Have you ever realized as an adult you do certain things that as a kid, you never thought you'd do? For example, you occasionally decline dessert when you're too full to eat. Or maybe you find yourself participating in a pastime like golf or gardening. Or even worse, you find yourself wanting to relearn things you supposedly already learned in school. Remember poster presentations? Or making shadow boxes? I hated doing them at the time, but now I realize what fun assignments they really were.
Well, this blog is an homage to an old grade school tradition - book reports. I always loved reading. As a child, I started with the Berenstain Bears books and classic picture books like The Hungry Caterpillar. I loved poetry by Shel Silverstein and his short story The Giving Tree. My brothers and I also had a great collection of Steven Cosgrove's Serendipidy Books.
As I grew older, I devoured the Babysitter's Club Series, experimented with Sweet Valley High books, and dabbled in Christopher Pike's teenage horror novels. Of course, there were the usual suspects on the high school reading list; one of my favorites...the historical fiction novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow.
As an adult, I developed a love for non-fiction. Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air gave me a fascination for Mt. Everest. Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat took me to the world of the amazing qualities of the brain. Dead Men Do Tell Tales by William Maples inspired me to study forensic science. And then there's my ultimate favorite - Helter Skelter, an account of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi. My bookshelf became a library of true life books about murder, human disaster, and mental illness.
When my brother visited and asked if I had a book that didn't have anything to do with blood or death, I realized I needed to diversify. So I started asking around and getting recommendations. The next year was something of a renaissance for me. I delved back in to YA, fiction, military non-fiction, and completely brainless (yet highly entertaining) books (thank you, Chelsea Handler).
This website is a book report of sorts. It's dedicated to writing about the writings that have inspired me. It's a way for people to ask me what I recommend and see what my answer is.
But this isn't just my webpage. There are other voices on it as well. It is a community page for my friends to share their reads with everyone else. Because inspiration is only useful when it's shared. And books are best when they're passed on.
If you're wondering why all the posts from 2011 are labeled CBR III book #X, it's because I'm participating in something called the Cannonball Read. My goal is to read and review 52 books in 2011. Wish me luck!