Monthly Archives: February 2011

Understanding Negative Body Image.

Moe, B. (1999). Understanding negative body image. New York: Rosen Publising Group.

I do appreciate the severity of body image issues and eating disorders. I like 99.9% of all teenagers have felt unhappy with my body and I there have been people in my life with mild to severe eating disorders.
That being said, if I couldn’t stand the look of my own skin I wouldn’t feel like looking at this book either. If I wanted to die I don’t feel like book would help. This book is not Hello Cruel World, this book is boooooring! It’s too old, it’s too text heavy, it’s too BORING! Like it was written by an old, wrinkly, rusty robot who may have heard about teenagers, but has never seen, let alone talked, to one.

I found this book in the YA section of my local library… it hadn’t been checked out in years and I suspect that trend to continue until the book is properly recycled.

At the very best this book would be good for a homework assignment because it is factual (hooray, we all love facts) and it is the kind of book that looks really good in a school report 😉

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The Gunslinger Born

David, P., King, S., Eliopoulos, C., Isanove, R., Furth, R., & Lee, J. (2007). Stephen King : The dark tower: The gunslinger born. New York: Marvel Pub.

The Dark Tower Series : The Gunslinger Born
Never forget the face of your Father. As well if you’re going to embark on an endless journey through a futuristic western wasteland forever chasing the man in black…  do so as a reader, rather than a gunslinger.

I think that this series of graphic novels is PERFECT for reluctant readers for the following reasons:

1) The Lee and Isanove work excellently together respectively drawing the ink and laying the colour. Visual appeal is 10/10!
2) It is what we call a Hi/Lo book: high interest, low reading level
3) The subject matter is very guy friendly (sorry to single us out guys, but it’s a fact: Guys read way less than girls)
4) The graphic novel is in a series so there’s another book waiting for you if you like this one
5) The graphic novel is based on a series of print novels by Stephen King. Want to know the story with more detail, can’t find the next graphic novel, well then by all means, please go pick up the real deal: Stephen King’s Dark Tower series!

Those are the reasons these graphic novels are great. However,  I do have a bone to pick with the one-dimensional women characters in this book. Come on guys! Girls are awesome too and it bugs me seeing worlds in which they barely exist! Not my kinda place, thank you very much. I have not yet read the full length novels so I’m not sure if the sexism is inherent in the story, or just crept in during the abbreviation from novel to comic. 

So far I believe only three graphic novels have been published, so if you’re still keen on the story by book three be prepared for a bit of reading… an activity you may find surprisingly enjoyable.

Memories

Ōtomo, K. (1995). Memories. London: Mash room.

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This DVD is comprised of three anime shorts: Magnetic Rose, Sink Bomb, and Cannon Fodder. At 15 years Memories is hardly contemporary, but I’d be willing to argue for its classical qualities. Every fan of modern manga and anime must know the name Kagoshimo Otomo, and fans with depth will have seen this for sure.
The animation is excellent, albeit slightly choppy/stilted in action scenes, but I feel that that’s kind of a feature of anime style anyway. Everything is unique about these works; each story stands out with its own distinct atmosphere, every character is a new person, and every setting its own place. In addition to this there is a central theme that pervades each short. The unifying thread throughout this DVD is that war is brutal, stupid, and futile. Whether you’re destroyed in space, turned into a biological weapon, or spend your days blasting a city of cannons at an unseen enemy, Mr. Otomo is sure we remember that war is not the answer.

The Urban Dictionary

Peckham, A. (2005). Urban dictionary: Fularious street slang defined. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub.

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Yo, you wanna work on yo’ steez, maybe catch the eye of that cody, or just jibba jabba with the best o’ them? Well let me mansplain something to you… You need to get the Urban Dictionary!

This book is great for a laugh and great for getting to the bottom of what your favourite rapper (or kid) is actually saying.

One major flaw that this book has… is that it’s a book. What!?! But, books are great, aren’t they? They sure are! However, books, once printed, remain unchanged. A book on slang is a lot like the latest computer… obsolete within the year. Ok, ok, so maybe that statement is a little drastic and exaggerated, but you get my point. After all who says radical, rattletrap, or dead soldier anymore. Not to many people that’s who!

Fortunately the Urban Dictionary began as a website and continues to exist on that platform, accepting entries from the population and staying fresh. Feel free to visit the UrbanDictionary.com to discover what the latest words are. They have a word of the day feature and you can sign up to have a new word e-mailed to you everyday.

First Step 2 Forever

First Step 2 Forever

Bieber Time Books. (2010). Justin Bieber; First step to forever; My story. HarperCollins: New York

Justin Bieber… I don’t even know where to start with this guy. Well, I guess the obvious is as a good a place to start as any. Justin is handsome and he has musical talent. Unfortunately, those two factors seem to comprise all of Justin’s talents. Why? Well, maybe because, as his “autobiography” states, his mom let him perform in the streets to make money to go to Disneyland… Given his knowledge of Germany I suspect this street hustling was the pinnacle of Justin’s home schooling. The writing is terrible… Basically I don’t think any of the text matters and people should avoid looking at it, lest they adopt the bad habits within. In terms of plot this book is booooooring, and everything seems exaggerated, hence why I have tagged this “literature” as both non-fiction and fantasy.

However, if you like Justin Bieber (please forgive my continual ranting) this is a great book because for all intents and purposes this is a picture book. The highly manicured photos are very captivating, I will admit (Oh, the Biebs is soooo dreamy!). This is a great book for sinking your little heart into if you can’t stand to be without a full page spread of Justin’s face staring, starry-eyed, into your soul. Otherwise it’s good for a cynical laugh if you’re feeling patient.

I recognize my bitterness may stem from the fact that Justin Beiber is 16 (maybe 17 by now), but has more money than I will ever see, and it was I who was drawn to reading his autobiography, not the other way around.

Ps- This is a pretty cool dubstep remix of Beiber’s Baby

My Little Red Book

Kauder-Nalebuff, Rachel. (2009). My Little Red Book. New York: Twelve.

When I first saw this book I was instantly reminded of the The Little Red School Book (an awesome book I HIGHLY recommend you read… if you can find it!) so I grabbed it off the libraryLittle Red School Bookshelf and checked it out without even reading the back cover. This left me rather surprised when I discovered that the contents of the book were various, first-hand, anecdotes about women’s first periods. I would recommend this book to females because people need guidance especially when starting something new. On one hand women are supposed to feel a powerful sense of pride and maturity when they begin menstruating. But, on the other hand, it is portrayed in advertisements as a dirty secret to be corrected in solitude. We live in a culture where biased information is used to propagate consumption. Literature, I say, is a cure! That’s why I would also recommend this book to guys. For guys it is hard to imagine what periods are like generally, let alone understand how another experiences it.

Through the voices of a variety eloquent females, such as Judy Blume, males can glean a more accurate understanding of what their female peers are experiencing. We live in a liberal democracy (at least we have with the illusion of living in one), but still we need to be more understanding and we still need to treat each other better! I believe this book can help with that.

Welcome To My YA book list

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

If you want to just find some books quickly by genre, or other descriptive tag, please check out my tag cloud near the top-right. However if you’ve got some time, check out the site, peruse the reader’s List and do enjoy some of the links.