Gone Girl

When you’re a bookworm, you know what it’s like to get caught up in a story.  Have you read Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn?

I had my name on the waiting list at the library for a while, but I was 12th, so I wasn’t expecting it for weeks. Suddenly, it was available, and I only had it for a few weeks. Saturday was a rainy, cold day. It was perfect for reading.

I heard a lot about Gone Girl, but no one would really say what it was about. Everyone said the book was awesome, amazing, fantastic, and I just had to read it. But when I asked what it was about, no one would tell me anything.

Well, guess what? I can’t tell you anything about it either.

All I can say about the story is pretty much what’s on the back of the book: A woman goes missing and her husband is a suspect.

What I can tell you, is that this book seriously messed with my head. I could not stop reading it. I felt like I was being manipulated by these people. Sometimes, I got frustrated, shut the book, and put it down. I’d stare at it for a little while, then, unable to resist, pick it back up and keep reading.

I kept expecting to have one of those moments where I discovred I’d figured out a part of the story. I love those moments, they make me feel smart, like getting the answers right on Jeopardy. That moment never came. Never. The whole time, I had no idea what was going on, or who was doing what. All I knew is that somehow, they were making me think things. Think what they wanted me to. It wasn’t the author, it was the people in the book.

I think it might take a few days before I can read something else. I believe this is what’s referred to as a “book hangover”.

Now go, read it!

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Read me a story

A few months ago in class, I tried to get one of my student’s attention. He was reading and he didn’t hear me. I had to repeat his name several times, and when he finally looked at me, he had a dazed look on his face. I told him “I get it, you were reading and your mind is still in the story. I love books too, so I know how it feels.” This led to a discussion with a few students about how much we all love books and reading. I don’t remember if the idea came from me or a student, but we decided to have a reading day. A whole day of nothing but books and reading, no other school work. The kids were so excited!

This was in late winter, so we decided to wait until it was nice enough to read outside. That day was last Friday. The kids worked really hard all week so they could read on Friday. I thought of making them little reading passports, where they could put stickers or stamps, but I decided against it. They were happy to read for the sake of reading, they didn’t need anything else.

We started off with a game of pass-the-book. Each kid picked a book from the ones I had set out on the tables. They sat in a circle and passed the books around while music played. When the music stopped, they had a minute to flip through it and decide if it was a book they would like to read.

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Then we took a trip to the library, because no matter how much the kids thought they could sit still and read all day, I knew better. We needed some action.

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When everyone had picked out their books, we went to the park to read there for a little while.

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After lunch, we headed out on the lawn in front of the school with our books, beach towels, blankets and water bottles.

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At one point, there were a bunch of us reading a book about the toe fairy (like the tooth fairy, but with toes). We were all crowded around the book and one kid poked my foot with his finger and asked “Who’s foot is this?”

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Yes, that is a small child on my back. She’s like velcro. We were looking at a book about Vikings.

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It was a perfect day. I told the kids we could do it again next year.

Top ten best bookish memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is the Top Ten Best Bookish Memories. I was excited when I saw this week’s prompt. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but it was never a subject for which I had a top ten. But I have many, many bookish memories!

These are not in any order. There is no way I could possibly decide which memory is the most important!

1. Going to the library when I was younger.

I grew up in a small town, and we had new books at the library about every three months. I would read all the books for my age long before the new books showed up. My mom started taking me to libraries in three different towns so I could have more books. I read in English and French, so I had even more options!

2. Discovering The Baby-Sitter’s club.

These girls were so cool. Their lives were perfect, and when they weren’t, it was because they had something important to learn. They were best friends and all the kids they baby-sat listened really well. There was a similarity to them that was comforting. They didn’t age. They had the best vacations. This is the series that started my reading obsession.

3. My first time in a used book store.

I was around 9 years old and on the way, my parents told my sister and I that we could get all of the Baby-Sitter’s club books we hadn’t read. All of them! We got 18. On the drive home, I was looking at them, trying to decide which one to read first. My sister read them in order. We’re different like that.

4. Reading my first grown-up book, Flowers in the Attic.

People read this? It’s so twisted. And awesome! They’re swearing in this book! What? They can’t do that! That lady is crazy! I couldn’t believe how different this story was from everything I had been reading. Now, this series is sold in the teen section, but it was a grown-up book when I was a teen!

5. Reading The Pillars of the Earth and World without End, by Ken Follet.

I actually read the second one first, but there’s a two hundred year difference between the books, so it’s not like I was missing something. I stayed up until two am, four days in a row reading World without End, then bought Pillars of the Earth because the person who was going to lend it to me wasn’t done reading it. There was no way I was waiting!

6. Discovering Alice Hoffman.

Pure magic. The first book of hers I read was Practical Magic. Sisters, witches, love and spells. It made magic real. She also wrote The Dovekeepers, which is probably my favourite book, as an adult. (I have a favourite as a kid too. Like Disney princesses. My favourite from when I was a kid was Ariel, as an adult, it’s Mulan.) I haven’t read all of Alice Hoffman’s books yet. I’m saving some, as a treat for when I need one.

7. Little Women, my favourite book as a child.

I wanted to be one of the March sisters! I was never sure which one, it depended on the day I was having and what adventure they were on. Even now, there is something special about reading that book. When I was fifteen, I got a huge, illustrated copy. One of the best gifts I have ever received!

8. Re-reading books.

I used to think everyone did this, but apparently not. When I find a book or a series I like, I read them more than once. I’ve read the Earth’s Children series so many times, I can open any book to any page and just start reading. Other books I regularly re-read are: The Divas don’t knit series, Leftover Dreams by Charlotte Vale Allen, Practical Magic and any book by Jennifer Cruisie.

9. College.

Here in Québec, we have college, then university. During my two years of college, I was in a litterature program. While other studends studied and did reaserch, I read. Plays, books, poetry, novels, short stories, songs. You name it, I read it. In French and English. I even had Spanish classes. I wrote a lot too. It was pure bliss.

10. Watching my students fall in love with books.

I love it when I call their name and they don’t hear me because they’re just so captivated by the story they’re reading. Their eyes light up when I tell them I’m going to read a story. Sometimes, if it was a particularly good book, they clap when it’s done. In a world of so much technology, it’s wonderful to see children surround themselves with books and the magic they bring.

What’s your best bookish memory?

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