Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Readerly 2011: Dino-sauer Edition

I've finished another book in 2011! Was it Annabel, the book I was talking about last blog post? No, for in the end it got toooo saaaaad. I cannot read sad books in the summer, nor can I read them while Boston is being pounded with snow storm after snow storm. So I ditched it three-quarters of the way through, to be picked up again when my heart is stronger.

Instead, the book I finished was Mr. Toppit, by Charles Elton, which was a coming-of-age tale that was a mix of the JK Rowling story and Oprah's story. Well, alright. I can do that. I was enjoyable enough. But can I request all the authors out there to stop relying on the old troubled-young-adults-who-turn-to-drugs-and-sex-to-ease-their pain trope. I get it, I know it happens, but it's just so easy. There are lots of troubled youths with daddy issues out there and while a lot of them turn to drugs and sex, a lot of them don't and their issues manifest themselves in other ways. All I'm saying is I'm tired of addiction being used as shorthand for sorrow in book. Thanks.

For my next book of 2011, I'm cheating a little. I've read this book before, in fact, many many times. In middle school, I think seventh grade specifically, I was mildly obsessed with this book, and carried it around in my backpack all the time, read it all the time, loved it to death to the point where the cover fell off. The book is, of course, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I went through a pretty intense Michael Crichton phase in middle school, and along with Jurassic Park, I read most of his books. My favorites were The Andromeda Strain, for its detailed description of a decontamination chamber, and A Case of Need, from which I developed a love for impotent radiologists. I bought A Case of Need from Honeycomb Books, the used bookstore by my house which no longer exists, and so sort of in honor, I went to the Brookline Booksmith Used Book Cellar and picked up a classic mass market paperback of JP. (Oooh, perhaps in honor of finishing this book, I'll head to J.P. Licks and grab some ice cream.)

I think I'm about 50 pages in so far, and my twenty-nine year old self is not disappointed in my twelve-year-old self's choice of reading materials. The most disturbing part so far has not been the serious maiming and killing of small children by dinosaurs, but rather the fact that Ellie Sattler is twenty-four.