Thursday, June 16, 2011

Like Oprah's Book Club, But With Slightly More Incest

I am generally late to the game when it comes to literary phenomena. I think I read Harry Potter for the first time in 2005, eight years after it came out. I'd read about it in my Entertainment Weekly, I'd heard people talking about it... I'd shrugged. How great could it be? I thought. It's just a kids' book.

Little did I know...
The same thing happened with Twilight, except in that case I didn't read the books at all (I give Stephenie Meyer props for dreaming about a vampire who sparkles like the cover of my 1989 Lisa Frank Trapper-Keeper and launching a thousand fan sites, but she is not a good writer. Sorry. I can forgive crappy writing only in the case of salacious celebrity autobiographies, and even then, there had better be some really good stories about sex with a member of an 80s metal band.) Anyway, I skipped straight to the movies, and mostly just so I could play a Twilight-themed SceneIt! with my friend Margaret. The best part of my introduction to Twilight was that it happened right as Breaking Dawn, the final book in the series, was being released, and I got to hear my otherwise-sane friends have conversations like this:

Friend 1: I don't know, Bella getting pregnant seems like bullshit. I thought all of Edward's bodily fluids were replaced with venom. Doesn't that include sperm?
Friend 2: I know. And even if he did make sperm, aren't his balls like the temperature of the polar ice caps? 

Maybe that's why he was so moody.

Anyway.

Yesterday I finally succumbed to The Hunger Games.


Only three years late, so I'm making progress. But OMG YOU GUYS. There is a reason people are freaking about about this. I opened the book as I boarded the A train at 42nd Street around 8:15, and I didn't stop until I finished it some four and a half hours later. This is better than that time I found a dog-eared copy of Flowers in the Attic at a church sale (the irony was lost on me then) and spent the next few years of my adolescence being grossed out that I was kind of rooting for the brother and sister to do it (I really hope you've read that book, otherwise I sound like a total perv).

Oh, who am I kidding, I am a total perv. Now that I've read the first book all I want to know is, do Katniss and Peeta have sex? This is what pregnancy hormones do to me. This and inspiring me to buy Twix ice cream bars at the grocery store but no actual dinner ingredients.

But seriously, who wants to read these books with me? Because I need people to talk to. Let's start a book club. It will be just like Oprah's, only instead of launching careers and influencing the zeitgeist mine will investigate whether or not Rick Springfield's memoir Late, Late At Night is composed entirely of "Jessie's Girl" lyrics.
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40 comments :

  1. i want to reread them, especially because all the news about the movies is SO EXCITING. and that was totally my question to...re. katniss and peeta sexing. sigh.

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  2. I've been trying to start a book club for months. We always just end up talking about celebrity gossip. Anyway, I just started The Hunger Games trilogy and I'm on Mockingjay. Keep reading they do not disappoint!

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  3. To save me from academia, I tend to be into young adult lit. I've done Harry Potter (fan!), Twilight (anti-fan!) and the Hunger Games (do not know how to comprehend my love and adoration!) I read all three books when the third came out last summer and it's just incredible.

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  4. I'm in the process of rereading them right now! I've been reading them out loud to my husband, because we are nerds. We started the second book last night. They're filming the movie close enough to my house that I emailed my photo to the casting people, but I guess I'm too plump to live in the Seam and not fancy enough to live in the Capitol. Oh well.

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  5. Aaah!!! I randomly picked up this book a couple of months ago (I had never heard of it before). I COULDN'T-PUT-IT-DOWN!

    I finished the trilogy within three days ...

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  6. I love the Hunger Games. Glad to hear you thought Twilight was a crapload.

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  7. I read them! Please finish them and start a book discussion forum or some such thing because OMG LIKE TOTALLY I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN! But I don't remember where one ends and the other starts, so I don't wanna give anything away before you finish :)

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  8. I didn't read any of the Harry Potter books because they were so long. And I refused to read Twilight. I DID read the Hunger Games series and they are THE BEST BOOKS I have ever read! And I was an English major in school, so... supposedly... I read A LOT of great books. I can't wait for the movie!

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  9. LOVED the first Hunger Games but then, sadly for me, I thought they went downhill from there--maybe the author got caught up in the frenzy and wrote them faster than she wanted to? But the first one was FAB. If you like the whole YA thing, the series by Scott Westerfeld called Uglies/Pretties/Specials, about a future society where kids are "prettied" on their 16th bday whether they want to be or not...complications enuse, needless to say. They're GREAT.

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  10. Providential9:56 AM

    what you really need is a recovery group after you finish them and life loses all meaning!! you can dream about katniss and peeta DOIN' IT, and i'll dream about DOIN' IT with Gale. hubba hubba.

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  11. I want to read it, but I have a strict policy of waiting until after I see a movie to read the book. This way, the movie still has a chance of being really good, and the book can fill in the holes. Pretty much every time I read the book before seeing the movie, the movie sucks because I feel like they've left too much out. Also, by doing this, I can just imagine the characters in the book as the actors who play them in the movie, even if the descriptions don't match up *exactly*. It's way less frustrating this way.

    Since they're about to start shooting the first film, I'd say I'm at least a year and a half away from reading the book. Maybe two. Have fun, though! :)

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  12. I cannot express to you how excited I am to have found another human being who thinks Stephenie Meyer is an awful writer! The fact that so many people compare her to JK Rowling is downright offensive to me! -I have to admit that I liked book one, but from there it went downhill, and fast; the only word I can think of to accurately describe my feelings towards book 4 is LOATHING...

    I loved Hunger Games (I fought reading that series, too; I only read them a few months ago). I'm interested to see your take on the overall series once you've finished all three...(I'm still not entirely sure who I feel about the series as a whole. I think I agree with manhattanmama)

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  13. I also started these a few days ago and HOLY SHIT. I'm on the second one now, and I must admit I had a Peeta/Gale crisis. One's like a hot brother [apparently I'm a perv too] and the other is a hot new friend who once intentionally burned bread so you wouldn't starve. TOUGH CHOICES. I'm all kinds of obsessed right now. And seriously, DO THEY HAVE SEX?? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  14. I've been wanting to read this series. You've inpsired me to run to the book store on my lunch break! Now..to juggle it with the other 2 books I'm reading...hmmm...

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  15. Cannot.Deal.With.TWILIGHT.

    I suppose if someone hot was playing the lead in the movies, I could wear earplugs and watch it - but honestly (and I can already hear adolescent girls everywhere screaming at me) Robert Patterson reminds me of that guy in college who lives in he library and takes a shower maybe twice a week and always has some D&D cards in his back pocket.

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  16. I think I read the first three Harry Potter books but have been more committed to the movies. Not because I think they're better than the books but the books are long, I've got all these kids...

    Read The Twilight Books. I'm sorry.

    Will now pursue reading The Hunger Games because I don't want to feel like I'm in Grade 7 again and be disincluded. I'd have to perm my hair again too I'm not really interested in that either.

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  17. When I first heard the premise of the series, I was all "Seriously???" But as soon as I started reading I was transfixed. I didn't stop reading until I finished the last book. My dog didn't really understand why we spent that entire weekend on the couch. And I smelled ... really bad.

    Anyway, my friends and I often have very in depth discussions about The Hunger Games. And also HP. You're welcome to join us anytime. However, unless you have actually thought about what your patronus would be if you could conjure a patronus, you might want to skip the HP chat .. because we really ARE that nerdy.

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  18. Ah Flowers in the Attic. One of my favorite books. I have the whole series, but nothing was quite like the 1st one.

    I haven't read Hunger Games, but it's on my to-read list!

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  19. I'm in the middle of it and will likely read more today!! You aren't alone!!

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  20. I've read the three Hunger Games books, and also her series Gregor the Overlander (basically Alice in Wonderland for urban kids...but darker). I would agree with another commenter that the first of the HG books is the best and will gladly discuss with you any time.

    Also, if you haven't yet, try Feed by Mira Grant. There are zombies. And bloggers.

    Also Zombies vs. Unicorns, by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.

    And A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. It's basically a period soap opera with magic and bad decisions.

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  21. The Hunger Games series is amazing! I'm glad you like it.
    Next, you'll have to read the Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. Also amazing!

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  22. I loved The Hunger Games so much that I got my school to add it to the summer reading list for ninth graders, with the hope that they, too, will become addicted and will actually read a book--or three.

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  23. Anonymous1:58 PM

    Holy AMAZEBALLZ! The Hunger Games trilogy rocks! I downloaded the first one for my Kindle just because I had heard about it, and then, 5 hrs later, the second one was downloaded, then the next day, I completed my triumphant reading of the 3rd book. Yeah, Ijust wanted Katniss to get a piece from SOMEONE (and not a chick) because I mean, a poor girls' gotta get tingly in her bikini parts too, right? I also loved the HP books (which I bought for my "kids"..ha) and slogged through and barely stomached the Twilight books. I am now reading the Outlander books...there are like 11-teen of them, but so far, so good. I am the only person I know that makes it her goal to get to the library at least once a week. Effin' A, I am a dork. Who'da thunk it when I was the athlete-bully chick in HS?

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  24. Loved the Hunger Games, Love Harry, Hate Twilight.

    As a High School Teacher I try to spread the word about books kids will love and I think a good 30 Kids have now picked up Hunger Games because I could not stop talking about it!

    Glad to hear you are enjoying some brain candy. I bet if you eat a tootsie roll while you read the baby will be extra happy.

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  25. I forced my husband, the non-reader to read the first one and he also became obsessed. WE referenced everything in our lives to the hunger games and who would survive. Sadly, we both believe he would win.

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  26. I must be really out of the loop. I usually stay on top of book releases (most my friends in middle school were books. XD!) So, the Hunger Games is in what kind of a setting, modern, historical, futuristic, like Harry Potter-ish?

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  27. Between the doing kegels incorrectly post and now this, I feel our pregnancies are very similar. Mine just happened to be a few months a head of you. I can't wait to read your take on motherhood.

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  28. I got Flowers in the Attic at a garage sale - my grandparents bought it for me, haha. Book club sounds delightful.

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  29. I read the Hunger Games Books a few months ago. I bought the first one on a whim, was reading it and was like, I HAVE to buy the other two books NOW! So, any commentary, I am game! They are now filming the movies for these books (not sure if you knew that), but exciting nonetheless!

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  30. Totally with you on this. I just finished Harry Potter 6 (I'm saving 7 so I can be surprised in the move) a few weeks ago. I felt so depressed after there were no more my friend suggested Hunger Games. I'm obsessed. The only issue is they are too short. I finished the first one in 2 days, and I'm basically rationing the second. If Peeta and Katniss don't end up together for reals I'm going to be pissed!

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  31. LOVED Harry Potter. HATED Twilight, like seriously, with the white-hot hate of a thousand super suns exploding all at once (VAMPIRES DO NOT, HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER SPARKLE!!! #teamDracula). I have been hearing about The Hunger Games here and there and obviously this is my next must read.

    (Oh, and I am almost a perv, because I also wanted the brother and sister to do it in Flowers, but even more I wanted that suckass whore mother to get stabbed in the genitals.)

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  32. Pregnancy hormones...so THAT'S why I loved the Twilight series the first time I read it.

    I'm re-reading the Hunger Games trilogy now and I love it even more the second time around!

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  33. erinbt9:20 PM

    The Hunger Games rock! I had the 1st one on my kindle on a 10 day cruise. When I finished it I freaked the fuck out, because I didn't have wifi to download the 2nd & 3rd. I am not good at delayed gratification! Enjoy the rest of the series.

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  34. stated4all9:30 PM

    I was heading to the bookstore tomorrow, anyway. I need some good "light" reading for the summer. Count me in.

    Oh...and LOVE HP, didn't start Twilight until they were all out, and took them immediaely to Half Price Books to resale once I finished.

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  35. Amanda11:23 AM

    Read 'em, loved 'em, eagerly awaiting for the movies to ruin 'em.

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  36. I ALSO JUST FINISHED THE FIRST BOOK. Waiting for the second to come in the mail....

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  37. ME! I will start a book club with you! I usually read all your comments because your readers are funny too, but I skipped over all these. If you're serious about a book club, let me know. I'm on shelfari, but those people either don't talk about the books or they're super pretentious.

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  38. Hunger Games. Fave.
    It's SO sad when Katniss dies though...wait, what?
    TOTALLY JAY-KAYING. Don't worry. Only Peta dies.
    ;)
    LOVE the books. Couldn't put them down!

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  39. OMG hunger games...amazeballs. The third one is not as great as the first two, but still crazy entertaining. Read them all in 4 days...
    Guilty of reading the Twilight series too...books are much better than the movies, but like you said, not the best writing!

    And HP - just bought my tickets to the next movie for opening night.

    Tear.

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  40. I am also late to Hunger Games, so I'll join your book club.
    I only just read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, actually. I have some sort of snotty, English major resistance to books written after I was born, but I'm breaking through.

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