105 Ways to Give a Book

MotherReader 48HBC Update: Round I

Last year, I was able to divide my time very neatly into twelve-hour chunks. Less so this year, with a fairly large and involved event gulping up a big part of my potential reading time smack in the middle of my time period. We’ll get to that a bit later.

I started my official time at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, after a trip to the library for one audiobook left me with a completely different stack of books to read than I had lined up at home. I just kept seeing these books that had great reviews but that I hadn’t read and changed my reading to knock out some of these titles. This is why I don’t spend a lot of effort planning ahead.

The UnwantedsI did stick with my original plan to first tackle the new buzz book for middle-grade, Lisa McMann’s The Unwanteds, which I read slowly and with interruptions, meaning I finished it in four hours. My quickest summary is that is was like Harry Potter meets The Lightning Thief meets The Hunger Games. It certainly has all the elements of a big book, and I enjoyed reading it very much. And yet, I didn’t have the feeling that I was reading the Next Big Thing — partially because I could so easily link the elements to these other successful books. Magic-making and school setting. Feeling different and battle preparation. Grim world and death sentences. Combine them all, and does it make the perfect buzz book or will it fall flat with readers? It certainly remains to be seen, and especially with the target audience of upper middle grade, who may not come into the title as jaded as this oldish mom. More on it later, I hope. Love this new cover!

Bitter MelonI put in an hour of social media time and then jumped into book two of my challenge, Bitter Melon, by Cara Chow. What a great book to read after the whole Tiger Mother online debate! I haven’t gotten my hands on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother — still on the hold list — but I can see how this young adult title shows the road to success from another angle. I liked the character’s growth in how she addressed and accepted her mother’s rigidity in the framework of cultural norms before struggling against those choices and her own mother’s harshness. I would have felt less respect for the book if the message had been the superiority of American focus on passion and happiness over an Asian value on achievement and honor. The particular mother-daughter relationship allows the author to show those differences, and also allow our protagonist to rebel against her mother’s abuse of power. I did have a little irritation of the book being set in 1989, which seemed more a device to convey the author’s experience than to be as relatable to teens today. Still, highly recommended.

In any case, I finished this book in three hours, and went to bed with eight of the first twelve hours spent on 48HBC. I also went to bed with an impending 5:30 a.m. wake-up call to take my teen in for her school field trip. Annoying hour to be awake on a Saturday, but a good thing for my reading.

Round 1: eight hours

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Abby said...

Go, go, go!
I haven't read either of those books... and it will be interesting to see if Lisa McMann's middle grade hits or misses the mark with kids. Keep up the great work!

Bibliovore said...

Hmm, I'll have to see what I think of the Unwanteds. It certainly doesn't sound like McMann's other stuff . . .

I had Bitter Melon on my list but ultimately decided against it.

Great going!

Charlotte said...

I am saving the Unwanteds till a later date...

And I too am more than a bit curious about the tiger mother book. Too late to do anything about it now, though....

Happy reading!

welcome to our wonderland said...

those look interesting I'll have to see if my library has them. yesterday I got in 6.5 hours, today so far 6 hours.

my 10 year old alot more then me :)

loved your comment family that reads together doesn't waste money on kung fu panda 2 :) was it that bad? I was lucky my girls didn't like the first. but we are seeing Judy Moody, Mr Poppers Penguins and Smurfs

susan259 said...

I am hoping that the McMann does well, she deserves the success.


Tammy said...

Go! Go! Go!
Read that book!
This is me cheering you on-with bright silver pom poms!

Deb Marshall said...

Enjoy the rest of the 'thon! I too had a couple big things right in the middle...so my time isn't as big as I thought I could do (being a first timer, I over guessed).

Just finished a few hours of reading and going to settle in for a bit more--now. if I were younger I might be able to stay up into the wee hours and get in more reading time before 9 in the morning. Although...could try and see what happens. If you hear snoring---yeah, that'll be me :)

Kristin said...

I will have to read Unwanteds when it comes out. I enjoyed Wake and Fade, but not Gone. So, a middle grade book by the author will be interesting.

amandapearl2books said...

Good job so far! Here are my updates


Saturday http://amandapearlsbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/48-hour-reading-challenge-saturday.html

onlymuttix said...

I've been on the hold list for "Tiger Mother" too, at this rate it seems like I won't be reading it until next year. But I'm adding "Bitter Melon" to my request list after reading your review!

Great job so far! Looks like you and I started around the same time this year. Happy reading!

Jone said...

Great job. I am figuring out that sometimes I read slow. Lisa McMann's book sounds interesting.