Tag Archives: books

Can’t Post; Must Read Hunger Games

21 Mar

It all started when I innocently Tweeted that The Hunger Games seemed like The Running Man or our generation.  (Hashtag JenniferLawrenceIsArnold.)

The Running Man, in case you are unaware, is a movie featuring protagonists in fantastically 80’s spandex suits, a man-made obstacle course where no one really comes out alive, and a host of villains that are crosses between pro wrestlers and science experiments.  Even if you aren’t familiar with it, you’re probably familiar with the famous Schwarzenegger phrase that was born from it: “I’ll be back”. 

The spandex unitard he’s sporting when he says it really drives the threat home.

This tweet automatically posted to The Jackie Blog Facebook page, where two Hunger Games fans immediately chimed in that I should read the books.  Typically when a post gets more than one reaction in less than a minute, it’s going to grow out of control.  And before I had a litter of Hunger Gamelings on me, I decided to calm the storm by suggesting that if they watched The Running Man, I would read The Hunger Games.

Challenge accepted.

I didn’t really want to read The Hunger Games.  I like to judge things before I have any idea what they’re about.  Sometimes I’m wrong, but I really only remember the times that I was right.  Like Twilight.  

But nothing can possibly be as horrendous as Twilight and I also thought reading The Hunger Games would make a pretty good Lollipop Tuesday.  If you don’t know what that is, there’s a link at the top of the page that will help you.  You can come back when you’re in the know and be all like “oh, I know what that is.  I’m so hip”. 

Anyway, I always say that I should read popular books before seeing the movie version of them.  I don’t ever actually do it, though.  Does anyone, really?  I started reading Harry Potter back before the first movie came out but then I figured it’s so long and the movie’s coming out soon so why bother.

I’m not big on reading, apparently.

But this time I was going to commit.  It’s 2012.  I’m a committer in 2012.  So I downloaded The Hunger Games Book I and went at it.  It’s young adult literature so you feel like a genius reading it.  It goes so quickly you get an ego boost just devouring the thing.  That, and it’s freaking fantastic.

No seriously.  It’s really good.  And I don’t usually like things.  Anything, really.  In fact, I’d say my trademark is that I’m just generally not a fan of things.  But a quick read about a tense political landscape that ultimately pits adolescents against each other in a grueling, descriptive fight to the death?  

That’s pretty awesome.

I finished the first book in 2 days.  Pretty much everyone who reads it says that like it’s an accomplishment or it’s supposed to blow your mind or something.  And while it’s a bit of a testament to how gripping the story is, it’s also a testament to just being literate.  It’s not like there were any challenging words.  Which is good because you need all the brainpower to imagine the brutal slayings. I’d have finished it sooner if I didn’t have to do things ever.  I actually started to get annoyed that I had to shower and brush my teeth because there was no way to read The Hunger Games while I was doing those things.  It’s probably best that I downloaded a digital version because I’m pretty sure I’d have attempted to take a book into the shower with me.  Slowly, everything I did was just something I was doing until I could read again. When I’d walk outside, I’d look around at the trees and sidewalks and think of how foreign they seemed.  My brain was on the ground in the Games. There were supposed to be people trying to kill me everywhere.  My Orthodox Jewish neighborhood seemed safe.  

Too safe.

At work, I got annoyed when the phone rang.  Well, I kind of always get annoyed when the phone rings because there’s usually a human on the other end who’s about to astound me with their idiocy and put another dent in my faith in the human race.  But this time I was getting annoyed because they were pulling me out of my daydreaming about The Hunger Games.  I had to remind myself that I could just hang in a few more hours, I could get home and keep reading.  It would be like a reward for working and pretending to be an adult.

My face has been stuck like this since I started reading. Just stare for a while. Right into the pupils. That's exactly what it's like, man.

Needless to say, I plowed through Book II when I got home today.  Our neighbors came over and asked us to dinner and while it’s usually hard to get me to go anywhere or do anything, it’s particularly difficult when I’m nursing an addiction.  I may not like much, but the things I like, I like fiercely.  I had to go to dinner so that Dave wouldn’t break up with me.  After all, he was with me through the World of Warcraft withdrawal of 2009 and I feared he was starting to see the beginning signs of a dealbreaker in me.  So I went, I ate, I came home, I read.

I read even though I had to post.  I read without shame.  I ate every digital page up with my eyes and packed it into my cerebrum with such elation that I was sure that if I could just keep reading forever, I wouldn’t need to sleep, shower, or eat again.

Katniss doesn’t need to.

But then I realized I’ve got some new eyes in my blog following this week.  Quite a few, actually.  I don’t know where you’re all coming from, but welcome to the gooey insides of my brains.   Right now most of my brains are full of political rebellion, starving families, and children murdering other children.   It’s awesome.   And I’d love to tell you all about it but I have to go download and devour Book III.  Tonight.  It must happen tonight right now right this very moment.  I also have to look into a new Lollipop Tuesday idea because I just blabbered this one all out without waiting until Tuesday.  

After that I should probably check in with my Running Man readers- the ones who started this dangerous spiral. I still stand by my tweet, but I’m pretty sure they got the raw end of the deal as far as entertainment value goes and I’d like to devote a bit of time to laughing about it. 

But first: back to the Games.

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Another Wrongly Judged Book Cover

26 Apr

It’s Tuesday already?

Man, the corporate jungle is eating my brain.  Time is absolutely flying by.   Happy Lollipop Tuesday, ya crazy kids.

This week, I decided to tone it down a bit (because my ideas for the next two weeks have me shaking in my boots – for realsies).  I took Podunk‘s suggestion from the What’s Lollipop Tuesday page: “Maybe you could pop in to the library and check out a book in a genre you never read. And then read at least the first 20 pages.”

And so I curled up with a financial self-help book.  Which, might I say, is not my idea of a good time.   

Or at least it wasn’t.

I started digesting a few pages of wisdom from Ramit Sethis I Will Teach You To Be Rich and expected to hate every grueling second of it. jacket image for I Will Teach You To Be Rich

After all, with its ridiculously loud cover and Ramit being all barefoot and casual and the term “6-week program” on the bottom, I was pretty sure that this was gonna be rough.

But hey – it wasn’t.  And I find that totally weird.  Maybe it’s because yesterday , I just made the last payment on my pile of credit card debt I amassed in college (no joke).  I’ve been working on it for 5 years.  So when the first chapter was all about telling me how stupid I was and how stupid I didn’t have to be anymore, it was pretty pertinent.  Actually, it was spot-on.   It reaffirmed everything I’ve learned through the grueling process and got me excited to have conquered it.

I must admit that part of the appeal is the way he talks in the book.  He almost sounds like an asshole because he’s telling you the truth about yourself, but you realize that it’s only because he cares.  The book to do that to me was Skinny Bitch, and I immediately became a vegetarian for 8 months. 

Which is saying a lot for a burger dumpster like myself.

I think the best part is that I don’t have to be stupid anymore.  I have never understood money.  I mean I get that I give someone a dollar for a soda and I get a few pennies back, but I don’t get all the acronyms and percent yields and annual accrual.  I don’t have any interest at all in stocks, bonds, online banking, or retirement funds.  Every time I hear those words, I want to scoop out my brain with a tiny spoon.

But I also really want to live as a peaceful hermit someday on a ranch.  With a dog.   So I really want to see if this “save early, retire rich” thing is doable.  After all, I know there are people out there who are less intelligent than me successfully investing in their futures.  And if I didn’t make it clear in my do-your-own-taxes post, I can’t stand the thought that I’m failing at something intellectually when there are millions of others succeeding.  And the idea of paying those people to complete something for me because I’m too stupid is just too much to bear.

So maybe it’s time to give the rich, old, ranch-hermit-with-a-dog dream a shot.

I don’t want this to digress into a book review, so I will suffice it to say that I went twenty pages into this book and then dove full-force ahead.  The most exciting activity in my near future is picking out an online savings account.  Seriously.

And I already had a payoff.  Yesterday I had to sit through an Explanation of Benefits session at work and for the first time didn’t tune out when they started babbling about retirement funds.  I wonder how long I have to do these Lollipop Tuesdays before I finally learn to stop writing things off before I try them?

Maybe just a few more.

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