of my Battle of the Books book. Overall, it was very nice, with a bit of a cliffhanger. I really liked one of the characters, Frank, because he seemed kind and honest (even if pretty mean at first.) The language in this book was really easy and probably meant for people of levels lower than me (sorry if I sound arrogant!) but it was still a delightful read. Cynthia Kadohata is a really great author, I loved her ‘Kira-Kira’ and ‘A Million Shades of Grey.’

Book Report #3/4

Book Equivalent # 3                                   

Words: around 131,362 words.            

Date: Oct 29th, 2015

Title:  The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Science Fiction

Opening Sentence: I’m pretty much [past tense form of the ‘f’ word].

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: (Get ready, I have a ton of them:)

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 

“He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.” 

LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.” 

“I admit it’s fatally dangerous,” Watney said. “But consider this: I’d get to fly around like Iron Man.”

“I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the best botanist on the planet.”

“Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”

“I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying a potato. And by “enjoying” I mean “hating so much I want to kill people.”

“It’s true, you know. In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl.”

“‘Oh,” Lewis said, “well if you won’t let us then – wait…wait a minute…I’m looking at my shoulder patch and it turns out I’m the commander. Sit tight. We’re coming to get you.”

aaaand… a serious quote: “I would only be ‘in command’ of the mission if I were the only remaining person. What’d do you know? I’m in command.”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

MAV (noun)  – stands for Micro Air Vehicle

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

Wow. How do I even start? I first read this book because 1.) my friends said it was good, and 2.) because the movie was coming out soon (and it had Sebastian Stan casted in it!) But oh god, The Martian is such an amazing book, it hooks you straight from the beginning. The main character, Mark Watney, is stuck alone in Mars most of the book, and writing a story with a main character that has little interaction with others is very hard and Andy Weir managed it nicely. Mark is such a funny character, despite the serious situation he’s in. The book is also very science-y and goes into detail about how Mark tries to survive using different pieces of space-technology and such. (I didn’t get some parts, I just kinda skipped over them.) But it’s more than definitely worth a read.

Update: I have just watched the movie!! It’s very nice, some shots of space were really pretty and amazing. Matt Damon is an amazing actor, so was everyone else. (I thought Mindy Park would be Korean, but guess not.) They changed some parts of the movie (like Lewis getting hold of Watney instead of Beck) but all in all, it was still very nice. The book is better, though. The characters is waaaaaaaay more developed (Mark is much funnier in the novel.) But please!!! Definitely watch the movie (even if illegally on the internet.)

Book Report #2

Book Equivalent # 2                                    

Words: 240 pages. I unfortunately cannot find the word count for this book.                 

Date: September 20, 2015

Title:  Trash

Author: Andy Mulligan

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type: Realistic Fiction

Opening Sentence: My name is Raphael Fernández and I am a dumpsite boy.

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: “She was waiting for her dead father on the Day of the Dead. What kind of miracle was that?”

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

This is going to sound bad, but I don’t think I learned any new words?

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I read this book because it was one of the BOB (Battle of the Books) books. It’s an easy read and the plot is pretty easy to follow. I’m going to be real honest: to me, it’s not an amazing book. It was really fun to read, yes, but it wasn’t astonishingly amazing. There weren’t any ‘wow!’ moments and I didn’t really love any of the characters.

However, the plot of this story was nice. It gave insight into families that live near trash sites and have to search through trash in hopes of finding something to eat or to sell/use. And the three boys try to solve a mystery of a dead man and millions of money before the police do. And it ends in a happy ending, which is nice.

Book Report #1

Book Equivalent # 1                                        

Words: 359 pages. I unfortunately cannot find the word count for this book.                 

Date: August 21, 2015  

Title:   Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe                     

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz                                    

Genre ~ Non-Fiction / Fiction Type:  Realistic Fiction                                   

Opening Sentence: One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke up.    

Favourite word / phrase / sentence: I wonder what it was like to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.

Vocabulary and new terms (with part of speech) and definition:

Belligerent (adj): to be hostile or aggressive.

Disingenuous (adj)not candid or sincere, usually by pretending to know less about something than you really do. 

Reflection, Connection & Personal Response: 

I loved this book mostly for it’s main character, Ari. He thinks deeply a lot, mostly about life and existence. Why are we here? For whom are we here for? What’s it like to love and laugh and feel important?

He meets a boy named Dante, who is also a major character in this book. (though the book never gets told in his perspective.) The book mostly focuses on these two boys growing up, getting into accidents and going through life together. And yes, when I word it like that, the book sounds a bit boring. There’s no major action like gun-shooting or wild goose chases around the country. It’s a book designed to make you think about the perspectives of this universe, and what it’s like to go through life.

It’s a really nice, deep book, the words are intricate and well-written, a mix between philosophical and romantic…This book is most definitely worth a read.