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I can’t remember if I’ve previously read The Catcher in the Rye, and therefore I’m not sure if I cheated when I put it here in “Books I Should Have Read Before.” When I opened it for what I thought was the first time, I vaguely remembered some details as if I’d dreamed them: Pencey Prep, the phonies, some ice skating. Maybe everyone was right when they answered my, “I”ve never read it!” claims with, “That’s impossible — they force you to.” “They,” of course, are our teachers, the ones who have made this assignment fiction for as far back as anyone can remember. I wonder if that’s why I can only remember fragments. Did I never finish it? Did I get bored halfway through because Holden, that prissy dip, couldn’t just man up and do his homework like I was every day? Whether I made it through to the end or not, it’s obvious why the book failed me then and why it probably fails so many other kids: it’s not a book for kids.
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In my opinion superstrength should not be considered a true super power. What good is it against all the other guys who have it too? I’ve decided instead that superstrength is a given (or should be) and is only really a super power if partnered with say, super speed, force fields or lazers, X ray vision, mind control or flying capabilities.

As a young girl my first infatuation was, not surprisingly, with superstrength. Because really, what power does a small female child have less of in today’s (or -I guess – yesterday’s) world? My childhood heroes were Hefty Smurf (was he really endowed with special powers or did he just work out a lot? Either way he could perform super Smurfian feats) and Popeye (my mother could only convince me to eat spinach – which I still hate – by telling me my biceps would grow that big. Sadly, they didn’t).

Over the years, I’ve moved past the mere consideration of super strength. Super genius now tops the list. I’m also a bit obsessed with telekinesis. In general I flatter myself in thinking that my super power philosophies have evolved a bit since I was five years old, when I was impressed if someone merely lifted a stationwagon.

Of course that assumes that the discussion of super powers can be considered mature. I believe it can be, as I’m sure Jesse and Devin would agree. The desire for super powers is, I think, one of the few things that most people can agree on. We all want to be greater than we are and it’s fun (and not to mention revealing) to imagine what powers would enhance us. We may want to be smarter, stronger, or more beautiful. Or maybe we just want to be able to walk through walls or move metal with our minds (another of my personal favorites).

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My vacation was too short.  I had so many plans, so many things to do and so many books to read.  All of which I didn’t do.

Choosing a books (or multiple books if you are me) for vacation is difficult to do well.  Though I normally eschew nonfiction for mind candy fiction (hence Mr. Hitchens was put on hold), my brain would just not cooperate this past week.  Nothing suited me.  The plain Jane book I was reading (The God of Animals) was dispensed with too quickly on Day One.  Day Two consisted of Jon Katz new book (Dog Days)  dependably pleasant as always but also too quickly gone.

So I was left to sullenly and contrarily perused my shelves, standing in amazement (again!) that I have read them all (seriously how does that happen?) and ultimately went to the store and bought The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon. But put it down; it was too Jewish for vacation (don’t ask me what that means, I don’t really know. I partially blame the aforementioned Mr. Hitchens however) and would likely to require some thought.   So I turned to Melissa Bank (The Wonder Spot), whose first book of stories left me cold, but her “new” novel was on sale for $5.  It too, turned out to be too Jewish.  What to do?

Fantasy – it was my only answer.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jessica’s Reading

Jesse’s Reading

Jesse and Jessica are Both Reading

Devin’s Reading