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An update on the book situation

So, it’s been a while since I blogged on here, or even mentioned that whole 50-books-to-read-in-2009 thing, which is clearly going at a decent pace so far. These are the books I have read so far in the year 2009, at least those I have completed.

I’ve already talked a bit about these:

  1. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Let it Snow, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
  3. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 1, by M.T. Anderson
  4. Harry Potter & Imagination, by Travis Prinzi

 Now, bear in mind that my interpretation of these books here isn’t horribly analytical, and I did notice a lot more while reading them.

Looking for Alaska*, by John Green

Obviously an amazing novel, which, after reading Catcher, I can truly say embodies the spirit of Holden Caulfield. It questions life, and the struggles of adolescence, in a manner that’s dead serious, though witty and humorous.

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

It really makes you think about our values, and what we would do or not do according to them in life. It reveals the humanity of people even after much hardship…

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

This book is actually a really fast read, even for someone who has yet to beat his last-Harry Potter-book-release-night reading speed. It looks at people in a post-apocalyptic world, where people seem to have lost all their basic values. The government had absolute control, and the wealthy people are “phony” and rich and happy, while the people living normally have very basic lives. It is mostly centered around this competition in which kids fight against each other last-man-standing style, and as you can tell, questions what people would do in desperate circumstances, and how far our selflessness would go. It also kind of looks at whether people can be too cynical of others, and how important trust is.

The Great Gatsby*, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Yes.

1984*, by George Orwell

Totalitarianism. Decay of language and communication. People not being able to express themselves. The (still HIGHLY possible) future of our barbaric government and world politics, as well as the ridiculous things people live for.

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Similar to 1984, even though the means and ways of society are in some ways the complete opposite.

Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Totalitarianism. Equality. Inevitable corruption through power.

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sin. Innocence. Manipulation. Revenge.

Peeps, Scott Westerfeld

Vampires. No, not in the dreaded sense people associate them these days, nor the traditional crazy magical vampires. It’s — wait for it — biological vampires! Vampirism that spreads through a parasite! But yes, it deals with, I guess, trust and lying, and I’m not really sure what else…

Are We There Yet? by David Levithan

Brotherhood (1.0). A lot of this book was stuff like, tell the truth or protect with a lie, and other interesting questions. It deals with the whole complex-people thing, and neither of the two narrators are completely reliable or true in their depictions of the other.

The Last Days, by Scott Westerfeld

Sequel to Peeps, though the main characters of that book were featured as background characters here. Has a lot to do with music and bands, perhaps the artistic mirror to the biological Peeps.

AP Chemistry, by the Princeton Review

AP Calculus AB, by the Princeton Review

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks*, by E. Lockhart

Made my head explode. A very interesting book to have read right before Catcher. A lot of school stuff like boyfriends, cliques, social struggles, etc. Even though the narrator vehemently tries to set herself up to be above and better than all those typical school stuff, she ends up like most other teenage girls. However, she does posess that social criticism that you wouldn’t expect; she really tries to argue against the secret all-male society, and the dumb, subtle injustices at school, but does so in a very controversial way. The ending is kind of sad in the way Octavian Nothing is, but I don’t know, it can’t make you not think.

The Catcher in the Rye*, by J.D. Salinger

Whole post for this some day.

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New HBP Trailer!

The new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is so epic

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4/6: Calculus is too easy =(

I am very lazy, so I’m using the quick-add option… which save me — what? 5 seconds? And no tags…

But alas, I am unable to write large amounts of cohesive, verbal language at a time… which is just great, since I have an AP Language practice test tomorrow with a TIME-RESTRICTED essay which I will COMPLETELY BS. Also, I’ve noticed in my usage of the internet that–

*switches to real blog-typing interface*

–when I start to randomly type in caps lock, not only do people listen (mostly out of annoyance), but in dead chats and conversations, it brings life. That being said, I DESPISE the “Caps Lock” key. It’s not just that I prefer to use Shift first; I hate it when my finger slips — usually while hitting “A” — and hits the caps lock, and, mid-word, I seem to burst into this angry rant! Seriously, are people that lazy that they need to use a key that sets the mode on capital letters only… Honestly, though, I am not an expert in the area of keyboard design and efficiency: if anyone is, feel free to inform me of prolonged uses where caps lock is necessary. Although, even then, there should be caps lock-free keyboards. And I did not plan on a paragraph about caps lock…

YOU CAN IGNORE THE ABOVE SINCE IT IS JUST RAMBLING.

[real blogging]

So today was a “red day” at school (block scheduling), so I had classes like Drafting (easy), World History (so easy and boring because I know everything that I want to just sleep!), French I (I know way more French than level 1 noob stuff!), and Calculus. Order may have changed for dramatic effect.

I’m a junior in high school, and through a Long and Confusing History that is my life, I ended up in Calculus this year. And I have to say, over the past few years, I’ve grown to like math a lot. So I looked forward to taking the Scariest Math of them all. And I will say, for the first few months I found it fascinating! And yet 6-8 months later, I have grown bored with the subject. Sure, Calculus is still insanely awesome, but I’ve just come to realize from the many youtube videos and guides and everything I’ve seen in preparation for the AP test that what we’re doing is so very easy and basic, and hardly as difficult as classmates make it seem…

So what does all this mean? Is it that when we work too hard or look deeper than necessary into something, the deconstructed result can really change our perception of it? Should we lie to ourselves and go with whatever most people are doing, or work hard to break through all of it and learn the truth, however scary… I am, by nature, tempted to go with the latter choice, as am I inclined to delve this deep into random stuff…

Anyway, however random and weird it might be, that’s one of the things that was on my mind today.

DFTBEDA

P.S. I have some interesting blog topics for the next few days, maybe….

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4/5: back to last minute posts…

So today was not a very interesting day at first; this was partly because I was asleep until around noon! Ah, the weekends…

After I woke up… well I didn’t do much. I think. I should probably check my Twitter to see if I actually did anything after I woke up.

Oh yeah, today I searched on youtube for “Harry Potter Calculus” because I saw this vlog whose tags contains that. There were like 9 results! Math nerds with creative final projects indeed!

And then — well, actually now — I participated in an epic ~5 hour and running skype call, with online HP friends with whom I haven’t actually spoken ever, and haven’t talked to in ages…. It is most amazing… I don’t think a skype call with around 4 people for hours can ever not be epic.

Good day. Oh yeah, school tomorrow. Crap!

P.S. I know this is the 6th, but it’s still the night of the 5th kind of, so leave me alone =P

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4/4: Why can’t I sleep in?

Oh yeah, because I woke up at 7-freaking-o’ clock in the morning to hurriedly eat breakfast and go to school. Because I had to take the lovely ACT, at 8:00 AM. Did I mention that I was there for over FOUR hours doing english, math, reading, science, and writing? Ugh. And I walked in way too confident; I think it will reflect in my score. I think I did fairly well on the writing, the topic of which cannot be mentioned ever or I will be hunted down by ACT people.

After that, I went to the local library, and could barely find anything! There was no John Green, no Maureen Johnson, very little Scott Westerfeld, some random authors too. But even less contemporary literature was not visible anywhere (I checked the database). They didn’t even have Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, which I’ve been desperately seeking out. I mean, at first I bought the few books I knew I would really read a lot (Green), then I would check out books from the (limited) school library. But today I though, “It’s a public library, surely they’ll keep up to date with books.” Agh. I should probably inform them of their severe lack of good books. (But there were a lot of good books there. It’s just that those kinds of books take ages to read. I need somethig quick after The Scarlet Letter)

(By the way, I really like parenthetical phrases randomly in my writing. Not parenthetical documentation though… that’s not fun to do.)

Oh, and I was listening live on ustream to Pottercast, and actually got to take part in the game, “Are You Smarter Than John Noe.” It was really fun! And there were like 500 Ravenclaws in the room…. which was ridiculously awesome…

I suppose the language in these blog posts has improved somewhat, given that this is not actually be composed at 11:59 PM… But I’ll try to work harder on these in the future. Oh, and I’m posting this on the ning before the blog tonight.

So, DFTBEDA (which I guess I coined)

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Friday, the 3rd

Obviously all these dull blog posts must be leading up to something big. I guess. What constitutes a blog anyway? Twitter is a “micro-blogger,” so is a blog just a macro-twitter? If so, this is more than 140 characters, so it should count. Hmm…

Stuff that happened today:

  1. boredom
  2. got a 104/100 in my AP Language Argument essay
  3. learnt about… solubility?
  4. researched on the 1910s… and apparently Google search is going crazy paranoid today
  5. designed a cat website… :(
  6. read The Scarlet Letter. Well, finished the last 30 pages, at least.
  7. vlogged
  8. Almost got into late night bad-internet connection John Green live show
  9. uh…. ACT tomorrow

I think whenever I get around to doing more legitimate BEDA blog posts, I might just expand on the lists of stuff happening each day.

Oh, yeah, I’m taking the ACT tomorrow morning…. it’s not as bad as the SAT, though.

That is all.

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