#TackleTBR Update – Day … I’ve already lost count of what day it is. 3??

Time for another update of the Wishful Endings #TackleTBR readathon!

Today was a drizzly, wet, sloppy, gloomy sort of day, so I was able to find lots of time to sit down and curl up, reading-wise. While I initially read 40 pages of Between the World and Me, it seems like a book I need to digest slowly instead of powering through, so I’m going to be reading a little bit of it everyday. For my tackling to the ground, skidding through the mud and grass book, I chose I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above. And … I pretty much read it in one sitting. Consider the book well-tackled.

22896551From GoodReads:

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

I loved it. Very emotional, very true, very fair — I loved that the author is a practicing surgeon, it gave that much more authority and sincerity to the writing. The main character, Kristin, finds out she’s intersex and has to deal with her perception of her own identity suddenly tipping upside down — and you realize that it wasn’t so much her identity that changed, but it was how everyone else suddenly treated her that totally upended her world. While cruel and disappointing, the way she was bullied rang true: people can be so quick to turn on friends and loved ones as soon as a “weakness” or “difference” crops up. If someone is labeled as “Other”, their feelings and bodies and rights get dismissed. “They’re Other, they’re Strange, they’re Abnormal so we don’t have to treat them as a human anymore.” None of the Above really exposed that side of people. I hope people pay attention to this book. And consider the human element when they balk at and bully someone for having a life, body, or identity different than their own.

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 16TH (DAY 3)

Read: Read 328 pages of None of the Above, and 40 pages of Between the World and Me
Pages Read: 368
Total Books Read: 2

Total Pages Read: 638
Finished Books: Will Grayson, Will Grayson; None of the Above
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Tackle Your TBR 2015

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon is hosted byTessa at Wishful Endings.

It runs for two weeks, in which we all hope to have a blast with challenges, giveaways, and, most importantly, a ton of reading! See all the details, sign up, see the full schedule, and enter the giveaway here and share your goals (if you didn’t on your sign-up) here 

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Book Review: The Uncommon Reader

“I gather,” said the equerry, “that it might be advisable if Your Majesty were to see Sir Claude in the garden.”
“In the garden?”
“Out of doors, ma’am. In the fresh air.”
The Queen looked at him. “Do you mean he smells?”
“Apparently he does rather, ma’am.”

I came about The Uncommon Reader in an embarrassingly lazy way. Deep into Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon but making little headway in the books I had on hand, I Googled “best books under 200 pages” — looking for something I could breeze through to bolster my page count, basically.

One of the first titles to pop up was Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader. And it was perfect.

 

From GoodReads, a brief description:

When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen’s transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England’s best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader’s life.

This is a book about the joy of reading.

The Queen of England rediscovers books after a visit to a mobile library stopping by her property, and soon becomes addicted; she reads absolutely everything she can get her hands on (except for Harry Potter, in a random slight against the fantasy genre that annoyed me a little.) She begins shirking her duties as Queen, and her advisors privately scheme on how best to stop this mad new obsession.

The Queen, as a character is cute, endearing, a little intimidating, fiercely intelligent, and in her increasing frustration that she will never read all that she wants to, and her regret at not taking advantage of the great minds of England she had at her disposal without ever realizing their worth, sympathetic. There’s this running theme about the Queen’s age, and how she worried she had not lived but merely existed. How she regretted the shallowness at which she had previously enjoyed life, before her exposure to literature. It gave the novella a melancholic undertone.

And as I am a masochistic sucker for anything happy on the outside and sneakily depressing underneath, I was hooked.

Rating:

5/5: Overall, it was a delightful, quick, funny, CHARMING read about devouring books and getting older. Would highly recommend to anyone who loves themselves some British wit and celebration of literature.