This is where we will post our commentaries and responses for the Independent Reading Requirement.
(Remember commentaries need to be at least 300 words, and responses at least 150 words.) 

20 thoughts on “A1/2 Book Discussion

  1. Here’s my book review from this term! This book was amazing; I hope you guys all read it at some point in your lives! I’m looking forward to reading about your books.

    In reading this book I was at once frightened– scared, even– but also amazed by beauty. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is at once quiet and subtle, but stunningly powerful and disturbing. You can see this when the main character describes the garden of her Commander’s wife, filled with beautiful flowers in bloom, like the “irises, rising beautiful and cool on their stalks, like blown glass, like pastel water momentarily frozen in a splash, light blue, light mauve, and the darker ones, velvet and purple, black cat’s ears in the sun, indigo shadow . .” but even the quiet and subtle things are not all quiet and subtle: “There is something subversive about this garden of Serena’s, a sense of buried things bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light, as if to point, to say: Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently” (153).

    It is filled with passages that describe the beauty of nature, however, this is a stark contrast to the dark and frightening things happening around the main character, Offred. Along with others like her–you could almost say “friends”– Ofglen, Ofwarren (are you sensing a pattern here? Took me a while to figure out that the women are named after their Commanders, just with the word “Of” in front). Women like Offred are a part of a society that subjects women under the pretense of bearing children. They live in a world where declining births are presenting a threat to society, so under the guise of religion women like Offred “must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant . . . [She] and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable” (book summary).

    Probably the reason I found this so frightening was how thoroughly the society controls the women– they aren’t allowed to even read– something that I find absolutely horrific– can you imagine?! They can’t go anywhere by themselves, they can’t dress how they want, they can’t eat what they want, and any trace of their former lives– their names, careers, family– are gone. It was the flashbacks that Offred has of her family and her daughter that they took from her that were some of the most powerful moments in the book for me. I can’t imagine someone taking away my children– or how I would live if they did. And yet, Offred’s story offers some hope. She joins an underground resistance, called “Mayday”, and fights– in quiet and subtle ways– against those in charge. One powerful and hopeful moment for me was when she describes how this happens: “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of the print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

    May we ever find our way from the blank white spaces and the gaps between– to true freedom.

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  2. The book that I chose to read was The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, and after reading this book I felt very inspired and intrigued. The book, The Giver, was a very well written book and I can easily say it is one of my favorite books to date. I enjoyed this book because of they dystopian setting and the overall

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    1. I watched the movie “the giver” and liked it, but knowing me I’d probably not read the book. I always watch the movie first instead of reading the book if I ever end up reading the book. Ill probably end up reading it maybe later. It sounds good, and the movie was good, so it has to be good.

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  3. I read the book Panjamon by Jean Yves Domalain, The book was nothing like I had imagined I thought it would be a boring documentary about some dude, however the book turned out to be like some sort of action movie almost it was very interesting. It is about this scientist who goes of into Indonesia to study these tribes of people that are headhunters, which means they would take the heads of the enemy tribe as prizes. I thought it was going to be some boring documentary and then he talks about how he learns to hunt the way the tribe does and he has some good hunting stories also. Then he learns about there customs and he has to be initiated to the tribe so he has to jump in a pit of red ants that bite and poison you. After that they take you a mile away from the tribe and you can not return until all your body is healed and he has to survive by himself. He goes through a lot to just fit into the tribe and he has to get some of their tribes tattoos which all they use was a bone and a wooden paddle and it took 66 hours for him to get a couple. However their are still people in the tribe that hate him like the witchdoctor because he doesn’t believe he is a true Punan ( Which it what the people of the tribe are called). This causes conflict against him and some of the people in the tribe but he just carries on. The ending surprised me because it was nothing like I thought it was going to be it was a real curve ball but it was good. The book is a very good to read for fun if you just want to read something and you also get to learn they way of life for this tribe and it is very interesting.

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    1. Greetings Altin,
      You may know me but I go by the name of professor jake macfarlane. I am here to comment on a book I have read.

      I have read the book million dollar throw which is the book that I have done the report on. Hopefully that is ok with the leader of the alliance. Anyway million dollar is by far one of my favorite books as I stated in my book review. Mike lupica never lets me down with a good book. He is by far one of the best sports writers in my opinion. He alway finds a way to keep the reader wanting to keep reading whereas other books you can get pretty bored. I think million dollar throw is his best book, but his other title “Travel Team” is also very good book with little dull moments in it. I have yet to find a Mike lupica book that is boring honestly, even the other sports he writes about are good even if it’s not my favorite sport. Anyway Mike lupica and his many books are awesome and I would strongly recommend them to anybody
      Sincerely,
      Professor Jake Macfarlane

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  4. Hello fellow classmates,
    I am here to talk about the book I just finished up reading titled million dollar throw by Mike lupica.

    This book is by far my favorite book that I’ve read, it’s quickly made the way up my list (which isn’t huge) but still at the top. The way this book is written and the way that the author is able to keep the reader still wanting to read is crazy in this book. Like I’ve said in my essay, there is just never a dull moment in this book, but when is there ever much of a dull moment in a Mike lupica book. He is a great author with a style of writing that I like. One thing I like about how he wrote this book, and also many of his other books is the way he makes it so easy for the readers to relate, part of that is because he knows very well what age groups are going to be reading his books but also he just has a knack for how he writes. Something i like in the actual book that really is meant to be the moral of the story is the ethical values it portrays like loyalty, respect, trust, gratitude and integrity to list a few. The way that Mike lupica makes these values stand out in the book is very great as well because as a reader you pick up on them fast. One place where many of these values is portrayed in the story is at the very end when he offers the million dollars that he had just won, too his best friend who is blind. That shows a ton of different ethical values that Mike lupica has thrown right at you. This book has been very fun to read and I have learned a lot from it.
    Sincerely, jake macfarlane

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  5. I read the book Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans it is a really good book. I am reading the first book Prisoner of cell 25. This book was the first book that he published. I had a chance to meet Richard Paul Evans at my dads school. He came and talked to my dads students about the book and he answered questions if the students had for them. He Talked about how he based the characters names off of his son and his friends. His sons real name is Michael and he has Tourette syndrome and in the book Michael also has Tourette syndrome. In the book it starts out in Idaho and where Michel and his friends find out that something bad had happened. This book really stood out to me because I can kind of relate to It. In the book it talks about how Michael was bullied in school. and how he overcame that and that made him a stronger person and helped him in life. The book is very action packed and cool, it has a lot of fight scenes and stuff like that. I plan on reading the other books that Richard has published and I am really looking forward to see what other cool adventures Michel and his friends will take and who they will fight next.

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    1. Michael vey is a really good book Josh I read the first and the second it was one of my favorite books. That is really cool that you got to meet him at your dads school, it must have been cool to see him in person and ask him questions about the book.

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  6. The book that I chose to read was The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, and after reading this book I felt very inspired and intrigued. The book, The Giver, was a very well written book and I can easily say it is one of my favorite books to date. I enjoyed this book because of they dystopian setting and the overall story telling method that Lois Lowry chose to use in this book. The way that Lowry portrayed the characters as young and oblivious was genius, and that using the fact that they had to bear the truths of their dystopian society. In conclusion, I thought this book was masterfully written and the story is very memorable and impactful, and the morals and lessons i learned from reading this book are very insightful and definitely unforgettable

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    1. I love The Giver. It really captures the way that us as a society is turning into. This is also one of my all time favorite books. I think Lois Lowry did a very good job at creating a whole world and a unique setting for the book. To me, the real meaning of this book is just showing the worst path that we as a society could go down. It is important to live your own life and feel sad and happy and mad and all the other emotions we as humans can feel. It is important that all humans feel emotion. It’s what makes this world beautiful and interesting. Human beings should be able to decide what they want to do with their lives.

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    2. Dear Ben,
      The Giver was a good book. I’m glad that the world we live in isn’t like how it is in the book. We all got to feel emotions and see color and everything like that. It’s good to live in a place where we’re free to do what we want and show our feelings. It would be really boring to live in a place like their dystopian society. Jonas the main character is lucky that he gets to feel the emotions, see the colors, and all that. If I lived in a society like that I would feel bored. If I got a job assigned to me I would hope it would be to work with the giver so that I would get to experience all of the memories, even the pain memories would still be worth it. I hope that our world never comes like theirs.
      Sincerely,
      Tiler

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  7. Dear,
    Fellow Classmates

    I chose the book Hope for Today Bible by Joel & Victoria Osteen, because it is important to me as a Christian. The bible is not just one book, it has many by different people. The “Old Testament” is telling how/where Christianity originated from. The first book of the Old Testament records the Christian count of God’s creation of all things. The “Ten Commandments” is in many ways like a rule book, consisting of rules such as – “ do not kill and do not steal ”. The bible also tells you how to live your life as a Christian and shows you the difference between good and bad, and the consequences you will face for your actions.
    The New Testament is a record of the life and teachings of Jesus and forms the foundation of the Christian church. My thoughts and feelings come through my beliefs as a Christian. Jesus is the son of God and so there is a lot written about his works and miracles and this is a fundamental part of my Christian belief.
    The book of “Acts” is what shows how Christianity spread round the world. Most of the other books of the New Testament were writings by Paul are in the form of letters to different churches, to encourage and strengthen their faith, even as it does in churches today. Many bible passages and scriptures can be used as inspiration by a Christian believer who fells miserable and depressed.
    I chose to read this book to “refresh” and to understand more about my faith and how it became to be as how it is today.

    Sincerely, your friend
    Noa Lacy

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  8. The book I just read was called “Being Sixteen”. I really liked it because of how the author but it together. I have a really hard time reading, but when I find a book that I really like I get hooked, and that’s what this book did. I really liked it because it was an actual book. It had a beginning, middle, and end, and it had a legit plot. The characters in the story related to my family a lot. It was like reading a life story about me. There were some parts that I didn’t follow but after reading that part over again I understood. I choose this book because first, I had just turned 16, so I thought that maybe that would be fun to read, and also it was my kind of book.

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  9. The book I read was called “Farworld, Land Keep”, written by J. Scott Savage.I really liked Farworld, it always has you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. Land keep is the third book in the series Farworld. Farworld is about these two kids named Kyja and Marcus. Kyja is from a fantasy place called Farworld, and Marcus is from Earth. They are two different worlds that they have to save from a group of people called “The Dark Circle”, who want to destroy both Earth and Farworld. In order for Kyja and Marcus to save both their worlds, they must seek creatures called elementals; fire elementals, air elementals, land elementals, and water elementals. This book has a great story to it and I really recommend this book. I have enjoyed all of J. Scott Savages’ books, and I hope he keeps writing more.

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  10. The book I decided to read was Level 26: Dark Origins By Anthony E. Zuiker. Level 26 is a digital horror novel series. It’s about a law enforcement personnel called Special Circs, They track down evil and murderousness people on a scale of 1 to 25. With naive opportunists at Level 1 and organized, premeditated torture-murderers at Level 25. There is a killer forming a new category, Level 26. Only one reluctant operative Steve Dark, can track him down.
    This book hooks me on to it and leaves me sitting on the edge of my seat. I admire how the author keeps it on a slow, but intense pace. He keeps the different personality with each character in a perfect balance and if a different character is talking he changes the font, so you don’t get confused.
    In the book it says, “Sqweegel is a very patient killer. He takes his time between targets and expends an almost inhuman number of hours preparing. We only see his homework after he’s struck. In some cases, the prep work stretches back months.” The killer in the book is named Sqweegel, a clever and sneaky killer, that’s been murdering for twenty years. No has been close enough to catch him, besides one person. Steve Dark, Steve Dark was too close to catching Sqweegel, that Sqweegel killed Dark’s foster family to throw Dark off his track. Dark quit the Special Circs and started tracking Sqweegel on his own. Dark got into his own head finding Sqweegel that he became an alcoholic and did nothing, but trying to find Sqweegel.
    At first I thought why didn’t Sqweegel just kill Steve Dark? The thing is Sqweegel love the chase, he loves the thought of torturing Dark. And the way to torture Dark is to hit him where it hurts.
    This book might seem weird or creepy at first, but it is really interesting. Figuring what going to happen next, solving some riddles. You would never get bored reading it. Well at least I didn’t get bored.

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    1. Hello Jennifer,
      That sounds like a cool book. I really enjoy dark books like that because there are rarely movies like that. Also The fact that there is someone named Sqweegel appeals to me for some reason. It also seems very exciting in the parts where it jumps back to the past to tell more story during the story. This seems like a book i would really enjoy and I hope to read it someday. With this example “Sqweegel is a very patient killer. He takes his time between targets and expends an almost inhuman number of hours preparing. We only see his homework after he’s struck. In some cases, the prep work stretches back months.” You can tell that the author really wanted there to be some kind of tension throughout the whole book.
      From Quin

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  11. For my independent reading this semester, I chose to fixate on Mark Z. Danielewski’s debut novel, House of Leaves. This novel is about a book about a movie about a house that defies all laws of physics, that with a sentient mind of its own extorts itself, extends itself, entreats itself. And like the house, the book itself is a labyrinth with twists and turns both figuratively and literally. The perspective is a strange one, with layers stacked upon themselves. At the core of it is Will Navidson, a world-renowned photographer and owner of our very own mystery of a house. He begins a documentation of his discovery and exploration of his odd home, from the beginning full of intrigue and curiosity and spiralling into malevolence and danger. Above that we find Zampano, a now deceased but then obsessively genius old man, writing up an intensely vigorous case study of the Navidson Record, the official end production of Navidson’s film. Johnny Truant is the one responsible for the publication of Zampano’s manuscript, for he found it in Zampano’s apartment after he passed away and took it to a publisher, Ed. Personally one of the most interesting aspects of this book to me was how Navidson’s children, Daisy and Chad, interacted with the house and how their relationship with the house changed over time, how it was always affected with a different inflection than that of the adults’ reactions to the house. Zampano remarks early on, “They denied the paradox by swallowing it whole. Paradox, after all, is two irreconcilable truths. But children do not know the laws of the world well enough yet to fear the ramifications of the irreconcilable.” This novel was truly well worth the read. The relevant but lengthy sidetracks and footnotes, discordant formatting, snapshots of homelife with the Navidsons eventually turning vulgar, chapters devoted entirely to theories and sciences and stories from Zampano, the pages on pages of Truant rambling on, exposing the intimate details of his personal life and his deterioration caused by an unseen monster, those should have all only caused cacophony when synthesized yet by some means it only caused to create something intricately wound and involuntarily immersive.

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  12. The book I have read was The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.As a historical fiction book, the messages seen throughout it are seen as environmentalism (Concern about and action aimed at protecting the environment). It also shows an interesting Native American theme. The book is centered about a young boy and his relationship with his grandpa. The young boys name is Little Tree, his parents died when he was 5 years old. He was then passed to his grandparents to live and be cared for. This a book that I’ve really enjoyed reading and it has just been surprising and astounding. During the book, Little Tree, is slowly learning and developing as a character and person. Just like all of us. We all go through different things, some things that can influence it is your culture, environment, and friends and family. Little tree grew and developed by nature, farming, whiskey making, mountain life, love, society, and spirit. We have all been exposed to different things, and just like Little Tree we learn and grow from it. Just like years before us, Little Tree had to deal with something along the lines of racism, ignorance, and racial prejudice. That still occurs now a days especially with whats been happening in politics. Different parts of this book can relate to most people, with racial prejudice, or just growing and developing character and identity. My experience reading this book was sorta eye-opening, as in I knew about the events happening during that time, but it more sense when applying it to a character and making a book. This book kept me wanting to further my knowledge about Native American struggles throughout the years of 1920-1930. Not once was I bored during this book and kept me interested the whole time, with seeing how Little Tree grows and develops. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to see growth in people and how life moves on. A great Historical Fiction book.

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  13. Dear Mrs. Sorenson

    This is easily one of my favorite books that I’ve read because it doesn’t gloss over any losses the protagonist has. The main character goes through many things including befriending a small farm family who’s crops are dying and ultimately the end up dying causing him to run off trying to reach his family and along the way he has many encounters like this. Which makes me more inclined to say that the theme of this book is loss. The whole book basically has loss after loss and then the struggle of him trying to get over it again. The book starts like a family drama nearly where hes angry at his family and when they are about to go on a trip he decides not to go, and the day after they leave a large eruption happens in the distance and ash and chunks of lava and rock starts raining down burning his house to the ground and he goes to his friends house to hide out where they stay for two days because of the deafening sounds still coming from the volcano. They finally decide to go out when a group of men rush in and his friends use their fathers guns and shoot them when the main character runs off in horror. He then comes across the escaped prisoners, they attack him and he kills them. And this is one of those examples where the author decides to be gruesome with it to kind of show the struggle of the main protagonist and the fact that he doesn’t want to kill anybody, and that gives him personality. He then comes across a school where he finds a sort of cult of turned Christians who decide the only way to god now is to get to heaven and they perform a mass suicide off the roof of the church nearby, and after befriending one of those people he goes through, once again, a horrific scene that scars him further. Again and again terrible things happen and he still makes it through. These things include his neighbors pet dog going crazy and being forced to kill it, seeing his home room teacher hanging in the school, and coughing up blood every morning from the ash still in the air. It’s just the obvious recurring theme of loss and how he overcomes it when others would just give up. That’s why this is one of my favorite books.

    From, Quin Donehoo
    3/21/17
    A1

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