On Monday night I sat down to write about the young adult pick for the March session of The Phenomenally Indecisive Book Club. There were points I needed to address and suggestions I wanted to receive. Over the past week on Twitter, people expressed surprise–and maybe a little concern–when I reminded them we were alternating genres. I get it. I generally don’t read young adult unless the series comes highly recommended or has become a cultural phenomenon (Harry Potter, Twilight, haven’t yet read Hunger Games), so I understand if people hear young adult and tense up. If you aren’t familiar with the genre, it can seem like nothing more than a herd of lovestruck mythical creatures clawing their way out of a dystopian society over a three part series.
But I’ve read John Green, so I know there is literature about humans to be found grades 9 and up.
Not that there is anything wrong with the former. I’m pretty middle of the road about most things, including books. I’ll read anything, really.
I wanted to explain I was taking the advice a reader (Hi, Frances!) and limiting young adult selections to Printz Medal winners or honorees, barring a forgotten classic or runaway bestseller that grips society’s attention. The young adult genre is huge; narrowing the focus helps facilitate the selection of quality material. And this is what I planned to write, already set on my introductory sentence and how I would ask if I am the only person on the planet who hasn’t read The Book Thief, arguably one of the most popular books released in the last five years across all genres (pro), and whether 500+ pages was too long (con), but since it’s young adult how slow going could it be (pro) and if not that book, maybe something else by Zusak or Green or any of these talented authors.
That’s what I sat down to write, until I tried logging on and discovered a hacker at the helm of my blog gleefully routing visitors into a never-ending loop of video porn.
And from what I hear, it wasn’t even vampire porn.
Needless to say, I was far too busy staring at the ceiling the rest of the night to concentrate on writing about book picks. Not that I could have written about anything had I wanted. The hacker blocked me out of my own blog! He/she was completely in charge.
Instead, I laid in bed and stared at the ceiling early into Tuesday morning thinking that today would be the day my mother decides to read my blog. Today, the day Pancakes and French Fries features a politician upending a college-aged assistant across a burl walnut executive desk, is the day she gets on the “bah-log? blogue? blug?” to see if I ever did write about Mikey’s solo performance of Silent Night during Christmas Eve Mass.
(Mikey’s performance was fabulous, by the way. The politician’s left much to be desired. My sources called it a feeble 3 out of 10.)
Thankfully, I know people like Anna, who held my hand at 1:20am (her time) and then again at 6:00am (my time). For four hours she sat and deleted virus code. Various politicians and their paramours disappeared line by unsavory line. I am forever in her debt because for a while there, it looked like I would lose four years worth of content. Sure, I wouldn’t mind shoving off into the ether 2007-2009, but the later years aren’t too bad.
And now, 24 hours after I sat down to write that I couldn’t decide because I wanted to read them all–and isn’t the name of our club so great for that reason–here I sit, writing that I couldn’t decide because I want to read them all and I’m because I’m thinking about my mom watching porn. It’s enough to make me want to flush my brain with ammonia.
Is it true I am the only one who hasn’t read The Book Thief? I hear it’s amazing. I’ve scoured the internet and can’t find a bad comment anywhere. I especially like it as a pick because some people call it a convert/crossover book, meaning people who don’t normally like young adult really think it’s something special. The page count doesn’t intimidate me–nor does the subject matter–but I realize I may be in the minority. If that book doesn’t work, please leave a suggestion. As always, I’ll take everything into consideration and will pick the one that stands a chance at pleasing the majority.
If only that politician had been as thoughtful. Ahem.