Once again it is Friday and time to link up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde. for Book Club!
This week I read two books. One fiction and one non-fiction, both were quite good!
First I read "Why do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?" by Ilana Garon (Catchy title - right?)
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.com: "According to Ilana Garon, popular books and movies are inundated with the myth of the hero teacher the one who charges headfirst into dysfunctional inner-city schools like a firefighter into an inferno, bringing the student victims to safety through a combination of charisma and innate righteousness. The students are then saved by the teacher s idealism, empathy, and faith. This is not that type of book. Here, Garon reveals the sometimes humorous, oftentimes frustrating, and occasionally horrifying truths that accompany the experience of teaching at a public high school in the Bronx. The overcrowded classrooms, lack of textbooks, and abundance of mice, cockroaches, and drugs weren't the only challenges Garon faced during her first four years as a teacher. Every day, she d interact with students dealing with addiction, miscarriages, stints in juvie, abusive relationships, and gang violence. These students brought with them big dreams and uncommon insight and challenged everything Garon thought she knew about education. In response, Garon a naïve, suburban girl with a curly ponytail, freckles, and Harry Potter glasses opened her eyes, rolled up her sleeves, and learned to distinguish between mitigated failure and qualified success. In this book, Garon explains how she realized that being a new teacher was about trial by fire, making mistakes, learning from the very students she was teaching, and occasionally admitting that she may not have answers to their thought-provoking (and amusing) questions."
My thoughts - Almost the whole way through the book I thought the stories were very interesting but that Garon was treating the serious problems plaguing these kids with a bit too much humor. I then got to the Epilogue where she rounded up her thoughts a bit and it all became more clear why she told her story the way she did. And honestly my issues with her story have to do more with the "overly" serious way I see the world than with her writing. It is a very eye opening look into an inner city education.
Next up - "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.com: "Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love." (shortest synopsis ever?)
My thoughts: I always like the 2nd book in the series it seems - (Same with Hunger Games and Delerium). Tris got less serial killer-ish in my mind and more "real". The only thing that I didn't really like is it seemed like 80% of the book is just a build up to the final book. There's all these unknown things that no one can tell people, and secrets people are keeping that you know are going to be the basis of the third book - which I get (that's how you sell your next book). I just wanted a little more meat to this part of the story. Even the cover is kind of like I feel about the book - there's the broken city but the train is going out of the city on a bridge (this book) to the unknown that is very scary, but why?
Have you read anything great lately?