This summer has been an interesting one for books.
There are two that have completely seared into my brain and I’m not sure if I’m entirely okay with them being there. The first one is a book I’ve been on the fence about since I finished reading it. Gripped by Jason Donnelly is one of those books that if you can look past ONE thing, it’s amazing. Just one thing. I feel like a prude even mentioning it and I can’t believe I’m admitting it but…
That’s what the sock on the cover is for. The sock is filled, punished, and there is just a metric TON of masturbation references in this book. The funniest one is the opener. I found that every time it was mentioned my “book trance” was broken. You know the book trance – it’s that place where you’re reading the book but you’re also IN the book, being one with the story. It was kind of like being in a plane ride you really wanted to take and then there’s this pesky turbulence. It’s not bad, but it lasts the entire flight.
I’m not a prude. I guess even saying that makes me sound like even more of a prude than you might have been thinking already. But the other book I seared into my brain is a really graphic, gross, short horror story called The Curse of Grandpa’s Corpse by Steven Crown. It was graphic, pretty horrible, and had some seriously senseless violence and a whole bunch of other gross stuff. I liked it. I like crazy.
The thing about Gripped, though, is the story that exists beyond the masturbation references. There’s this great conspiracy story about social media. It’s fantastic, it’s funny, and it’s well written.
I don’t regret reading Gripped at all. It’s not a book I can have in my house because young readers, and that’s a bummer, because this is a book I’d like my kids to read if I could strip all the nonessential crap out of it. They could learn from a great story and be more aware of social media marketing by reading this ramped up story that takes it to a crazy, hilarious level.
Also, the reason I mention the masturbation is this: I think if you know in advance, you won’t be stopped in your tracks or thrown off by it. You can filter it out and read a book that is really, really good. It’s funny, there’s romance, there’s conspiracy.
Surprise! I highly recommend it! Knowing what I know now, I’d still read it. I think I might enjoy it more with a little foresight, which is saying a lot.
I switched from fiction on Saturday and began reading a couple Coursera courses and now – every day – I read my block diagrams for how to play A Minor and E Major. I practice until my fingers hurt, which only takes a few minutes, and then I put the guitar down and wait for my fingers not to hurt and then I go back to my block diagrams and start reading and playing again for another few minutes.
Oh my gosh, how could I forget my other reading. The soul-crushing jaunts through books where llamas can’t sleep and mothers who try and one-up the love of their children in order to profess their love. Bedtime in our house involves singing because by the time they’re in bed I am too tired to read one more book.
They are almost advanced enough readers I can bring out my big, hardcover anniversary edition of Chronicles of Narnia. That will at least be more interesting than bears who love you thiiiiiiis much. Every single time you read it. *headdesk*
What have you been reading this summer?