Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Non-educational Summer Reading

Does blogging make anyone else out there feel super guilty? With all of the book studies going on right now, I'm totally feeling like a bum/underachiever! And all the Make It Mondays?! Yeeeesh. I want to get stuff made, I reaaaally do! Just wondering if there's anyone out there with similar sentiments.

However, I have gotten some personal reading in that I'd like to share with you!

The first book I read was The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Summary from Good Reads: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining fertility, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It has 3.96/5 stars.

My Thoughts: Interesting concept. This book was recommended to me on Good Reads, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Lots of good scenes. I just wasn't a huge fan of how it was written. And the ending didn't give me the resolution I was looking for. For those reasons, I gave it 3/5 stars. I recommend this if you like dystopian fiction.


The second book I read was Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. [Someone wrote about this book in blog land, but I've searched and searched my google reader & I can't find who it was! Hm...]

Summary from Good Reads: Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere. *pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet. It has 3.8/5 stars.

My Thoughts: So neat! It was a quick read, only took a few sittings. The characters are all funny, but pretty surface level. The whole book is made up of letters written between those characters, which I love. Of course, there's the whole issue of freedom of speech, which the Nollopian government had no problems taking away. I gave it 5/5, not because it was literary genius or anything, but because it was exactly what it was supposed to be! Totally recommend this as a summer read!


Have any of you read these books? What were your thoughts?


  1. Don't worry, you are not an under achiever--I pretty much lay around all day reading non-professional books all summer long!!! Summer = my time to refresh, recharge, and become MYSELF again after the school year drain! Yes, reading professional lit is important but...well...there is so much I'd rather read. ;)

    I LOVE Handmaid's Tale; it is actually one of my favorite books. I see what you mean about the ending being a little unresolved though. I'd never heard of the second book though, and it sounds really fun! Adding it to my goodreads list...

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  3. Meghan- Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. I am pleased by the response so far and looking forward to hosting a linky party myself next week. Wondering if I shouldn't wait until after the holiday week...

    I am going to check out the Ella Minnow Pea book you recommended above. Keep an eye out on my blog for a "What Are You Reading This Summer" linky party in the next few weeks.


  4. It was me who wrote about Ella Minnow Pea!!! I totally thought I wrote this comment to you last week but apparently not. I am so happy you liked it - another blogger read it after I wrote about and she couldn't finish it because she disliked it so much! :(

    I just bought this for my cousin's graduation. She's going to college to be an editor so I thought she might get a kick out of it!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  5. I've read The Handmaid's Tale because she is a huge Canadian author and when you take English classes at university you must read Margaret Atwood : ). I think every English class I ever took had us read one of her books. I understand about the ending too. I liked the movie version too. I still have 10 more teaching days but will check out your other book suggestion when I finally get to summer reading (the non-professional kind, my favourite!)